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Fathers of the Church

The Ecclesiastical History


His Ecclesiastical History covers the period from 324 to 425, and was intended to be a continuation of Eusebius’s Church History. It is dedicated to the emperor Theodosius and originally consisted of ten books; the last, covering the years from 425-439, has been lost. It includes long passages that are identical or almost identical to passages in Socrates’ Ecclesiastical History, and it has been ascertained that Sozomen frequently copies the text of Socrates, although he never mentions him. Nevertheless he has consulted a number of sources himself and there are many passages for which no parallel can be found in Socrates, as for instance the long report about the persecutions of the Christians in Persia under Sapor I (2.9-14), which he evidently based on the Acts of the Persian Martyrs. Perhaps he intended to correct and enlarge Socrates’ work. He certainly has used more Western sources than the latter. Although his style is better than that of Socrates, his historical sense and critical judgment seem to be weaker and many legends find their way into his narrative. (Quasten)


Sozomen was a native of Bethelia near Gaza in Palestine; he later moved to Constantinople where he practiced law. The Ecclesiastical History was his second historical work, the first being a compendium of Church history from the Ascension to 323, which has not survived.

by Salaminius Hermias Sozomenus in Between 439 and 450 | translated by W. Walford; Rev. Chester D. Hartranft


The popular saying is, that the former emperors were zealous about some useful matter or other; such as were fond of ornaments, cared for the royal purple, the crown, and the like; those who were studious of letters, composed some mythical work or treatise capable of fascinating its readers; those who were practiced in war, sought to send the weapon straight to the mark, to hit wild beasts, to hurl the spear, or to leap upon the horse. Every one who was devoted to a craft which was pleasing to the rulers announced himself at the palace. One brings a precious stone not easily susceptible of polish; another undertakes to prepare a more brilliant color than the purple robe; one dedicates a poem or treatise; another introduces an expert and strange fashion of armor.

It is considered the greatest and a regal thing for the ruler of the whole people to possess, at least, one of the homely virtues; but no such great estimate has been made of piety, which is, after all, the true ornament of the empire. Thou, however, O most powerful Emperor Theodosius, hast in a word, by God s help, cultivated every virtue. Girt with the purple robe and crown, a symbol of thy dignity to onlookers, thou wearest within always that true ornament of sovereignty, piety and philanthropy. Whence it happens that poets and writers, and the greater part of thy officers as well as the rest of thy subjects, concern themselves on every occasion with thee and thy deeds. And when thou presidest as ruler of contests and judge of discourses, thou art not robbed of thy accuracy by any artificial sound and form, but thou awardest the prize sincerely, observing whether the diction is suitable to the design of the composition; so also with respect to the form of words, divisions, order, unity, phraseology, construction, arguments, thought, and narrative. Thou recompensest the speakers with thy favorable judgment and applause, as well as with golden images, erection of statues, gifts, and every kind of honor. Thou showest greater personal favor toward the speakers than the ancient Cretans did toward the much-sung Homer; or the Alevadae did to Simonides; or Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily to Plato, the companion of Socrates; or Philip the Macedonian, to Theopom-pus the historian; or the Emperor Severus to Oppianus, who related in verse the kinds, nature, and catching of fish. For after the Cretans had rewarded Homer with a thousand nummi, they inscribed the amount of the gift on a public column as if to boast of their excessive munificence. The Alevadae, Dionysius, and Philip were not more reserved than the Cretans, who boasted of their modest and philosophical government, but quickly imitated their column, so that they might not be inferior in their donative. But when Severus bestowed upon Oppianus a golden gift for each line of his moderate verse, he so astonished everybody with his liberality, that the poems of Oppianus are popularly called golden words to this day. Such were the donations of former lovers of learning and discourses. But thou, O Emperor, surpassest any of the ancients in thy liberality to letters, and thou seemest to me to do this not unreasonably. For while thou strivest to conquer all by thy virtues, thou dost also conduct thine own affairs successfully, according to thy thorough knowledge of the story of those ancient affairs, so prosperously directed by the Greeks and Romans. Rumor says that during the day, thou takest military and bodily exercise, and arrangest affairs of state by giving judicial decisions, and by making note of what is necessary, and by observation, both in public and private, of the things which ought to be done; and at night that thou busiest thyself with books. It is a saying, that there serves thee for the study of these works, a lamp which causes the oil to flow automatically into the wick, by means of some mechanism, so that not one of the servants in the palace should be compelled to be taxed with thy labors, and to do violence to nature by fighting against sleep. Thus thou art humane and gentle, both to those near, and to all, since thou dost imitate the Heavenly King who is thy pattern; in that He loves to send rain, and causes the sun to rise on the just and unjust, as well as to furnish other blessings ungrudgingly. As is natural, I hear also that by thy various learning, thou art no less familiar with the nature of stones, and the virtues of roots, and forces of remedies, than Solomon, the wisest son of David; while thou excellest him in virtue; for Solomon became the slave of his pleasures, and did not preserve to the end, that piety which had been for him the source of prosperity and wisdom. But thou, most powerful Emperor, because thou settest thy restraining reason in array against levity, art not only an autocrat of men, but also of the passions of soul and body, as one would naturally suppose. And this, too, ought to be remarked: I understand that thou dost conquer the desire for all food and drink; neither the sweeter figs, to speak poetically, nor any other kind of fruit in its season, can take thee prisoner, except the little that thou dost touch and taste, after thou hast returned thanks to the Maker of all things. Thou art wont to vanquish thirst, stifling heat, and cold by thy daily exercise, so that thou seemest to have self-control as a second nature. Lately, as is well known, thou wast anxious to visit the city of Heraclea in Pontus, and to restore it, prostrated by time, and thou tookest the way in the summer season through Bithynia. When the sun about midday was very fiery, one of the body-guard saw thee, heated with much sweat and clouds of dust, and, as if to do thee a favor, he anticipatingly offered to thee a bowl which reflected brilliantly the rays of the sun; he poured in some sweet drink, and added cold water thereto. But thou, most powerful Emperor, didst receive it, and didst praise the man for his good will, and thou didst make it obvious that thou wouldst soon reward him for his well- wrought deed with royal munificence. But when all the soldiers were wondering with open mouth at the dish, and were counting him blessed who should drink, thou, O noble Emperor, didst return the drink to him and didst command him to use it in whatever way he pleased. So that it seems to me that Alexander, the son of Philip, was surpassed by thy virtue; of whom it is reputed by his admirers, that while he, with the Macedonians, was passing through a waterless place, an anxious soldier found water, drew it, and offered it to Alexander; he would not drink it, but poured out the draught. Therefore, in a word, it is appropriate to call thee, according to Homer, more regal than the kings who preceded thee; for we have heard of some who acquired nothing worthy of admiration, and others who adorned their reign with scarcely one or two deeds. But thou, O most powerful Emperor, hast gathered together all the virtues, and hast excelled every one in piety, philanthropy, courage, prudence, justice, munificence, and a magnanimity befitting royal dignity. And every age will boast of thy rule as alone unstained and pure from murder, beyond all governments that ever existed. Thou teachest thy subjects to pursue serious things with pleasure, so that they show zeal for thee and public affairs, with good will and respect. So that for all these reasons, it has appeared to me, as a writer of Ecclesiastical History, necessary to address myself to thee. For to whom can I do this more appropriately, since I am about to relate the virtue of many devoted men, and the events of the Catholic Church; and since her conflicts with so many enemies lead me to thy threshhold and that of thy fathers? Come thou, who knowest all things and possessest every virtue, especially that piety, which the Divine Word says is the beginning of wisdom, receive from me this writing, and marshal its facts and purify it by thy labors, out of thy accurate knowledge, whether by addition or elimination. For whatever course may seem pleasing to thee, that will be wholly advantageous and brilliant for the readers, nor shall any one put a hand to it after thine approval. My history begins with the third consulate of the Caesars, Crispus and Constantine, and stretches to thy seventeenth consulship. I deemed it proper to divide the whole work into nine parts: the first and second books will embrace the ecclesiastical affairs under Constantine; the third and fourth, those under his sons; the fifth and sixth, those under Julian, the cousin of the sons of the great Constantine, and Jovian, and, further, of Valentinian and Valens; the seventh and eighth books, O most powerful Emperor, will open up the affairs under the brothers Gratian and Valentinian, until the proclamation of Theodosius, thy divine grandfather, as far as thy celebrated father Arcadius, together with thy uncle, the most pious and godly Honorius, received the paternal government and shared in the regulation of the Roman world; the ninth book I have devoted to thy Christ-loving and most innocent majesty, which may God always preserve in unbroken good will, triumphing greatly over enemies, and having all things under thy feet and transmitting the holy empire to thy sons' sons with the approbation of Christ, through whom and with whom, be glory to God, and the Father, with the Holy Spirit forever. Amen.




My mind has been often exercised in inquiring how it is that other men are very ready to believe in God the Word, while the Jews are so incredulous, although it was to them that instruction concerning the things of God was, from the beginning, imparted by the prophets, who likewise made them acquainted with the events attendant upon the coming of Christ, before they came to pass. Besides, Abraham, the founder of their nation and of the circumcision, was accounted worthy to be an eye-witness, and the host of the Son of God. And Isaac, his son, was honored as the type of the sacrifice on the cross, for he was led bound to the altar by his father and, as accurate students of the sacred Scriptures affirm, the sufferings of Christ came to pass in like manner. Jacob predicted that the expectation of the nations would be for Christ, as it now is; and he likewise foretold the time in which he came, when he said "the rulers of the Hebrews of the tribe of Judah, the tribal leader, shah fail."

This dearly referred to the reign of Herod, who was an Idumean, on his father's side, and on his mother's, an Arabian, and the Jewish nation was delivered to him by the Roman senate and Augustus Caesar. And of the rest of the prophets some declared beforehand the birth of Christ, His ineffable conception, the mother remaining a virgin after His birth, His people, and country. Some predicted His divine arid marvelous deeds, while others foretold His sufferings, His resurrection from the dead, His ascension into the heavens, and the event accompanying each. But if any be ignorant of these facts it is not difficult to know them by reading the sacred books. Josephus, the son of Matthias, also who was a priest, and was most distinguished among Jews and Romans, may be regarded as a noteworthy witness to the truth concerning Christ ; for he hesitates to call Him a man since He wrought marvelous works, and was a teacher of truthful doctrines, but openly calls him Christ; that He was condemned to the death of the cross, and appeared alive again the third day. Nor was Josephus ignorant of numberless other wonderful predictions uttered beforehand by the holy prophets concerning Christ. He further testifies that Christ brought over many to Himself both Greeks and Jews, who continued to love Him, and that the people named after Him had not become extinct. It appears to me that in narrating these things, he all but proclaims that Christ, by comparison of works, is God. As if struck by the miracle, he ran, somehow, a middle course, assailing in no way those who believed in Jesus, but rather agreeing with them.

When I consider this matter it seems reasonably remarkable to me, that the Hebrews did not anticipate, and, before the rest of men, immediately turn to Christianity; for though the Sibyl and some oracles announced beforehand the future of events concerning Christ we are not on this account to attribute unbelief to all the Greeks. For they were few, who, appearing superior in education, could understand such prophecies, which were, for the most part, in verse, and were declared with more recondite words to the people. Therefore in my judgment, it was the result of the heavenly preknowledge, for the sake of the agreement in future events, that the coming facts were to be made known, not only by his own prophets, but in part also by strangers. Just as a musician, under pressure of a strange melody, may treat the superfluous tones of the chords lightly with his plectrum, or add others to those already existing.

Having now shown that the Hebrews, although in the possession of numerous and more distinct prophecies concerning the coming of Christ, were less willing than the Greeks to embrace the faith that is in Him, let what has been said on the subject suffice. Yet let it by no means be hence accounted contrary to reason that the church should have been mainly built up by the conversion of other nations; for in the first place, it is evident that, in divine and great affairs, God delights to bring to pass changes in a marvelous manner; and then, be it remembered, it was by the exercise of no common virtues that those who, at the very beginning, were at the head of religious affairs, maintained their influence. If they did not, indeed, possess a language sharpened for expression or for beauty of diction, nor the power of convincing their hearers by means of phrases or mathematical demonstrations, yet they did not the less accomplish the work they had undertaken. They gave up their property, neglected their kindred, were stretched upon a cross, and as if endowed with bodies not their own, suffered many and excruciating tortures; neither seduced by the adulation of the people and rulers of any city, nor terrified by their menaces, they clearly evidenced by their conduct, that they were supported in the struggle by the hope of a high reward. So that they, in fact needed not to resort to verbal arguments for without any effort on their part, their very deeds constrained the inhabitants of every house and of every city to give credit to their testimony, even before they knew wherein it consisted.

Since then so divine and marvelous a change has taken place in the circumstances of men, that ancient cults and national laws have fallen into contempt; since many of the most celebrated writers among the Greeks have tasked their powers of eloquence in describing the Calydonian boar, the bull of Marathon and other similar prodigies, which have really occurred in countries or cities, or have a mystic origin, why should not I rise above myself, and write a history of the Church? For I am persuaded that, as the topic is not the achievements of men, it may appear almost incredible that such a history should be written by me; but, with God, nothing is impossible.

I at first felt strongly inclined to trace the course of events from the very commencement; but on reflecting that similar records of the past up to their own time had been compiled by those wisest of men, Clemens and Hegesippus, successors of the apostles, by Africanus the historian, and by Eusebius, surnamed Pamphilus, a man intimately acquainted with the sacred Scriptures and the writings of the Greek poets and historians, I merely draw up an epitome in two books of all that is recorded to have happened to the churches, from the ascension of Christ to the deposition of Licinius. Now, however, by the help of God, I will endeavor to relate the subsequent events as well.

I shall record the transactions with which I have been connected, and also those concerning which I have heard froth persons who knew or saw the affairs in our own day or before our own generation. But I have sought for records of events of earlier date, amongst the established laws appertaining to religion, amongst the proceedings of the synods of the period, amongst the innovations that arose, and in the epistles of kings and priests. Some of these documents are preserved in palaces and churches, and others are dispersed and in the possession of the learned. I thought frequently of transcribing the whole, but on further reflection I deemed it better, on account of the mass of the documents, to give merely a brief synopsis of their contents; yet whenever controverted topics are introduced, I will readily transcribe freely from any work that may tend to the elucidation of truth. If any one who is ignorant of past events should conclude my history to be false, because he meets with conflicting statements in other writings, let him know that since the dogmas of Arius and other more recent hypotheses have been broached, the rulers of the churches, differing in opinion among themselves, have transmitted in writing their own peculiar views, for the benefit of their respective followers; and further, be it remembered, these rulers convened councils and issued what decrees they pleased, often condemning unheard those whose creed was dissimilar to their own, and striving to their utmost to induce the reigning prince and nobles of the time to side with them. Intent upon maintaining the orthodoxy of their own dogmas, the partisans of each sect respectively formed a collection of such epistles as favored their own heresy, omitting all documents of a contrary tendency. Such are the obstacles by which we are beset in our endeavors to arrive at a conclusion on this subject! Still, as it is requisite, in order to maintain historical accuracy, to pay the strictest attention to the means of eliciting truth, I felt myself bound to examine all writings of this class according to my ability.

Let not an impertinent or malignant spirit be imputed to me, for having dwelt upon the disputes of ecclesiastics among themselves, concerning the primacy and the pre-eminence of their own heresy. In the first place, as I have already said, an historian ought to regard everything as secondary in importance to truth; moreover, the doctrine of the Catholic Church is shown to be especially the most genuine, since it has been tested frequently by the plots of opposing thinkers; yet, the disposal of the lot being of God, the Catholic Church has maintained its own ascendancy, has reassumed its own power, and has led all the churches and the people to the reception of its own truth.

I have had to deliberate whether I ought to confine myself to the recital of events connected with the Church under the Roman government; but it seemed more advisable to include, as far as possible, the record of transactions relative to religion among the Persians and barbarians. Nor is it foreign to ecclesiastical history to introduce in this work an account of those who were the fathers and originators of what is denominated monachism, and of their immediate successors, whose celebrity is well known to us either by observation or report. For I would neither be considered ungracious towards them, nor willing to consign their virtue to oblivion, nor yet be thought ignorant of their history; but I would wish to leave behind me such a record of their manner of life that others, led by their example, might attain to a blessed and happy end. As the work proceeds, these subjects shall be noted as far as possible.

Invoking the help and propitiousness of God, I now proceed to the narration of events; the present history shall have its beginning from this point.


DURING the consulate of Constantine Caesar and Crispus Caesar, Silvester governed the Church of Rome; Alexander, that of Alexandria; and Macarius, that of Jerusalem. Not one, since Romanus? had been appointed over the Church of Antioch on the Orontes; for the persecution it appears, had prevented the ceremony of ordination from taking place. The bishops assembled at Nicaea not long after were, however, so sensible of the purity of the life and doctrines of Eustathius, that they adjudged him worthy to fill the apostolic see; although he was then bishop of the neighboring Boroea, they translated him to Antioch.

The Christians of the East, as far as Libya on the borders of Egypt, did not dare to meet openly as a church; for Licinius had withdrawn his favor from them; but the Christians of the West, the Greeks, the Macedonians, and the Illyrians, met for worship in safety through the protection of Constantine, who was then at the head of the Roman Empire.


We have been informed that Constantine was led to honor the Christian religion by the concurrence of several different events, particularly by the appearance of a sign from heaven.

When he first formed the resolution of entering into a war against Maxentius, he was beset with doubts as to the means of carrying on his military operations, and as to the quarter whence he could look for assistance. In the midst of his perplexity, he saw, in a vision, the sight of the cross shining in heaven. He was amazed at the spectacle, but some holy angels who were standing by, exclaimed, "Oh, Constantine! by this symbol, conquer!" And it is said that Christ himself appeared to him, and showed him the symbol of the cross, and commanded him to construct one like unto it, and to retain it as his help in battle, as it would insure the victory.

Eusebius, surnamed Pamphilus, affirms that he heard the emperor declare with an oath, as the sun was on the point of inclining about the middle of the day, he and the soldiers who were with him saw in heaven the trophy of the cross composed of light, and encircled by the following words: "By this sign, conquer."

This vision met him by the way, when he was perplexed as to whither he should lead his army. While he was reflecting on what this could mean, night came; and when he fell asleep, Christ appeared with the sign which he had seen in heaven, and commanded him to construct a representation of the symbol, and to use it as his help in hostile encounters. There was nothing further to be elucidated; for the emperor clearly apprehended the necessity of serving God.

At daybreak, he called together the priests of Christ, and questioned them concerning their doctrines. They opened the sacred Scriptures, and expounded the truths relative to Christ, and showed him from the prophets, how the signs which had been predicted, had been fulfilled. The sign which had appeared to him was the symbol, they said, of the victory over hell; for Christ came among men, was stretched upon the cross, died, and returned to life the third day. On this account, they said, there was hope that at the close of the present dispensation, there would be a general resurrection of the dead, and entrance upon immortality, when those who had led a good life would receive accordingly, and those who had done evil would be punished. Yet, continued they, the means of salvation and of purification from sin are provided; namely, for the uninitiated, initiation according to the canons of the church; and for the initiated, abstinence from renewed sin. But as few, even among holy men, are capable of complying with this latter, condition, another method of purification is set forth, namely, repentance; for God, in his love towards man, bestows forgiveness on those who have fallen into sin, on their repentance, and the confirmation of their repentance by good works.


THE emperor, amazed at the prophecies concerning Christ which were expounded to him by the priests, sent for some skillful artisans, and commanded them to remodel the standard called by the Romans Labarum, to convert it into a representation of the cross, and to adorn it with gold and precious stones. This warlike trophy was valued beyond all others; for it was always wont to be carried before the emperor, and was worshiped by the soldiery. I think that Constantine changed the most honorable symbol of the Roman power into the sign of Christ, chiefly that by the habit of having it always in view, and of worshiping it, the soldiers might be induced to abandon their ancient forms of superstition, and to recognize the true God, whom the emperor worshiped, as their leader and their help in battle; for this symbol was always borne in front of his own troops, and was, at the command of the emperor, carried among the phalanxes in the thickest of the fight by an illustrious band of spearmen, of whom each one in turn took the standard upon his shoulders, and paraded it through the ranks. It is said that on one occasion, on an unexpected movement of the hostile forces, the man who held the standard in terror, placed it in the hands of another, and secretly fled from the battle. When he got beyond the reach of the enemy's weapons, he suddenly received a wound and fell, while the man who had stood by the divine symbol remained unhurt, although many weapons were aimed at him; for the missiles of the enemy, marvelously directed by divine agency, lighted upon the standard, and the bearer thereof, although in the midst of danger, was preserved.

It is also asserted that no soldier who bore this standard in battle ever fell, through any dark calamity, such as is wont to happen to the soldiery in war, or was wounded, or taken prisoner.


I AM aware that it is reported by the pagans that Constantine, after slaying some of his nearest relations, and particularly after assenting to the murder of his own son Crispus, repented of his evil deeds, and inquired of Sopater, the philosopher, who was then master of the school of Plotinus, concerning the means of purification from guilt. The philosopher- -so the story goes—replied that such moral defilement could admit of no purification. The emperor was grieved at this repulse, but happening to meet with some bishops who told him that he would be cleansed from sin, on repentance and on submitting to baptism, he was delighted with their representations, and admired their doctrines, and became a Christian, and led his subjects to the same faith. It appears to me that this story was the invention of persons who desired to vilify the Christian religion. Crispus, on whose account, it is said, Constantine required purification, did not die till the twentieth year of his father's reign; he held the second place in the empire and bore the name of Caesar and many laws, framed with his sanction in favor of Christianity, are still extant. That this was the case can be proved by referring to the dates affixed to these laws, and to the lists of the legislators. It does not appear likely that Sopater had any intercourse with Constantine whose government was then centered in the regions near the ocean and the Rhine; for his dispute with Maxentius, the governor of Italy, had created so much dissension in the Roman dominions, that it was then no easy matter to dwell in Gaul, in Britain, or in the neighboring countries, in which it is universally admitted Constantine embraced the religion of the Christians, previous to his war with Maxentius, and prior to his return to Rome and Italy: and this is evidenced by the dates of the laws which he enacted in favor of religion. But even granting that Sopater chanced to meet the emperor, or that he had epistolary correspondence with him, it cannot be imagined the philosopher was ignorant that Hercules, the son of Alcmena, obtained purification at Athens by the celebration of the mysteries of Ceres after the murder of his children, and of Iphitus, his guest and friend. That the Greeks held that purification from guilt of this nature could be obtained, is obvious from the instance I have just alleged, and he is a false calumniator who represents that Sopater taught the contrary.

I cannot admit the possibility of the philosopher's having been ignorant of these facts; for he was at that period esteemed the most learned man in Greece.


UNDER the government of Constantine the churches flourished and increased in numbers daily, since they were honored by the good deeds of a benevolent and well-disposed emperor, and otherwise God preserved them from the persecutions and harassments which they had previously encountered. When the churches were suffering from persecution in other parts of the world, Constantius alone, the father of Constantine, accorded the Christians the right of worshiping God without fear. I know of an extraordinary thing done by him, which is worthy of being recorded. He wished to test the fidelity of certain Christians, excellent and good men, who were attached to his palaces. He called them all together, and told them that if they would sacrifice to idols as well as serve God, they should remain in his service and retain their appointments; but that if they refused compliance with his wishes, they should be sent from the palaces, and should scarcely escape his I vengeance. When difference of judgment had divided them into two parties, separating those who consented to abandon their religion from those who preferred the honor of God to their present welfare, the emperor determined upon retaining those who had adhered to their faith as his friends and counselors; but he turned away from the others, whom he regarded as unmanly and impostors, and sent them from his presence, judging that they who had so readily betrayed their God could never be true to their king. Hence it is probable that while Constantius was alive, it did not seem contrary to the laws for the inhabitants of the countries beyond Italy to profess Christianity, that is to say, in Gaul, in Britain, or in the region of the Pyrenean mountains as far as the Western Ocean. When Constantine succeeded to the same government, the affairs of the churches became still more brilliant; for when Maxentius, the son of Herculius, was slain, his share also devolved upon Constantine; and the nations who dwelt by the river Tiber and the Eridanus, which the natives call Padus, those who dwelt by the Aquilis, whither, it is said, the Argo was dragged, and the inhabitants of the coasts of the Tyrrhenian sea were permitted the exercise of their religion without molestation.

When the Argonauts fled from Aeetes, they returned homewards by a different route, crossed the sea of Scythia, sailed through some of the rivers there, and so gained the shores of Italy, where they passed the winter and built a city, which they called Emona. The following summer, with the assistance of the people of the country, they dragged the Argo, by means of machinery, the distance of four hundred stadia, and so reached the Aquilis, a river which falls into the Eridanus: the Eridanus itself falls into the Italian sea.

After the battle of Cibalis the Dardanians and the Macedonians, the inhabitants of the banks of the Ister, of Hellas, and the whole nation of Illyria, became subject to Constantine.


After this reverse, Licinius, who had previously respected the Christians, changed his opinion, and ill-treated many of the priests who lived under his government; he also persecuted a multitude of other persons, but especially the soldiers. He was deeply incensed against the Christians on account of his disagreement with Constantine, and thought to wound him by their sufferings for religion, and besides, he suspected that the churches were praying and zealous that Constantine alone should enjoy the sovereign rule. In addition to all this, when on the eve of another battle with Constantine, Licinius, as was wont to be done, made a forecast of the expected war, by sacrifices and oracles, and, deceived by promises of conquest. he returned to the religion of the pagans.

The pagans themselves, too, relate that about this period he consulted the oracle of Apollo Didymus at Miletus, and received an answer concerning the result of the war from the demon, couched in the following verses of Homer:

"Much, old man, do the youths distress thee, warring against thee! Feeble thy strength has become, but thy old age yet shall be hardy."

From many facts it has often appeared to me that the teaching of the Christians is supported, and its advancement secured, by the providence of God; and not least from what then occurred for at the very moment that Licinius was about to persecute all the churches under him, the war in Bithynia broke out, which ended in a war between him and Constantine, and in which Constantine was so strengthened by Divine assistance that he was victorious over his enemies by land and by sea. On the destruction of his fleet and army, Licinius threw himself into Nicomedia, and resided for some time at Thessalonica as a private individual, and was eventually killed there. Such was the end of one who, at the beginning of his reign, had distinguished himself in war and in peace, and who had been honored by receiving the sister of Constantine in marriage.


AS soon as the sole government of the Roman empire was vested in Constantine, he issued a public decree commanding all his subjects in the East to honor the Christian religion, carefully to worship the Divine Being, and to recognize that only as Divine which is also essentially so, and which has the power that endures for ever and ever: for he delights to give all good things ungrudgingly to those who zealously embrace the truth; he meets their undertakings with the best hopes, while misfortunes, whether in peace or in war, whether in public or in private life, befall transgressors. Constantine then added, but without vain boasting, that, God having accounted him as a fitting servant, worthy to reign, he had been led from the British sea to the Eastern provinces in order that the Christian religion might be extended, and that those who, on account of the worship of God had remained steadfast in confessions or martyrdoms, might be advanced to public honors. After making these statements, he entered upon a myriad other details by which he thought his subjects might be drawn to religion. He decreed that all acts and judgments passed by the persecutors of the church against Christianity should be revoked; and commanded that all those who, on account of their confession of Christ, had been sent to banishment—either to the isles or elsewhere, contrary to their own inclination—and all those who had been condemned to labor in the mines, the public works, the harems, the linen factories, or had been enrolled as public functionaries, should be restored to liberty. He removed the stigma of dishonor from those upon whom it had been cast, and permitted those who had been deprived of high appointments in the army, either to reassume their former place, or with an honorable discharge, to enjoy a liberal ease according to their own choice; and when he had recalled all to the enjoyment of their former liberties and customary honors, he likewise restored their possessions. In the case of those who had been slain, and whose property had been confiscated, he enacted that the inheritance should be transferred to the next of kin, or, in default of heirs, to the church belonging to the locality where the estate was situated; and when the inheritance had passed into other hands, and had become either private or national property, he commanded it to be restored. He likewise promised to resort to the fittest and best possible arrangements when the property had been purchased by the exchequer, or had been received therefrom by gift. These measures, as it had been said, having been enacted by the emperor, and ratified by law, were forthwith carried into execution. Christians were thus placed in almost all the principal posts of the Roman government; the worship of false gods was universally prohibited; and the arts of divination, the dedication of statues, and the celebration of pagan festivals were interdicted. Many of the most ancient customs observed in the cities fell into disuse: and among the Egyptians the measure used to indicate the increase of the waters of the Nile was no longer borne into pagan temples, but into churches. The spectacle of gladiators was then prohibited among the Romans; and the custom which prevailed among the Phoenicians of Lebanon and Heliopolis of prostituting virgins before marriage, who were accustomed to cohabit in lawful marriage after the first trial of an illicit intercourse, was abolished. Of the houses of prayer, the emperor repaired some which were of sufficient magnitude; others were brilliantly restored by additional length and breadth, and he erected new edifices in places where no building of the kind had existed previously. He furnished the requisite supplies from the imperial treasury, and wrote to the bishops of the cities and the governors of the provinces, desiring them to contribute whatever might be wished, and enjoining submission and zealous obedience to the priests.

The prosperity of religion kept pace with the increased prosperity of the empire. After the war with Licinius, the emperor was successful in battle against foreign nations; he conquered the Sarmatians and the people called Goths, and concluded an advantageous treaty with them. These people dwelt upon the Ister; and as they were very warlike, and always ready in arms both by the multitude and magnitude of their bodies, they kept the other tribes of barbarians in awe, and found antagonists in the Romans alone. It is said that, during this war, Constantine perceived clearly, by means of signs and dreams, that the special protection of Divine Providence had been extended to him. Hence when he had vanquished all those who rose up in battle against him he evinced his thankfulness to Christ by zealous attention to the concerns of religion, and exhorted the governors to recognize the one true faith and way of salvation. He enacted that part of the funds levied from tributary countries should be forwarded by the various cities to the bishops and clergy, wherever they might be domiciled, and commanded that the law enjoining this gift should be a statute forever. In order to accustom the soldiers to worship God as he did, he had their weapons marked with the symbol of the cross, and he erected a house of prayer in the palace. When he engaged in war, he caused a tent to be borne before him, constructed in the shape of a church, so that in case he or his army might be led into the desert, they might have a sacred edifice in which to praise and worship God, and participate in the mysteries. Priests and deacons followed the tent, who fulfilled the orders about these matters, according to the law of the church. From that period the Roman legions, which now were called by their number, provided each its own tent, with attendant priests and deacons. He also enjoined the observance of the day termed the Lord's day," which the Jews call the first day of the week, and which the pagans dedicate to the sun, as likewise the day before the seventh, and commanded that no judicial or other business should be transacted on those days, but that God should be served with prayers and supplications. He honored the Lord's day, because on it Christ arose from the dead, and the day above mentioned, because on it he was crucified. He regarded the cross with peculiar reverence, on account both of the power which it conveyed to him in the battles against his enemies, and also of the divine manner in which the symbol had appeared to him. He took away by law the crucifixion customary among the Romans, from the usage of the courts. He commanded that this divine symbol should always be inscribed and stamped whenever coins and images should be struck, and his images, which exist in this very form, still testify to this order. And indeed he strove in everything, particularly in the enactment of laws, to serve God. It appears, too, that he prohibited many flagitious and licentious connections, which till that period had not been forbidden; as one, who cares about it, may see at a glance from these few instances what the laws were, which he established about these points; it appears to me unreasonable now to treat them exhaustively. I consider it necessary, however, to mention the laws enacted for the honor and consolidation of religion, as they constitute a considerable portion of ecclesiastical history. I shall therefore proceed to the recital.


THERE was an ancient Roman law, by which those who were unmarried at the age of twenty-five were not admitted to the same privileges as the married; amongst other clauses in this law, it was specified that those who were not the very nearest kinsmen could gain nothing from a will; and also, that those who were childless were to be deprived of half of any property that might be bequeathed to them. The object of this ancient Roman law was to increase the population of Rome and the subject people, which had been much reduced in numbers by the civil wars, not a long while before this law. The emperor, perceiving that this enactment militated against the interests of those who continued in a state of celibacy and remained childless for the sake of God, and deeming it absurd to attempt the multiplication of the human species by the care and zeal of man (since nature always receiving increase or decrease according to the fiat from on high), made a law enjoining that the unmarried and childless should have the same advantages as the married. He even bestowed peculiar privileges on those who embraced a life of continence and virginity, and permitted them, contrary to the usage which prevailed throughout the Roman empire, to make a will before they attained the age of puberty; for he believed that those who devoted themselves to the service of God and the cultivation of philosophy would, in all cases, judge aright. For a similar reason the ancient Romans permitted the vestal virgins to make a will as soon as they attained the age of six years. That was the greatest proof of the superior reverence for religion. Constantine exempted the clergy everywhere from taxation, and permitted litigants to appeal to the decision of the bishops if they preferred them to the state rulers. He enacted that their decree should be valid, and as far superior to that of other judges as if pronounced by the emperor himself; that the governors and subordinate military officers should see to the execution of these decrees: and that the definitions made by synods should be irreversible.

Having arrived at this point of my history, it would not be right to omit all mention of the laws passed in favor of those individuals in the churches who had received their freedom. Owing to the strictness of the laws and the unwillingness of masters, there were many difficulties in the way of the acquisition of this better freedom; that is to say, of the freedom of the city of Rome. Constantine therefore made three laws, enacting that all those individuals in the churches, whose freedom should be attested by the priests, should receive the freedom of Rome?

The records of these pious regulations are still extant, it having been the custom to engrave on tablets all laws relating to manumission. Such were the enactments of Constantine; in everything he sought to promote the honor of religion; and religion was valued, not only for its own sake, but also on account of the virtue of those who then participated in it.


SINCE the persecution had recently ceased, many excellent Christians, and many of the confessors who had survived, adorned the churches: among these were Hosius, bishop of [Cordova; Amphion, bishop of Epiphania in Cilicia; Maximus, who succeeded Macarius in [the church of Jerusalem; and Paphnutius, an Egyptian. It is said by this latter God wrought many miracles, controlling demons, and giving him grace to heal divers kinds of sickness. this Paphnutius, and Maximus, whom we just mentioned, were among the number of confessors whom Maximinus condemned to work in the mines, after having deprived them of the right eye, and the use of the left leg.


SPYRIDON, bishop of Trimythun in Cyprus, flourished at this period. To show his virtues, I think the fame which still prevails about him suffices. The wonderful works which he wrought by Divine assistance are, it appears, generally known by those who dwell in the same region. I shall not conceal the facts which have come to me.

He was a peasant, was married, and had children; yet was not, on this account, deficient in spiritual attainments. It is related that one night some wicked men entered his sheepfold, and were in the act of stealing his sheep, when they were suddenly bound, and yet no one bound them. The next day, when he went to the fold, he found them fettered, and released them from their invisible bonds; but he censured them for having preferred to steal what it was lawful for them to win and take, and also for making such a great exertion by night: yet he felt compassion towards them, and, desirous of affording them instruction, so as to induce them to lead a better life, he said to them, "Go, and take this ram with you; for you are wearied with watching, and it is not just that your labor should be so blamed, that you should return empty-handed from my sheepfold." This action is well worthy admiration, but not less so is that which I shall now relate. An individual confided a deposit to the care of his daughter, who was a virgin, and was named Irene. For greater security, she buried it; and it so happened that she died soon after, without mentioning the circumstance to any one. The person to whom the deposit belonged came to ask for it. Spyridon knew not what answer to give him, so he searched the whole house for it; but not being able to find it, the man wept, tore his hair, and seemed ready to expire. Spyridon, moved with pity, went to the grave, and called the girl by name; and when she answered, he inquired about the deposit. After obtaining the information desired, he returned, found the treasure in the place that had been signified to him, and gave it to the owner. As I have entered upon this subject, it may not be amiss to add this incident also.

It was a custom with this Spyridon to give a certain portion of his fruits to the poor, and to lend another portion to those who wished it as a gratuity; but neither in giving nor taking back did he ever himself distribute or receive he merely pointed out the storehouse, and told those who resorted to him to take as much as they needed, or to restore what they had borrowed. A certain man who had borrowed in this way, came as though he were about to return it, and when as usual he was directed to replace his loan in the storehouse, he saw an opportunity for an injustice; imagining that the matter would be concealed, he did not liquidate the debt, but fraudulently pretending to have discharged his obligation, he went away as though he had made the return. This, however, could not be long concealed. After some time the man came back again to borrow, and was sent to the storehouse, with permission to measure out for himself as much as he required. Finding the storehouse empty, he went to acquaint Spyridon, and this latter said to him, "I wonder, O man, how it is that you alone have found the storehouse empty and unsupplied with the articles you require: reflect whether you have restored the first loan, since you are in need a second time: were it otherwise, what you seek would not be lacking. Go, trust, and you will find." The man felt the reproof and acknowledged his error. The firmness and the accuracy in the administration of ecclesiastical affairs on the part of this divine man are worthy of admiration. It is said that on one occasion thereafter, the bishops of Cyprus met to consult on some particular emergency. Spyridon was present, as likewise Triphyllius, bishop of the Ledri, a man otherwise eloquent, who on account of practicing the law, had lived alone while at Berytus.

When an assembly had convened, having been requested to address the people, Triphyllius had occasion, in the middle of his discourse, to quote the text, "Take up thy bed and walk," and he substituted the word "couch" (ski'mpous), for the word "bed" (kra'bbatos). Spyridon was indignant, and exclaimed, "Art thou greater than he who uttered the word 'bed,' that thou art ashamed to use his words?" When he had said this, he turned from the throne of the priest, and looked towards the people; by this act he taught them to keep the man who is proud of eloquence within bounds and he was fit to make such a rebuke; for he was reverenced and most illustrious for his works: at the same time he was the superior of that presbyter in age and in the priesthood.

The reception which Spyridon gave to strangers will appear from the following incident. In the quadragesima, it happened that a traveler came upon a journey to visit him on one of those days in which it was his custom to keep a continuous fast with his household, and on the day appointed for tasting food, he would remain without nourishment to mid-day. Perceiving that the stranger was much fatigued, Spyridon said to his daughter, "Come, wash his feet and set meat before him." The virgin replying that there was neither bread nor barley-food in the house, for it would have been superfluous to provide such things at the time of the fast, Spyridon first prayed and asked forgiveness, and bade her to cook some salt pork which chanced to be in the house. When it was prepared, he sat down to table with the stranger, partook of the meat, and told him to follow his example. But the stranger declining, under the plea of being a Christian, he said to him, "It is for that very reason that you ought not to decline partaking of the meat; for the Divine word shows that to the pure all things are pure." Such are the details which I had to relate concerning Spyridon.


THOSE who at this period had embraced monasticism were not the least in manifesting the church as most illustrious, and evidencing the truth of their doctrines by their virtuous line of conduct. Indeed, the most useful thing that has been received by man from God is their philosophy. They neglect many branches of mathematics and the technicalities of dialectics, because they regard such studies as superfluous, and as a useless expenditure of time, seeing that they contribute nothing towards correct living. They apply themselves exclusively to the cultivation of natural and useful science, in order that they may mitigate, if not eradicate, evil. They invariably refrain from accounting any action or principle as good, which occupies a middle place between virtue and vice, for they delight only in what is good. They regard every man as wicked, who, though he abstain from evil, does not do good. For they do not demonstrate virtue by argument, but practice it, and count as nothing the glory current among men. They manfully subjugate the passions of the soul, yielding neither to the necessities of nature, nor succumbing to the weakness of the body. Having possessed the power of the Divine mind, they always look away to the Creator of the whole, night and day worshiping him, and appeasing him by prayers and supplications. By purity of soul and by a life of good works they entered without guilt upon religious observances, and despised purification, lustral vessels, and such ceremonials; for they think that sins alone are blemishes. They are greater than the external casualties to which we are liable, and hold, as it were, all things under their control: and are not therefore diverted from the path they have selected by the disasters or the necessity which sway the life. They are not distressed when insulted, nor do they defend themselves when suffering from malice; nor do they lose heart when pressed by sickness or lack of necessaries but rather rejoice in such trials and endure then with patience and meekness. They inure themselves through the whole of life to be content with little, and approximate as nearly to God as is possible to human nature. They regard the present life as a journey only, and are not therefore solicitous about acquiring wealth, nor do they provide for the present beyond urgent necessities. They admire the beauty and simplicity of nature, but their hope is placed in heaven and the blessedness of the future. Wholly absorbed in the worship of God, they revolted from obscene language; and as they had banished evil practices, so they would not allow such things to be even named. They limited, as far as possible, the demands of nature, and compelled the body to be satisfied with moderate supplies. They overcame intemperance by temperance, injustice by justice, and falsehood by truth, and attained the happy medium in all things. They dwelt in harmony and fellowship with their neighbors. They provided for their friends and strangers, imparted to those who were in want, according to their need, and comforted the afflicted. As they were diligent in all things, and zealous in seeking the supreme good, their instructions, though clothed in modesty and prudence, and devoid of vain and meritricious eloquence, possessed power, like sovereign medicines, in healing the moral diseases of their audience; they spoke, too, with fear and reverence, and eschewed all strife, raillery, and anger. Indeed, it is but reasonable to suppress all irrational emotions, and to subdue carnal and natural passions. Elias the prophet and John the Baptist were the authors, as some say, of this sublime philosophy. Philo the Pythagorean relates, that in his time the most virtuous of the Hebrews assembled from all parts of the world, and settled in a tract of country situated on a hill near Lake Mareotis, for the purpose of living as philosophers. He describes their dwellings, their regimen, and their customs, as similar to those which we now meet with among the monks of Egypt. He says that from the moment they began to apply themselves to the study of philosophy, they gave up their property to their relatives, relinquished business and society, and dwelt outside of walls, in fields and in gardens. They had also, he informs us, sacred edifices which were called monasteries, in which they dwelt apart and alone, occupied in celebrating the holy mysteries, and in worshiping God sedulously with psalms and hymns. They never tasted food before sunset, and some only took food every third day, or even at longer intervals. Finally, he says, that on certain days they lay on the ground and abstained from wine and the flesh of animals; that their food was bread, salt, and hyssop, and their drink, water; and that there were women among them who had lived as virgins to old age, who, for the love of philosophy, and from their voluntary judgment, practiced celibacy. In this narrative, Philo seems to describe certain Jews who had embraced Christianity, and yet retained the customs of their nation; for no vestiges of this manner of life are to be found elsewhere: and hence I conclude that this philosophy flourished in Egypt from this period. Others, however, assert that this mode of life originated from the persecutions for the sake of religion, which arose from time to time, and by which many were compelled to flee to the mountains and deserts and forests, and they became used to this kind of living.


WHETHER the Egyptians or others are to be regarded as the founders of this philosophy, it is universally admitted that Antony, the great monk, developed this course of life, by morals and befitting exercises, to the summit of exactness and perfection. His fame was so widely spread throughout the deserts of Egypt, that the emperor Constantine, for the reputation of the man's virtue, sought his friendship, honored him with correspondence, and urged him to write about what he might need. He was an Egyptian by race, and belonged to an illustrious family of Coma, which was situated near the Heraclea which is on the Egyptian borders. He was but a youth when he lost his parents; he bestowed his paternal inheritance upon his fellow-villagers, sold the rest of his possessions and distributed the proceeds among the needy; for he was aware that philosophy does not merely consist in the relinquishment of property, but in the proper distribution of it. He obtained the acquaintance of the devoted men of his time, and emulated the virtues of all. Believing that the practice of goodness would become delightful by habit, though arduous at the outset, he reflected on more intense methods of asceticism, and day by day he augmented it by self- control just as if he were always recommencing his undertaking. He subdued the voluptuousness of the body by labor, and restrained the passions of the soul by the aid of the Divine wisdom. His food was bread and salt, his drink water, and he never broke his fast till after sunset. He often remained two or more days without eating. He watched, so to speak, throughout the night, and continued in prayer till daybreak. If at any time he indulged in sleep, it was but for a little while on a short mat; but generally the bare earth was his couch. He rejected the practice of anointing with oil, and the use of baths and of similar luxuries likely to relax the tension of the body by moisture; and it is said that he never at any time saw himself naked. He neither possessed nor admired learning, but he valued a good understanding, as being prior to letters and as being the very discoverer of it. He was exceedingly meek and philanthropic, prudent and manly; cheerful in conversation and friendly in disputations, even when others used the controverted topics as occasion for strife. By his own habit and a kind of intelligence he quieted contentiousness when on the increase, and restored them to moderation; he also tempered the ardor of those who conversed with him, and regulated their manners. Although on account of his extraordinary virtues, he had become filled with the Divine foreknowledge, he did not regard foreknowledge of the future as a virtue, nor did he counsel others to seek this gift rashly, for he considered that no one would be punished or rewarded according to his ignorance or knowledge of futurity; for true blessedness consists in the service of God, and in keeping his laws. "But," said he, "if any man would know the future, let him continually be purified in soul, for then he will i have power to walk in the light, and to understand things that are to happen, for God will reveal the future to him." He never suffered himself to be idle, but exhorted all those who seemed disposed to lead a good life, to diligence in labor, to self-examination and confession of sin before Him who created the day and the night; and when they erred, he urged them to record the transgression in writing, that so they might be ashamed of their sins, and be fearful lest any one should find the many things recorded; for he would be fearful, lest if the document were traced to him he should become disclosed to other people as a depraved character. He above all others came forward spiritedly and most zealously for the defense of the injured, and in their cause often resorted to the cities; for many came out to him, and compelled him to intercede for them with the rulers and men in power. All the people felt honored in seeing him, listened with avidity to his discourses, and yielded assent to his arguments; but he preferred to remain unknown and concealed in the deserts. When compelled to visit a city, he never failed to return to the deserts as soon as he had accomplished the work he had undertaken; for, he said, that as fishes are nourished in the water, so the desert is the world prepared for monks; and as fishes die when thrown upon dry land, so monastics lose their gravity when they go into cities. He carried himself obediently and graciously towards all who saw him, and he was careful not to have, nor seem to have, a supercilious nature. I have given this concise account of the manners of Antony, in order that an idea of his philosophy may be formed, by analogy, from the description of his conduct in the desert.

He had many renowned disciples, of whom some flourished in Egypt and Libya, others in Palestine, Syria, and Arabia; not less than their master, did each disciple pass his life with those among whom he dwelt, and regulate his conduct, and instruct many, and wed them unto kindred virtues and philosophy. But it would be difficult for any one to find the companions of Antony or their successors by going carefully through cities and villages to discover them, for they sought concealment more earnestly than many ambitious men, by means of pomp and show, now seek popularity and renown. We must relate, in chronological order, the history of the most celebrated disciples of Antony, and particularly that of Paul, surnamed the Simple. It is said that he dwelt in the country, and was married to a beautiful woman, and that having surprised her in the act of adultery, he laughed placidly and affirmed with an oath, that he would live with her no longer; that he left her with the adulterer, and went immediately to join Antony in the desert. It is further related that he was exceedingly meek and patient: and that, being aged and unaccustomed to monastic severity, Antony put his strength to the proof by various trials, for he was newly come, and detected nothing ignoble; and that, having given evidence of perfect philosophy, he was sent to live alone, as no longer requiring a teacher. And God himself confirmed the testimony of Antony; and demonstrated the man to be most illustrious through his deeds, and as greater than even his teacher in vexing and expelling demons.


It was about this period that Ammon, the Egyptian, embraced philosophy. It is said that he was compelled to marry by his family, but that his wife never knew him carnally; for on the day of their marriage, when they were alone, and when he as the bridegroom was leading her as the bride to his bed, he said to her, "Oh, woman! our marriage has indeed taken place, but it is not consummated"; and then he showed her from the Holy Scriptures that it was her chief good to remain a virgin, and en-treated that they might live apart. She was convinced by his arguments concerning virginity, but was much distressed by the thought of being separated from him; and therefore, though occupying a separate bed, he lived with her for eighteen years, during which time he did not neglect the monastic exercises. At the end of this period, the woman whose emulation had been strongly excited by the virtue of her husband, became convinced that it was not just that such a man should, on her account, live in the domestic sphere; and she considered that it was necessary that each should, for the sake of philosophy, live apart from the other; and she entreated this of her husband. He therefore took his departure, after having thanked God for the counsel of his wife, and said to her, "Do thou retain this house, and I will make another for myself." He retired to a desert place, south of the Mareotic lake between Scitis and the mountain called Nitria; and here, during two and twenty years, he devoted himself to philosophy and visited his wife twice every year. This divine man was the founder of the monasteries there, and gathered round him many disciples of note, as the registers of succession show. Many extraordinary events happened to him, which have been accurately fixed by the Egyptian monks, who did very much to commemorate carefully the virtues of the more ancient ascetics, preserved in a succession of unwritten tradition. I will relate such of them as have come to our knowledge.

Ammon and his disciple Theodore, had once occasion to take a journey somewhere, and on the road found it requisite to cross a canal called Lycus. Ammon ordered Theodore to pass over backwards, lest they should witness each other's nudity, and as he was likewise ashamed to see himself naked, he was suddenly, and by a Divine impulse, seized and carried over, and landed on the opposite bank. When Theodore had crossed the water, he perceived that the clothes and feet of the eider were not wet, and inquired the reason; not receiving a reply, he expostulated strongly on the subject, and at length Ammon, after stipulating that it should not be mentioned during his lifetime, confessed the fact.

Here follows another miracle of the same nature. Some wicked fathers, having brought to him a son, who had been bitten by a mad dog, and was nigh unto death, besought him in their lamentations to heal him. He said to them, "Your son does not require my healing, but if you are willing to restore to your masters the ox you have stolen, he will be healed immediately." And the result was even as had been predicted; for the ox was restored and the malady of the child removed. It is said that, when Ammon died, Antony saw his spirit ascending into heaven, since the heavenly powers conducted him with the singing of psalms, and on being questioned by his companions as to the cause of his evident astonishment, he did not conceal the matter from them; for he was seen to survey the sky intently, because of his amazement at the sight of the marvelous spectacle. A short time after, certain persons came from Scitis, and, announcing the hour of Ammon's death, the truth of Antony's prediction was manifested. Thus, as is testified by all good men, each of these holy persons was blessed in a special manner; the one, by being released from this life; the other, by being accounted worthy of witnessing so miraculous a spectacle as that which God showed him; for Antony and Ammon lived at a distance of many days' journey from each other, and the above incident is corroborated by those who were personally acquainted with them both.

I am convinced that it was likewise during this reign that Eutychianus embraced philosophy. He fixed his residence in Bithynia, near Olympus. He belonged to the sect of the Novatians, and was a partaker of Divine grace he healed diseases and wrought miracles, and the fame of his virtuous life induced Constantine to keep his intimacy and friendship. It so happened, that about this period, one of the royal body-guard, who was suspected of plotting against the sovereign, fled, and after search, was apprehended near Olympus. Eutychianus was besought by relatives of the man to intercede on his behalf with the emperor, and in the meantime, to direct that the prisoner's chains might be loosened, lest he should perish beneath their weight. It is related that Eutychianus accordingly sent to the officers who held the man in custody, desiring them to loosen the chains; and that, on their refusal, he went himself to the prison, when the doors, though fastened, opened of their own accord, and the bonds of the prisoner fell off. Eutychianus afterwards repaired to the emperor who was then residing at Byzantium, and easily obtained a pardon, for Constantine was not wont to refuse his requests, because he held the man in very great honor.

I have now given in few words the history of the most illustrious professors of the monastic philosophy. If any one desires more exact information about these men he will find it in the biographies which have been written of very many of them.


ALTHOUGH, as we have shown, religion was in a flourishing condition at this period, yet the churches were disturbed by sore contentions; for under the pretext of piety and of seeking the more perfect discovery of God, certain questions were agitated, which had not, till then, been examined. Arius was the originator of these disputations. He was a presbyter of the church at Alexandria in Egypt, and was at first a zealous thinker about doctrine, and upheld the innovations of Melitius. Eventually, however, he abandoned this latter opinion, and was ordained deacon by Peter, bishop of Alexandria, who afterwards cast him out of the church, because when Peter anathematized the zealots of Melitius and rejected their baptism, Arius assailed him for these acts and could not be restrained in quietness. After the martyrdom of Peter, Arius asked forgiveness of Achillas, and was restored to his office as deacon, and afterwards elevated to the presbytery. Afterwards Alexander, also, held him in high repute, since he was a most expert logician; for it was said that he was not lacking in such knowledge. He fell into absurd discourses, so that he had the audacity to preach in the church what no one before him had ever suggested; namely, that the Son of God was made out of that which had no prior existence, that there was a period of time in which he existed not; that, as possessing free will, he was capable of vice and virtue, and that he was created and made: to these, many other similar assertions were added as he went forward into the arguments and the details of inquiry. Those who heard these doctrines advanced, blamed Alexander for not opposing the innovations at variance with doctrine. But this bishop deemed it more advisable to leave each party to the free discussion of doubtful topics, so that by persuasion rather than by force, they might cease from contention; hence he sat down as a judge with some of his clergy, and led both sides into a discussion. But it happened on this occasion, as is generally the case in a strife of words, that each party claimed the victory. Arius defended his assertions, but the others contended that the Son is consubstantial and co-eternal with the Father. The council was convened a second time, and the same points contested, but they came to no agreement amongst themselves. During the debate, Alexander seemed to incline first to one party and then to the others ; finally, however, he declared himself in favor of those who affirmed that the Son was consubstantial and co-eternal with the Father, and he commanded Arius to receive this doctrine, and to reject his former opinions. Arius, however, would not be persuaded to compliance, and many of the bishops and clergy considered his statement of doctrine to be correct. Alexander, therefore, ejected him and the clergy who concurred with him in sentiment from the church. Those of the parish of Alexandria, who had embraced his opinions, were the presbyters Aithalas, Achillas, Carpones, Sarmates, and Arius, and the deacons Euzoius, Macarius, Julius, Menas, and Helladius. Many of the people, likewise, sided with them: some, because they imagined their doctrines to be of God; others, as frequently happens in similar cases, because they believed them to have been ill-treated and unjustly excommunicated. Such being the state of affairs at Alexandria, the partisans of Arius, deeming it prudent to seek the favor of the bishops of other cities, sent legations to them; they sent a written statement of their doctrines to them, requesting them that, if they considered such sentiments to be of God, they would signify to Alexander that he ought not to molest them; but that if they disapproved of the doctrines, they should teach them what opinions were necessary to be held. This precaution was of no little advantage to them; for their tenets became thus universally disseminated, and the questions they had started became matters of debate among all the bishops. Some wrote to Alexander, entreating him not to receive the partisans of Arius into communion unless they repudiated their opinions, while others wrote to urge a contrary line of conduct. When Alexander perceived that many who were revered by the appearance of good conduct, and weighty by the persuasiveness of eloquence, held with the party of Arius, and particularly Eusebius, president of the church of Nicomedia, a man of considerable learning and held in high repute at the palace; he wrote to the bishops of every church desiring them not to hold communion with them. This measure kindled the zeal of each party the more, and as might have been expected, the contest was increasingly agitated. Eusebius and his partisans had often petitioned Alexander, but could not persuade him; so that considering themselves insulted, they became indignant and came to a stronger determination to support the doctrine of Arius. A synod having been convened in Bithynia, they wrote to all the bishops, desiring them to hold communion with the Arians, as with those making a true confession, and to require Alexander to hold communion with them likewise. As compliance could not be extorted from Alexander Arius sent messengers to Paulinas, bishop of Tyre, to Eusebius Pamphilus, who presided over the church of Caesarea in Palestine, and to Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis, soliciting permission for himself and for his adherents, as they had previously attained the rank of presbyters, to form the people who were with them into a church. For it was the custom in Alexandria, as it still is in the present day, that all the churches should be under one bishop, but that each presbyter should have his own church, in which to assemble the people. These three bishops, in concurrence with others who were assembled in Palestine, granted the petition of Arius, and permitted him to assemble the people as before; but enjoined submission to Alexander, and commanded Arius to strive incessantly to be restored to peace and communion with him.


AFTER there had been many synods held in Egypt, and the contest had still continued to Increase in violence, the report of the dissension reached the palace, and Constantine was thereby greatly troubled; for just at this period, when religion was beginning to be more generally propagated, many were deterred by the difference in doctrines from embracing Christianity. The emperor openly charged Arius and Alexander with having originated this disturbance, and wrote to rebuke them for having made a controversy public which it was in their power to have concealed, and for having contentiously agitated a question which ought never to have been mooted, or upon which, at least, their opinion ought to have been given quietly. He told them that they ought not to have separated from others on account of difference of sentiment concerning certain points of doctrine.

For concerning the Divine Providence men ought necessarily to hold one and the same belief; but the minute researches in this province, especially if they do not bring them to the one opinion, must be retained in secret according to all reason. He exhorted them to put away all loose talk about such points, and to be of one mind; for he had been not a little grieved, and on this account he had renounced his intention of visiting the cities of the East. It was in this strain that he wrote to Alexander and to Arius, reproving and exhorting them both.

Constantine was also deeply grieved at the diversity of opinion which prevailed concerning the celebration of the Passover; for some of the cities in the East differed on this point, although they did not withhold from communion with one another; they kept the festival more according to the manner of the Jews, and as was natural by this divergence, detracted from the splendor of the festal sacrifice. The emperor zealously endeavored to remove both these causes of dissension from the church; and thinking to be able to remove the evil before it advanced to greater proportions, be sent one who was honored for his faith, his virtuous life, and most approved in those former times for his confessions about this doctrine, to reconcile those who were divided on account of doctrine in Egypt, and those who in the East differed about the Passover. This man was Hosius, bishop of Cordova.


WHEN it was found that the event did not answer the expectations of the emperor, but that on the contrary, the contention was too great for reconciliation, so that he who had been sent to make peace returned without having accomplished his mission, Constantine convened a synod at Nicaea, in Bithynia, and wrote to the most eminent men of the churches in every country, directing them to be there on an appointed day. Of those who occupied the apostolic sees, the following participated in this conference: Macarius of Jerusalem, Eustathius, who already presided over the church of Antioch on the Orontes; and Alexander of Alexandria near Lake Mareotis. Julius, bishop of Rome, was unable to attend on account of extreme old age; but his place was supplied by Vito and Vicentius, presbyters of his church. Many other excellent and good men from different nations were congregated together, of whom some were celebrated for their learning, their eloquence, and their knowledge of the sacred books, and other discipline; some for the virtuous tenor of their life, and others for the combination of all these qualifications. About three hundred and twenty bishops were present, accompanied by a multitude of presbyters and deacons. There were, likewise, men present who were skilled in dialectics, and ready to assist in the discussions. And as was usually the case on such occasions, many priests resorted to the council for the purpose of transacting their own private affairs; for they considered this a favorable opportunity for rectifying their grievances, and in what points each found fault with the rest, he presented a document to the emperor, wherein he noted the offenses committed against himself. As this course was pursued day after day, the emperor set apart one certain day on which all complaints were to be brought before him. When the appointed time arrived, he took the memorials which had been presented to him, and said, "All these accusations will be brought forward in their own season at the great day of judgment, and will there be judged by the Great Judge of all men; as to me, I am but a man, and it would be evil in me to take cognizance of such matters, seeing that the accuser and the accused are priests; and the priests ought so to act as never to become amenable to the judgment of others. Imitate, therefore, the divine love and mercy of God, and be ye reconciled to one another; withdraw your accusations against each other; let us be persuaded, and let us devote our attention to those subjects connected with the faith on account of which we are assembled." After this address, in order to make the document of each man nugatory, the emperor commanded the memorials to be burnt, and then appointed a day for solving the doubtful points. But before the appointed time arrived, the bishops assembled together, and having summoned Arius to attend, began to examine the disputed topics, each one amongst them advancing his own opinion. As might have been expected, however, many different questions started out of the investigation: some of the bishops spoke against the introduction of novelties contrary to the faith which had been delivered to them from the beginning. And those especially who had adhered to simplicity of doctrine argued that the faith of God ought to be received without curious inquiries; others, however, contended that ancient opinions ought not to be followed without examination. Many of the bishops who were then assembled, and of the clergy who accompanied them, being remarkable for their dialectic skill, and practiced in such rhetorical methods, became conspicuous, and attracted the notice of the emperor and the court. Of that number Athanasius, who was then a deacon of Alexandria, and had accompanied his bishop Alexander, seemed to have the largest share in the counsel concerning these subjects.


WHILE these disputations were being carried on, certain of the pagan philosophers became desirous of taking part in them; some, because they wished for information as to the doctrine that was inculcated; and others, because, feeling incensed against the Christians on account of the recent suppression of the pagan religion, they wished to convert the inquiry about doctrine into a strife about words, so as to introduce dissensions among them, and to make them appear as holding contradictory opinions. It is related that one of these philosophers, priding himself on his acknowledged superiority of eloquence, began to ridicule the priests, and thereby roused the indignation of a simple old man, highly esteemed as a confessor, who, although unskilled in logical refinements and wordiness, undertook to oppose him. The less serious of those who knew the confessor, raised a laugh at his expense for engaging in such an undertaking; but the more thoughtful felt anxious lest, in opposing so eloquent a man, he should only render himself ridiculous; yet his influence was so great, and his reputation so high among them, that they could not forbid his engaging in the debate; and he accordingly delivered himself in the following terms: "In the name of Jesus Christ, O philosopher, hearken to me. There is one God, the maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. He made all things by the power of the Word, and established them by the holiness of His Spirit. The Word, whom we call the Son of God, seeing that man was sunk in error and living like unto the beasts pitied him, and vouchsafed to be born of woman, to hold intercourse with men, and to die for them. And He will come again to judge each of us as to the deeds of this present life. We believe these things to be true with all simplicity. Do not, therefore, expend your labor in vain by striving to disprove facts which can only be understood by faith or by scrutinizing the manner in which these things did or did not come to pass. Answer me, dost thou believe?" The philosopher, astonished at what had occurred, replied, "I believe"; and having thanked the old man for having overcome him in argument, he began to teach the same doctrines to others. He exhorted those who still held his former sentiments to adopt the views he had embraced, assuring them on oath, that he had been impelled to embrace Christianity by a certain inexplicable impulse.

It is said that a similar miracle was performed by Alexander, who governed the church of Constantinople. When Constantine returned to Byzantium, certain philosophers came to him to complain of the innovations in religion, and particularly of his having introduced a new form of worship into the state, contrary to that followed by his forefathers, and by all who were formerly in power, whether among the Greeks or the Romans. They likewise desired to hold a disputation on the doctrine with Alexander the bishop; and he, although unskilled in such argumentative contests, and perhaps persuaded by his life, seeing that he was an excellent and good man, accepted the struggle at the command of the emperor. When the philosophers were assembled, since every one wished to engage in the discussion, he requested that one whom they esteemed worthy might be chosen as spokesman, while the others were to remain silent. When one of the philosophers began to open the debate, Alexander said to him, "I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ not to speak." The man was instantaneously silenced. It is then right to consider whether it is a greater miracle that a man, and he a philosopher, should so easily be silenced by a word, or that a stone-wall should be cleft by the power of a word, which miracle I have heard some attribute to Julian, surnamed the Chaldean. I have understood that these events happened in the way above narrated.


THE bishops held long consultations; and after summoning Arius before them, they made an accurate test of his propositions; they were intently on their guard, not to come to a vote on either side. When at length the appointed day arrived on which it had been decided to settle the doubtful points, they assembled together in the palace, because the emperor had signified his intention of taking part in the deliberations. When he was in the same place with the priests, he passed through to the head of the conference, and seated himself on the throne which had been prepared for him, and the synod was then commanded to be seated; for seats had been arranged on either side along the walls of the palatial rooms, for it was the largest, and excelled the other chambers.

After they were seated, Eusebius Pamphilus arose and delivered an oration in honor of the emperor, returning thanks to God on his account. When he had ceased speaking, and silence was restored, the emperor delivered himself in the following words: "I give thanks to God for all things, but particularly, O friends, for being permitted to see your conference. And the event has exceeded my prayer, in that so many priests of Christ have been conducted into the same place; now, it is my desire that you should be of one mind and be partakers of a consentient judgment, for I deem dissension in the Church of God as more dangerous than any other evil. Therefore when it was announced, and I understood you were in discord, an unwholesome thing to hear, I was deeply pained in soul; and least of all does it profit you, since you are the conductors of divine worship and arbiters of peace. On this account it is, that I have called you together in a holy Synod, and being both your emperor and your fellow- physician, I seek for you a favor which is acceptable to our common Lord, and as honorable for me to receive, as for you to grant. The favor which I seek is, that you examine the causes of the strife, and put a consentient and peaceful end thereto i so that I may triumph with you over the envious demon, who excited this internal revolt because he was provoked to see our external enemies and tyrants under our feet, and envied our good estate." The emperor pronounced this discourse in Latin, and the interpretation was supplied by one at his side.


THE next debate by the priests turned upon doctrine. The emperor gave patient attention to the speeches of both parties; he applauded those who spoke well, rebuked those who displayed a tendency to altercation, and according to his apprehension of what he heard, for he was not wholly unpracticed in the Greek tongue, he addressed himself with kindness to each one. Finally all the priests agreed with one another and conceded that the Son is consubstantial with the Father. At the commencement of the conference there were but seventeen who praised the opinion of Arius, but eventually the majority of these yielded assent to the general view, To this judgment the emperor likewise deferred, for he regarded the unanimity of the conference to be a divine approbation; and he ordained that any one who should be rebellious thereto, should forthwith be sent into banishment, as guilty of endeavoring to overthrow the Divine definitions. I had thought it necessary to reproduce the very document concerning the matter, as an example of the truth, in order that posterity might possess in a fixed and clear form the symbol of the faith which proved pacificatory at the time but since some pious friends, who understood such matters, recommended that these truths ought to be spoken of and heard by the initiated and their initiators only, I agreed with their council; for it is not unlikely that some of the uninitiated may read this book. While I have concealed such of the prohibited material as I ought to keep silent about, I have not altogether left the reader ignorant of the opinions held by the synod.


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 Nicaea; by Maris, bishop of Chalcedon; by Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis; and by Secundus, bishop of Ptolemais in Libya. Eusebius Pamphilus, however, withheld his assent for a little while, but on further examination assented. 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. It ought to be known that although Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, and Theognis, bishop of Nicaea, 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 bum 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 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 Nicaea. On the termination of this doctrinal controversy, the council decided that the Paschal feast should be celebrated at the same time in every place.


IT is related, that the emperor, under the impulse of an ardent desire to see harmony re-established among Christians, summoned Acesius, bishop of the church of the Novatians, to the council, placed before him the definition of the faith and of the feast, which had already been confirmed by the signatures of the bishops, and asked whether he could agree thereto. Acesius answered that their exposition defined no new doctrine, and that he accorded in opinion with the Synod, and that he had from the beginning held these sentiments with respect both to the faith and to the feast. "Why, then," said the emperor, "do you keep aloof from communion with others, if you are of one mind with them?" He replied that the dissension first broke out trader Decius, between Novatius and Cornelius, and that he considered such persons unworthy of communion who, after baptism, had fallen into those sins which the Scriptures declare to be unto death; for that the remission of those sins, he thought, depended on the authority of God only, and not on the priests. The emperor replied, by saying, "O Acesius, take a ladder and ascend alone to heaven." By this speech I do not imagine the emperor intended to praise Acesius, but rather to blame him, because, being but a man, he fancied himself exempt from sin.


ZEALOUS of reforming the life of those who were engaged about the churches, the Synod enacted laws which were called canons. While they were deliberating about this, some thought that a law ought to be passed enacting that bishops and presbyters, deacons and subdeacons, should hold no intercourse with the wife they had espoused before they entered the priesthood; but Paphnutius, the confessor, stood up and testified against this proposition; he said that marriage was honorable and chaste, and that cohabitation with their own wives was chastity, and advised the Synod not to frame such a law, for it would be difficult to bear, and might serve as an occasion of incontinence to them and their wives; and he reminded them, that according to the ancient tradition of the church, those who were unmarried when they took part in the communion of sacred orders, were required to remain so, but that those who were married, were not to put away their wives. Such was the advice of Paphnutius, although he was himself unmarried, and in accordance with it, the Synod concurred in his counsel, enacted no law about it, but left the matter to the decision of individual judgment, and not to compulsion. The Synod, however, enacted other laws regulating the government of the Church; and these laws may easily be found, as they are in the possession of many individuals.


AFTER an investigation had been made into the conduct of Melitius when in Egypt, the Synod sentenced him to reside in Lycus, and to retain only the name of bishop; and prohibited him from ordaining any one either in a city or a village. Those who had previously been ordained by him, were permitted by this law, to remain in communion and in the ministry, but were to be accounted secondary in point of dignity to the clergy in church and parish. When by death an appointment became vacant, they were allowed to succeed to it, if deemed worthy, by the vote of the multitude, but in this case, were to be ordained by the bishop of the Church of Alexandria, for they were interdicted from exercising any power or influence in elections. This regulation appeared just to the Synod, for Melitius and his followers had manifested great rashness and temerity in administering ordination; so that it also deprived the ordinations which differed from those of Peter of all consideration. He, when he conducted the Alexandrian Church, fled on account of the persecution then raging, but afterwards suffered martyrdom.


AT the very time that these decrees were passed by the council, the twentieth anniversary of the reign of Constantine was celebrated; for it was a Roman custom to have a feast on the tenth year of every reign. The emperor, therefore, thought it to be opportune, and invited the Synod to the festival, and presented suitable gifts to them; and when they prepared to return home, he called them all together, and exhorted them to be of one mind about the faith and at peace among themselves, so that no dissensions might henceforth creep in among them. After many other similar exhortations, be concluded by commanding them to be diligent in prayer, and always to supplicate God for himself, his children, and the empire, and after he had thus addressed those who had come to Nicaea, he bade them farewell. He wrote to the churches in every city, in order that he might make plain to those who had not been present, what had been rectified by the Synod; and especially to the Church of Alexandria he wrote more than this; urging them to lay aside all dissent, and to be harmonious in the faith issued by the Synod; for this could be nothing else than the judgment of God, since it was established by the Holy Spirit from the concurrence of so many and such illustrious high priests, and approved after accurate inquiry and test of all the doubtful points.



WHEN the business at Nicaea had been transacted as above related, the priests returned home. The emperor rejoiced exceedingly at the restoration of unity of opinion in the Catholic Church, and desirous of expressing in behalf of himself, his children, and the empire, the gratitude towards God which the unanimity of the bishops inspired, he directed that a house of prayer should be erected to God at Jerusalem near the place called Calvary. At the same time his mother Helena repaired to the city for the purpose of offering up prayer, and of visiting the sacred places. Her zeal for Christianity made her anxious to find the wood which had formed the adorable cross. But it was no easy matter to discover either this relic or the Lord's sepulchre; for the Pagans, who in former times had persecuted the Church, and who, at the first promulgation of Christianity, had had recourse to every artifice to exterminate it, had concealed that spot under much heaped up earth, and elevated what before was quite depressed, as it looks now, and the more effectually to conceal them, had enclosed the entire place of the resurrection and Mount Calvary within a wall, and had, moreover, ornamented the whole locality, and paved it with stone. They also erected a temple to Aphrodite, and set up a little image, so that those who repaired thither to worship Christ would appear to bow the knee to Aphrodite, and that thus the true cause of offering worship in that place would, in course of time, be forgotten; and that as Christians would not dare fearlessly to frequent the place or to point it out to others, the temple and statue would come to be regarded as exclusively appertaining to the Pagans. At length, however, the place was discovered, and the fraud about it so zealously maintained was detected; some say that the facts were first disclosed by a Hebrew who dwelt in the East, and who derived his information from some documents which had come to him by paternal inheritance; but it seems more accordant with truth to suppose that God revealed the fact by means of signs and dreams; for I do not think that human information is requisite when God thinks it best to make manifest the same. When by command of the emperor the place was excavated deeply, the cave whence our Lord arose from the dead was discovered; and at no great distance, three crosses were found and another separate piece of wood, on which were inscribed in white letters in Hebrew, in Greek, and in Latin, the following words: "Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews." These words, as the sacred book of the gospels relates, were placed by command of Pilate, governor of Judaea, over the head of Christ. There yet, however, remained a difficulty in distinguishing the Divine cross from the others; for the inscription had been wrenched from it and thrown aside, and the cross itself had been cast aside with the others, without any distinction, when the bodies of the crucified were taken down. For according to history, the soldiers found Jesus dead upon the cross, and they took him down, and gave him up to be buried; while, in order to accelerate the death of the two thieves, who were crucified on either hand, they broke their legs, and then took down the crosses, and flung them out of the way. It was no concern of theirs to deposit the crosses in their first order; for it was growing late, and as the men were dead, they did not think it worth while to remain to attend to the crosses. A more Divine information than could be furnished by man was therefore necessary in order to distinguish the Divine cross from the others, and this revelation was given in the following manner: There was a certain lady of rank in Jerusalem who was afflicted with a most grievous and incurable disease; Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem, accompanied by the mother of the emperor and her attendants, repaired to her bedside. After engaging in prayer, Macarius signified by signs to the spectators that the Divine cross would be the one which, on being brought in contact with the invalid, should remove the disease. He approached her in turn with each of the crosses; but when two of the crosses were laid on her, it seemed but folly and mockery to her for she was at the gates of death. When, however, the third cross was in like manner brought to her, she suddenly opened her eyes, regained her strength, and immediately sprang from her bed, well. It is said that a dead person was, in the same way, restored to life. The venerated wool having been thus identified, the greater portion of it was deposited in a silver case, in which it is still preserved in Jerusalem: but the empress sent part of it to her son Constantine, together with the nails by which the body of Christ had been fastened. Of these, it is related, the emperor had a head-piece and bit made for his horse, according to the prophecy of Zechariah, who referred to this period when he said, "that which shall be upon the bit of the horse shall be holy to the Lord Almighty.' These things, indeed, were formerly known to the sacred prophets, and predicted by them, and at length, when it seemed to God that they should be manifested, were confirmed by wonderful works. Nor does this appear so marvelous when it is remembered that, even among the Pagans, it was confessed that the Sibyl had predicted that thus it should be, —

"Oh most blessed tree, on which our Lord was hung."

Our most zealous adversaries cannot deny the truth of this fact, and it is hence evident that a pre-manifestation was made of the wood of the cross, and of the adoration (se'bas) it received.

The above incidents we have related precisely as they were delivered to us by men of great accuracy, by whom the information was derived by succession from father to son; and others have recorded the same events in writing for the benefit of posterity.


ABOUT this period, the emperor, having determined upon erecting a temple in honor of God, charged the governors to see that the work was executed in the most magnificent and costly manner possible. His mother Helena also erected two temples, the one at Bethlehem near the cave where Christ was born, the other on ridges of the Mount of Olives, whence He was taken up to heaven. Many other acts show her piety and religiousness, among which the following is not the least remarkable: During her residence at Jerusalem, it is related that she assembled the sacred virgins at a feast, ministered to them at supper, presented them with food, poured water on their hands, and performed other similar services customary to those who wait upon guests. When she visited the cities of the East, she bestowed befitting gifts on the churches in every town, enriched those individuals who had been deprived of their possessions, supplied ungrudgingly the necessities of the poor, and restored to liberty those who had been long imprisoned, or condemned to exile or the mines. It seems to me that so many holy actions demanded a recompense; and indeed, even in this life, she was raised to the summit of magnificence and splendor; she was proclaimed Augusta; her image was stamped on golden coins, and she was invested by her son with authority over the imperial treasury to give it according to her judgment. Her death, too, was glorious; for when, at the age of eighty, she quitted this life, she left her son and her descendants (like her of the race of Caesar), masters of the Roman world. And if there be any advantage in such fame — forgetfulness did not conceal her though she was dead — the coming age has the pledge of her perpetual memory; for two cities are named after her, the one in Bithynia, and the other in Palestine. Such is the history of Helena.


THE emperor, always intent on the advancement of religion, erected the most beautiful temples to God in every place, particularly in metropolises, such as Nicomedia in Bithynia, Antioch on the river Orontes, and Byzantium. He greatly improved this latter city, and constituted it the equal of Rome in power, and participation in the government; for, when he had settled the affairs of the empire according to his own mind, and had rectified foreign affairs by wars and treaties, he resolved upon founding a city which should be called by his own name, and should be equal in celebrity to Rome. With this intention, he repaired to a plain at the foot of Troy, near the Hellespont, above the tomb of Ajax, where, it is said, the Achaians had their naval stations and tents while besieging Troy; and here he laid the plan of a large and beautiful city, and built the gates on an elevated spot of ground, whence they are still visible from the sea to those sailing by. But when he had advanced thus far, God appeared to him by night, and commanded him to seek another spot. Led by the hand of God, he arrived at Byzantium in Thrace, beyond Chalcedon in Bithynia, and here he was desired to build his city and to render it worthy of the name of Constantine. In obedience to the words of God, he therefore enlarged the city formerly called Byzantium, and surrounded it with high walls. He also erected magnificent dwelling houses southward through the regions. Since he was aware that the former population was insufficient for so great a city, he peopled it with men of rank and their households, whom he summoned hither from the eider Rome and from other countries. He imposed taxes to cover the expenses of building and adorning the city, and of supplying its inhabitants with food, and providing the city with all the other requisites. He adorned it sumptuously with a hippodrome, fountains, porticos, and other structures. He named it New Rome and Constantinople, and constituted it the imperial capital for all the inhabitants of the North, the South, the East, and the shores of the Mediterranean, from the cities on the Ister and from Epidamnus and the Ionian gulf, to Cyrene and that part of Libya called Borium.

He constructed another council house which they call senate; he ordered the same honors and festal days as those customary to the other Romans, and he did not fail studiously to make the city which bore his name equal in every respect to that of Rome in Italy; nor were his wishes thwarted; for by the assistance of God, it had to be confessed as great in population and wealth. I know of no cause to account for this extraordinary aggrandizement, unless it be the piety of the builder and of the inhabitants, and their compassion and liberality towards the poor. The zeal they manifested for the Christian faith was so great that many of the Jewish inhabitants and most of the Greeks were converted. As this city became the capital of the empire during the period of religious prosperity, it was not polluted by altars, Grecian temples, nor sacrifices; and although Julian authorized the introduction of idolatry for a short space of time, it soon afterwards became extinct. Constantine further honored this newly compacted city of Christ, named after himself, by adorning it with numerous and magnificent houses of prayer. And the Deity also co- operated with the spirit of the emperor, and by Divine manifestations persuaded men that these prayer houses in the city were holy and salvatory. According to the general opinion of foreigners and citizens, the most remarkable church was that built in a place formerly called Hestiae. This place, which is now called Michaelium, lies to the fight of those who sail from Pontus to Constantinople, and is about thirty-five stadia distant from the latter city by water, but if you make the circuit of the bay, the journey between them is seventy stadia and upwards. This place obtained the name which now prevails, because it is believed that Michael, the Divine archangel, once appeared there. And I also affirm that this is true, because I myself received the greatest benefits, and the experience of really helpful deeds on the part of many others proves this to be so. For some who had fallen into fearful reverses or unavoidable dangers, others with disease and unknown sufferings, there prayed to God, and met with a change in their misfortunes. I should be prolix were I to give details of circumstance and person. But I cannot omit mentioning the case of Aquilinus, who is even at the present time residing with us, and who is an advocate in the same court of justice as that to which we belong. I shall relate what I heard from him concerning this occurrence and what I saw. Being attacked with a severe fever, arising from a yellowish bile, the physicians gave him some foreign drug to drink. This he vomited, and, by the effort of vomiting, diffused the bile, which tinged his countenance with a yellow color. Hence he had to vomit all his food and drink. For a long time he remained in this state; and since his nourishment would not be quiet in him, the skill of the physicians was at a loss for the suffering. Finding that he was already half dead, he commanded his servant to carry him to the house of prayer; for he affirmed earnestly that there he would either die or be freed from his disease. While he was lying there, a Divine Power appeared to him by night, and commanded him to dip his foot in a confection made of honey, wine, and pepper. The man did so, and was freed from his complaint, although the prescription was contrary to the professional rules of the physicians, a confection of so very hot a nature being considered adverse to a bilious disorder. I have also heard that Probianus, one of the physicians of the palace, who was suffering greatly from a disease in the feet, likewise met with deliverance from sickness at this place, and was accounted worthy of being visited with a wonderful and Divine vision. He had formerly been attached to the Pagan superstitions, but afterwards became a Christian; yet, while he admitted in one way or another the probability of the rest of our doctrines, he could not understand how, by the Divine cross, the salvation of all is effected. While his mind was in doubt on this subject, the symbol of the cross, which lay on the altar of this church, was pointed out to him in the Divine vision, and he heard a voice openly declaring that, as Christ had been crucified on the cross, the necessities of the human race or of individuals, whatsoever they might be, could not be met by the ministration of Divine angels or of pious and good men; for that there was no power to rectify apart from the venerated cross. I have only recorded a few of the incidents which I know to have taken place in this temple, because there is not time to recount them all.


I CONSIDER it necessary to detail the proceedings of Constantine in relation to what is called the oak of Mature. This place is now called Terebinthus, and is about fifteen stadia distant from Hebron, which lies to the south, but is two hundred and fifty stadia distant from Jerusalem. It is recorded that here the Son of God appeared to Abraham, with two angels, who had been sent against Sodom, and foretold the birth of his son. Here the inhabitants of the country and of the regions round Palestine the Phoenicians, and the Arabians, assemble annually during the summer season to keep a brilliant feast; and many others, both buyers and sellers, resort thither on account of the fair. Indeed, this feast is diligently frequented by all nations: by the Jews, because they boast of their descent from the patriarch Abraham; by the Pagans, because angels there appeared to men; and by Christians, because He who for the salvation of mankind was born of a virgin, afterwards manifested Himself there to a godly man. This place was moreover honored fittingly with religious exercises. Here some prayed to the God of all; some called upon the angels, poured out wine, burnt incense, or offered an ox, or he-goat, a sheep, or a cock. Each one made some beautiful product of his labor, and after carefully husbanding it through the entire year, he offered it according to promise as provision for that feast, both for himself and his dependents. And either from honor to the place, or from fear of Divine wrath, they all abstained from coming near their wives, although during the feast these were more than ordinarily studious of their beauty and adornment. Nor, if they chanced to appear and to take part in the public processions, did they act at all licentiously. Nor did they behave imprudently in any other respect, although the tents were contiguous to each other, and they all lay promiscuously together. The place is open country, and arable, and without houses, with the exception of the buildings around Abraham's old oak and the well he prepared. No one during the time of the feast drew water from that well; for according to Pagan usage, some placed burning lamps near it; some poured out wine, or cast in cakes; and others, coins, myrrh, or incense. Hence, as I suppose, the water was rendered useless by commixture with the things cast into it. Once whilst these customs were being celebrated by the Pagans, after the aforesaid manner, and as was the established usage with hilarity, the mother-in-law of Constantine was present for prayer, and apprised the emperor of what was being done. On receiving this information, he rebuked the bishops of Palestine in no measured terms, because they had neglected their duty, and had permitted a holy place to be defiled by impure libations and sacrifices; and he expressed his godly censure in an epistle which he wrote on the subject to Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem, to Eusebius Pamphilus, and to the bishops of Palestine. He commanded these bishops to hold a conference on this subject with the Phoenician bishops, and issue directions for the demolition, from the foundations, of the altar formerly erected there, the destruction of the carved images by fire, and the erection of a church worthy of so ancient and so holy a place. The emperor finally enjoined, that no libations or sacrifices should be offered on the spot, but that it should be exclusively devoted to the worship of God according to the law of the Church; and that if any attempt should be made to restore the former rites, the bishops were to inform against the delinquent, in order that he might be subjected to the greatest punishment. The governors and priests of Christ strictly enforced the injunctions contained in the emperor's letter.


As many nations and cities throughout the whole realm of his subjects retained a feeling of fear and veneration towards their vain idols, which led them to disregard the doctrines of the Christians, and to have a care for their ancient customs, and the manners and feasts of their fathers, it appeared necessary to the emperor to teach the governors to suppress their superstitious rites of worship. He thought that this would be easily accomplished if he could get them to despise their temples and the images contained therein. To carry this project into execution he did not require military aid; for Christian men belonging to the palace went from city to city bearing imperial letters. The people were induced to remain passive from the fear that, if they resisted these edicts, they, their children, and their wives, would be exposed to evil. The vergers and the priests, being unsupported by the multitude, brought out their most precious treasures, and the idols called diopeth^, and through these servitors, the gifts were drawn forth from the shrines and the hidden recesses in the temples. The spots previously inaccessible, and known only to the priests, were made accessible to all who desired to enter. Such of the images as were constructed of precious material, and whatever else was valuable, were purified by fire, and became public property. The brazen images which were skillfully wrought were carried to the city, named after the emperor, and placed there as objects of embellishment, where they may still be seen in public places, as in the streets, the hippodrome, and the palaces. Amongst them was the statue of Apollo which was in the seat of the oracle of the Pythoness, and likewise the statues of the Muses from Helicon, the tripods from Delphos, and the much extolled Pan, which Pausanias the Lacedaemonian and the Grecian cities had devoted, — after the war against the Medes.

As to the temples, some were stripped of their doors, others of their roofs, and others were neglected, allowed to fall into ruin, or destroyed. The temple of Aesculapius in Aegis, a city of Cilicia, and that of Venus at Aphaca, near Mount Lebanon and the River Adonis, were then undermined and entirely destroyed. Both of these temples were most highly honored and reverenced by the ancients; as the Aegeatae were wont to say, that those among them who were weakened in body were delivered from diseases because the demon manifested himself by night, and healed them. And at Aphaca, it was believed that on a certain prayer being uttered on a given day, a fire like a star descended from the top of Lebanon and sunk into the neighboring river; they affirmed that this was Urania, for they call Aphrodite by this name. The efforts of the emperor succeeded to the utmost of his anticipations; for on beholding the objects of their former reverence and fear boldly cast down and stuffed with straw and hay, the people were led to despise what they had previously venerated, and to blame the erroneous opinion of their ancestors. Others, envious at the honor in which Christians were held by the emperor, deemed it necessary to imitate the acts of the ruler; others devoted themselves to an examination of Christianity, and by means of signs, of dreams, or of conferences with bishops and monks, were convinced that it was better to become Christians. From this period, nations and citizens spontaneously renounced their former opinion. At that time a port of Gaza, called Majuma, wherein superstition and ancient ceremonies had been hitherto admired, turned unitedly with all its inhabitants to Christianity. The emperor, in order to reward their piety, deemed them worthy of the greatest honor, and distinguished the place as a city, a status it had not previously enjoyed, and named it Constantia: thus honoring the spot on account of its piety, by bestowing on it the name of the dearest of his children. On the same account, also, Constantine in Phoenicia is known to have received its name from the emperor. But it would not be convenient to record every instance of this kind, for many other cities about this time went over to religion, and spontaneously, without any command of the emperor, destroyed the adjacent temples and statues, and erected houses of prayer.


THE church having been in this manner spread throughout the whole Roman world, religion was introduced even among the barbarians themselves. The tribes on both sides of the Rhine were Christianized, as likewise the Celts and the Gauls who dwelt upon the most distant shores of the ocean; the Goths, too, and such tribes as were contiguous to them, who formerly dwelt on either of the high shores of the Danube, had long shared in the Christian faith, and had changed into a gentler and more rational observance. Almost all the barbarians had professed to hold the Christian doctrine in honor, from the time of the wars between the Romans and foreign tribes, under the government of Gallienus and the emperors who succeeded him. For when an unspeakable multitude of mixed nations passed over from Thrace into Asia and overran it, and when other barbarians from the various regions did the same things to the adjacent Romans, many priests of Christ who had been taken captive, dwelt among these tribes; and during their residence among them, healed the sick, and cleansed those who were possessed of demons, by the name of Christ only, and by calling on the Son of God; moreover they led a blameless life, and excited envy by their virtues. The barbarians, amazed at the conduct and wonderful works of these men, thought that it would be prudent on their part, and pleasing to the Deity, if they should imitate those whom they saw were better; and, like them, would render homage to God. When teachers as to what should be done, had been proposed to them, the people were taught and baptized, and subsequently were gathered into churches.


IT is said that during this reign the Iberians, a large and warlike barbarian nation, confessed Christ. They dwelt to the north beyond Armenia. A Christian woman, who had been taken captive, induced them to renounce the religion of their fathers. She was very faithful and godly, and did not, amongst foreigners, remit her accustomed routine of religious duty. To fast, to pray night and day, and to praise God, constituted her delight. The barbarians inquired as to the motives of her endurance: she simply answered, that it was necessary in this way to worship the Son of God; but the name of Him who was to be worshiped, and the man-her of worshiping, appeared strange to them. It happened that a boy of the country was taken ill, and his mother, according to the custom of the Iberians, took him around from house to house, in hope that some one might be found capable of curing the disease, and the change from the suffering might be easy for the afflicted. As no one capable of healing him could be found, the boy was brought to the captive, and she said, "as to medicines, I have neither experience nor knowledge, nor am I acquainted with the mode of applying ointments or plasters; but, O woman, I believe that Christ whom I worship, the true and great God, will become the Saviour of thy child." Then she prayed for him immediately and freed him from the disease, although just before it was believed that he was about to die. A little while after, the wife of the governor of the nation was, by an incurable disease, brought nigh unto death; yet she too was saved in the same manner. And thus did this captive teach the knowledge of Christ, by introducing Him as the dispenser of health, and as the Lord of life, of empire, and of all things. The governor's wife, convinced by her own personal experience, believed the words of the captive, embraced the Christian religion, and held the woman in much honor. The king, astonished at the celerity of the cure, and the miraculousness and healing of faith, learned the cause from his wife, and commanded that the captive should be rewarded with gifts. "Of gifts," said the queen, "her estimate is very low, whatever may be their value; she makes much of the service she renders to her God only. Therefore if we wish to gratify her, or desire to do what is safe and right, let us also worship God, who is mighty and a Saviour, and who, at His will, gives continuance unto kings, casts down the high, renders the illustrious abject, and saves those in terrible straits." The queen continued to argue in this excellent manner, but the sovereign of Iberia remained in doubt and unconvinced, as he reflected on the novelty of the matters, and also respected the religion of his fathers. A little while after, he went into the woods with his attendants, on a hunting excursion; all of a sudden thick clouds arose, and a heavy air was everywhere diffused by them, so as to conceal the heavens and the sun; profound night and great darkness pervaded the wood. Since each of the hunters was alarmed for his own safety, they scattered in different directions. The king, while thus wandering alone, thought of Christ, as men are wont to do in times of danger. He determined that if he should be delivered from his present emergency, he would walk before God and worship Him. At the very instant that these thoughts were upon his mind, the darkness was dissipated, the air became serene, the rays of the sun penetrated into the wood, and the king went out in safety. He informed his wife of the event that had befallen him, sent for the captive, and commanded her to teach him in what way he ought to worship Christ. When she had given as much instruction as it was right for a woman to say and do, he called together his subjects and declared to them plainly the Divine mercies which had been vouchsafed to himself and to his wife, and although uninitiated, he declared to his people the doctrines of Christ. The whole nation was persuaded to embrace Christianity, the men being convinced by the representations of the king, and the women by those of the queen and the captive. And speedily with the general consent of the entire nation, they prepared most zealously to build a church. When the external walls were completed, machines were brought to raise up the columns, and fix them upon their pedestals. It is related, that when the first and second columns had been righted by these means, great difficulty was found in fixing the third column, neither art nor physical strength being of any avail, although many were present to assist in the pulling. When evening came on, the female captive remained alone on the spot, and she continued there throughout the night, interceding with God that the erection of the columns might be easily accomplished, especially as all the rest had taken their departure distressed at the failure; for the column was only half raised, and remained standing, and one end of it was so embedded in its foundations that it was impossible to move it downward. It was God's will that by this, as well as by the preceding miracle, the Iberians should be still further confirmed about the Deity. Early in the morning, when they were present at the church, they beheld a wonderful spectacle, which seemed to them as a dream. The column, which on the day before had been immovable, now appeared erect, and elevated a small space above its proper base. All present were struck with admiration, and confessed, with one consent, that Christ alone is the true God. Whilst they were all looking on, the column slipped quietly and spontaneously, and was adjusted as by machinery on its base. The other columns were then erected with ease, and the Iberians completed the structure with greater alacrity. The church having been thus speedily built, the Iberians, at the recommendation of the captive, sent ambassadors to the Emperor Constantine, bearing proposals for alliance and treaties, and requesting that priests might be sent to their nation. On their arrival, the ambassadors related the events that had occurred, and how the whole nation with much care worshiped Christ. The emperor of the Romans was delighted with the embassy, and after acceding to every request that was proffered, dismissed the ambassadors. Thus did the Iberians receive the knowledge of Christ, and until this day they worship him carefully.


SUBSEQUENTLY the Christian religion became known to the neighboring tribes and was very greatly disseminated. The Armenians, I have understood, were the first to embrace Christianity. It is said that Tiridates, then the sovereign of that nation, became a Christian by means of a marvelous Divine sign which was wrought in his own house; and that he issued commands to all the subjects, by a herald, to adopt the same religion. I think that the beginning of the conversion of the Persians was owing to their intercourse with the Osroenians and Armenians; for it is likely that they would converse with such Divine men and make experience of their virtue.


WHEN, in course of time, the Christians increased in number, and began to form churches, and appointed priests and deacons, the Magi, who as a priestly tribe had from the beginning in successive generations acted as the guardians of the Persian religion, became deeply incensed against them. The Jews, who through envy are in some way naturally opposed to the Christian religion, were likewise offended. They therefore brought accusations before Sapor, the reigning sovereign, against Symeon, who was then archbishop of Seleucia and Ctesiphon, royal cities of Persia, and charged him with being a friend of the Caesar of the Romans, and with communicating the affairs of the Persians to him. Sapor believed these accusations, and at first, ground the Christians with excessive taxes, although he knew that the generality of them had voluntarily embraced poverty. He entrusted the exaction to cruel men, hoping that, by the want of necessaries, and the atrocity of the ex-actors, they might be compelled to abjure their religion; for this was his aim. Afterwards, however, be commanded that the priests and conductors of the worship of God should be slain with the sword. The churches were demolished, their vessels were deposited in the treasury, and Symeon was arrested as a traitor to the kingdom and the religion of the Persians. Thus the Magi, with the co- operation of the Jews, quickly destroyed the houses of prayer. Symeon, on his apprehension, was bound with chains, and brought before the king. There the man evinced his excellence and courage; for when Sapor commanded that he should be led away to the torture, he did not fear, and would not prostrate himself. The king, greatly exasperated, demanded why he did not prostrate himself as he had done formerly. Symeon replied, "Formerly I was not led away bound in order that I might abjure the truth of God, and therefore I did not then object to pay the customary respect to royalty; but now it would not be proper for me to do so; for I stand here in defense of godliness and of our opinion." When he ceased speaking, the king commanded him to worship the sun, promising, as an inducement, to bestow gifts upon him, and to hold him in honor; but on the other hand, threatening, in case of non-compliance, to visit him and the whole body of Christians with destruction. When the king found that he neither frightened him by menaces, nor caused him to relax by promises, and that Symeon remained firm and refused to worship the sun, or to betray his religion, he commanded him to be put in bonds for a while, probably imagining that he would change his mind.

When Symeon was being conducted to prison, Usthazanes, an aged eunuch, the foster-father of Sapor and superintendent of the palace, who happened to be sitting at the gates of the palace, arose to do him reverence. Symeon reproachfully forbade him in a loud and haughty voice, averted his countenance, and passed by; for the eunuch had been formerly a Christian, but had recently yielded to authority, and had worshiped the sun. This conduct so affected the eunuch that he wept aloud, laid aside the white garment with which he was robed, and clothed himself, as a mourner, in black. He then seated himself in front of the palace, crying and groaning, and saying, "Woe is me! What must not await me since I have denied God; and on this account Symeon, formerly my familiar friend, does not think me worthy of being spoken to, but turns away and hastens from me." When Sapor heard of what had occurred, he called the eunuch to him, and inquired into the cause of his grief, and asked him whether any calamity had befallen his family. Usthazanes replied and said, "O king, nothing has occurred to my family; but I would rather have suffered any other affliction whatsoever than that which has befallen me, and it would have been easy to bear. Now I mourn because I am alive, and ought to have been dead long ago; yet I still see the sun which, not voluntarily, but to please thee, I professed to worship. Therefore, on both accounts, it is just that I should die, for I have been a betrayer of Christ, and a deceiver of thee." He then swore by the Maker of heaven and earth, that he would never swerve from his convictions. Sapor, astonished at the wonderful conversion of the eunuch, was still more enraged against the Christians, as if they had effected it by enchantments. Still, he spared the old man, and strove with all his strength, by alternate gentleness and harshness, to bring him over to his own sentiments. But finding that his efforts were useless, and that Usthazanes persisted in declaring that he would never be so foolish as to worship the creature instead of the creator, he became inflamed with passion, and commanded that the eunuch's head should be struck off with a sword. When the executioners came forward to perform their office, Usthazanes requested them to wait a little, that he might communicate something to the king. He then called one of the most faithful eunuchs, and bade him say to Sapor, "From my youth until now I have been well affected, O king, to your house, and have ministered with fitting diligence to your father and yourself. I need no witnesses to corroborate my statements; these facts are well established. For all the matters wherein at divers times I have gladly served you, grant me this reward; let it not be imagined by those who are ignorant of the circumstances, that I have incurred this punishment by acts of unfaithfulness against the kingdom, or by the commission of any other crime; but let it be published and proclaimed abroad by a herald, that Usthazanes loses his head for no knavery that he has ever committed in the palaces, but for being a Christian, and for refusing to obey the king in denying his own God." The eunuch delivered this message, and Sapor, according to the request of Usthazanes, commanded a herald to make the desired proclamation; for the king imagined that others would be easily deterred from embracing Christianity, by reflecting that he who sacrificed his aged foster-father and esteemed household servant, would assuredly spare no other Christian. Usthazanes, however, believed that as by his timidity in consenting to worship the sun, he had caused many Christians to fear, so now, by the diligent proclamation of the cause of his sufferings, many might be edified by learning that he died for the sake of religion, and so became imitators of his fortitude.


IN this manner the honorable life of Usthazanes was terminated, and when the intelligence was brought to Symeon in the prison, he offered thanksgiving to God on his account. The following day, which happened to be the sixth day of the week, and likewise the day on which, as immediately preceding the festival of the resurrection, the annual memorial of the passion of the Saviour is celebrated, the king issued orders for the decapitation of Symeon; for he had again been conducted to the palace from the prison, had reasoned most nobly with Sapor on points of doctrine, and had expressed a determination never to worship either the king or the sun. On the same day a hundred other prisoners were ordered to be slain. Symeon beheld their execution, and last of all he was put to death. Amongst these victims were bishops, presbyters, and other clergy of different grades. As they were being led out to execution, the chief of the Magi approached them, and asked them whether they would preserve their lives by conforming to the religion of the king and by worshiping the sun. As none of them would comply with this condition, they were conducted to the place of execution, and the executioners applied themselves to the task of slaying these martyrs. Symeon, standing by those who were to be slain, exhorted them to constancy, and reasoned concerning death, and the resurrection, and piety, and showed them from the sacred Scriptures that a death like theirs is true life; whereas to live, and through fear to deny God, is as truly death. He told them, too, that even if no one were to slay them, death would inevitably overtake them; for our death is a natural consequence of our birth. The things after those of this life are perpetual, and do not happen alike to all men; but as if measured by some rule, they must give an accurate account of the course of life here. Each one who did well, will receive immortal rewards and will escape the punishments of those who did the opposite. He likewise told them that the greatest and happiest of all good actions is to die for the cause of God. While Symeon was pursuing such themes, and like a household attendant, was exhorting them about the manner in which they were to go into the conflicts, each one listened and spiritedly went to the slaughter. After the executioner had despatched a hundred, Symeon himself was slain; and Abedechalaas and Anannias, two aged presbyters of his own church, who had been his fellow-prisoners, suffered with him.


PUSICES, the superintendent of the king's artisans, was present at the execution; perceiving that Anannias trembled as the necessary preparations for his death were being made, he said to him, "O old man, close your eyes for a little while and be of good courage, for you will soon behold the light of Christ." No sooner had he uttered these words than he was arrested and conducted before the king; and as he frankly avowed himself a Christian, and spoke with great freedom to the king concerning his opinion and the martyrs, he was condemned to an extraordinary and most cruel death, because it was not lawful to address the king with such boldness. The executioners pierced the muscles of his neck in such a manner as to extract his tongue. On the charge of some persons, his daughter, who had devoted herself to a life of holy virginity, was arraigned and executed at the same time. The following year, on the day on which the passion of Christ was commemorated, and when preparations were being made for the celebration of the festival commemorative of his resurrection from the dead, Sapor issued a most cruel edict throughout Persia, condemning to death all those who should confess themselves to be Christians. It is hid that a greater number of Christians suffered by the sword; for the Magi sought diligently in the cities and villages for those who had concealed themselves; and many voluntarily surrendered themselves, lest they should appear, by their silence, to deny Christ. Of the Christians who were thus unsparingly sacrificed, many who were attached to the palace were slain, and amongst these was Azades, a eunuch, who was especially beloved by the king. On hearing of his death, Sapor was overwhelmed with grief, and put a stop to the general slaughter of the Christians; and he directed that the teachers of religion should alone be slain.


ABOUT the same period, the queen was attacked with a disease, and Tarbula, the sister of Symeon the bishop, a holy virgin, was arrested with her servant, who shared in the same mode of life, as likewise a sister of Tarbula, who, after the death of her husband, abjured marriage, and led a similar career. The cause of their arrest was the charge of the Jews, who reported that they had injured the queen by their enchantments, on account of their rage at the death of Symeon. As invalids easily give credit to the most repulsive representations, the queen believed the charge, and especially because it emanated from the Jews, since she had embraced their sentiments, and lived in the observance of the Jewish rites, for she had great confidence in their veracity and in their attachment to herself. The Magi having seized Tarbula and her companions, condemned them to death; and after having sawn them asunder, they fastened them up to poles and made the queen pass through the midst of the poles as a medium for turning away the disease. It is said that this Tarbula was beautiful and very stately in form, and that one of the Magi, having become deeply enamored with her, secretly sent a proposal for intercourse, and promised as a reward to save her and her companions if she would consent. But she would give no ear to his licentiousness, and treated the Magi with scorn, and rebuked his lust. She would rather prefer courageously to die than to betray her virginity.

As it was ordained by the edict of Sapor, which we mentioned above, that the Christians should not be slaughtered indiscriminately, but that the priests and teachers of the opinions should be slain, the Magi and Arch-Magi traversed the whole country of Persia, studiously maltreating the bishops and presbyters. They sought them especially in the country of Adiabene, a part of the Persian dominions, because it was wholly Christianized.


ABOUT this period they arrested Acepsimas the bishop, and many of his clergy. After having taken counsel together, they satisfied themselves with the hunt after the leader only; they dismissed the rest after they had taken away their property. James, however, who was one of the presbyters, voluntarily followed Acepsimas, obtained permission from the Magi to share his prison, and spiritedly ministered to the old man, lightened his misfortunes as far as he was able, and dressed his wounds; for not long after his apprehension, the Magi had injuriously tortured him with raw thongs in forcing him to worship the sun; and on his refusal to do so had retained him again in bonds. Two presbyters named Aithalas and James, and two deacons, by name Azadanes and Abdiesus, after being scourged most injuriously by the Magi, were compelled to live in prison, on account of their opinions. After a long time had elapsed, the great Arch-Magi communicated to the king the facts about them to be punished; and having received permission to deal with them as he pleased, unless they would consent to worship the sun, he made known this decision of Sapor's to the prisoners. They replied openly, that they would never betray the cause of Christ nor worship the sun; he tortured them unsparingly. Acepsimas persevered in the manly confession of his faith, till death put an end to his torments. Certain Armenians, whom the Persians retained as hostages, secretly carried away his body and buried it. The other prisoners, although not less scourged, lived as by a miracle, and as they would not change their judgment, were again put in bonds. Among these was Aithalas, who was stretched out while thus beaten, and his arms were torn out of his shoulders by the very great wrench; and he carried his hands about as dead and swinging loosely, so that others had to convey food to his mouth. Under this rule, an innumerable multitude of presbyters, deacons, monks, holy virgins, and others who served the churches and were set apart for its dogma, terminated their lives by martyrdom. The following are the names of the bishops, so far as I have been able to ascertain: Barbasymes, Paulus, Gaddiabes, Sabinus, Mareas, Mocius, John, Hormisdas, Papas, James, Romas, Maares, Agas, Bochres, Abdas, Abdiesus, John, Abramins, Agdelas, Sapores, Isaac, and Dausas. The latter had been made prisoner by the Persians, and brought from a place named Zabdaeus. He died about this time in defense of the dogma; and Mareabdes, a chorepiscopus, and about two hundred and fifty of his clergy, who had also been captured by the Persians, suffered with him.


About this period Milles suffered martyrdom. He originally served the Persians in a military capacity, but afterwards abandoned that vocation, in order to embrace the apostolical mode of life. It is related that he was ordained bishop over a Persian city, and he underwent a variety of sufferings, and endured wounds and drawings; and that, failing in his efforts to convert the inhabitants to Christianity, he uttered imprecations against the city, and departed. Not long after, some of the principal citizens offended the king, and an army with three hundred elephants was sent against them; the city was utterly demolished and its land was ploughed and sown. Milles, taking with him only his wallet, in which was the holy Book of the Gospels, repaired to Jerusalem in prayer; thence he proceeded to Egypt in order to see the monks. The extraordinary and admirable works which we have heard that he accomplished, are attested by the Syrians, who have written an account of his actions and life. For my own part, I think that I have said enough of him and of the other martyrs who suffered in Persia during the reign of Sapor; for it would be difficult to relate in detail every circumstance respecting them, such as their names, their country, the mode of completing their martyrdom, and the species of torture to which they were subjected; for they are innumerable, since such methods are jealously affected by the Persians, even to the extreme of cruelty. I shall briefly state that the number of men and women whose names have been ascertained, and who were martyred at this period, have been computed to be sixteen thousand; while the multitude outside of these is beyond enumeration, and on this account to reckon off their names appeared difficult to the Persians and Syrians and to the inhabitants of Edessa, who have devoted much care to this matter.


CONSTANTINE the Roman emperor was angry, and bore it ill when he heard of the sufferings to which the Christians were exposed in Persia. He desired most anxiously to render them assistance, yet knew not in what way to effect this object. About this time some ambassadors from the Persian king arrived at his court, and after granting their requests and dismissing them, he thought it would be a favorable opportunity to address Sapor in behalf of the Christians in Persia, and wrote to him, confessing that it would be a very great and forever indescribable favor, if he would be humane to those who admired the teaching of the Christians under him. "There is nothing in their religion," said he, "of a reprehensible nature; by bloodless prayers alone do they offer supplication to God, for he delighteth not in the outpouring of blood, but taketh pleasure only in a pure soul devoted to virtue and to religion; so that they who believe these things are worthy of commendation." The emperor then assured Sapor that God would be propitious to him if he treated the Christians with lenity, and adduced the example of Valerian and of himself in proof thereof. He had himself, by faith in Christ, and by the aid of Divine inclination, come forth from the shores of the Western ocean, and reduced to obedience the whole of the Roman world, and had terminated many wars against foreigners and usurpers; and yet had never had recourse to sacrifices or divinations, but had for victory used only the symbol of the Cross at the head of his own armies, and prayer pure from blood and defilement. The reign of Valerian was prosperous so long as he refrained from persecuting the Church; but he afterwards commenced a persecution against the Christians, and was delivered by Divine vengeance into the hands of the Persians, who took him prisoner and put him to a cruel death."

It was in this strain that Constantine wrote to Sapor, urging him to be well-disposed to this religion; for the emperor extended his watchful care over all the Christians of every region, whether Roman or foreign.


NOT long after the council of Nice, Arius was recalled from exile; but the prohibition to enter Alexandria was unrevoked. It shall be related in the proper place how he strove to obtain permission to return to Egypt. Not long after, Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, and Theognis, bishop of Nicaea, regained possession of their churches after expelling Amphion and Chrestos who had been ordained in their stead. They owed their restoration to a document which they had presented to the bishops, containing a retractation: "Although we have been condemned without a trial by your piety, we deemed it right to remain silent concerning the judgment passed by your piety. But as it would be absurd to remain longer silent, when silence is regarded as a proof of the truth of the calumniators, we now declare to you that we too agree in this faith, and after a diligent examination of the thought in the word 'consubstantial,' we are wholly intent upon preserving peace, and that we never pursued any heresy. Having proposed for the safety of the churches such argument as occurred to us, and having been fully convinced, and fully convincing those who ought to have been persuaded by us, we undersigned the creed; but we did not subscribe to the anathema, not because we impugned the creed, but because we did not believe the accused to be what he was represented to us; the letters we had received from him, and the arguments he had delivered in our presence, fully satisfying us that he was not such an one. Would that the holy Synod were convinced that we are not bent on opposing, but are accordant with the points accurately defined by you, and by this document, we do attest our assent thereto: and this is not because we are wearied of exile, but because we wish to avert all suspicion of heresy; for if you will condescend to admit us now into your presence, you will find us in all points of the same sentiments as yourselves, and obedient to your decisions, and then it shall seem good to your piety to be merciful to him who was accused on these points and to have him recalled. If the party amenable to justice has been recalled and has defended himself from the charge made, it would be absurd, were we by our silence to confirm the reports that calumny had spread against us. We beseech you then, as befits your piety, dear to Christ, that you memorialize our emperor, most beloved of God, and that you hand over our petition, and that you counsel quickly, what is agreeable to you concerning us." It was by these means that Eusebius and Theognis, after their change of sentiment, were reinstated in their churches.


ABOUT this period Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, when about to depart this life, left Athanasius as his successor, in accordance, I am convinced, with the Divine will directing the vote upon him. It is said that Athanasius at first sought to avoid the honor by flight, but that he, although unwilling, was afterwards constrained by Alexander to accept the bishopric. This is testified by Apolinarius, the Syrian, in the following terms: "In all these matters much disturbance was excited by impiety, but its first effects were felt by the blessed teacher of this man, who was at hand as an assistant, and behaved as a son would to his father. Afterwards this holy man himself underwent the same experience, for when appointed to the episcopal succession he fled to escape the honor; but he was discovered in his place of concealment by the help of God, who had forecast by Divine manifestations to his blessed predecessor, that the succession was to devolve upon him. For when Alexander was on the point of death, he called upon Athanasius, who was then absent. One who bore the same name, and who happened to be present, on hearing him call this way, answered him; but to him Alexander was silent, since he was not summoning this man. Again he called, and as it often happens, the one present kept still, and so the absent one was disclosed. Moreover, the blessed Alexander prophetically exclaimed, 'O Athanasius, thou thinkest to escape, but thou wilt not escape'; meaning that Athanasius would be called to the conflict." Such is the account given by Apolinarius respecting Athanasius.

The Arians assert that after the death of Alexander, the respective followers of that bishop and of Melitius held communion together, and fifty-four bishops from Thebes, and other parts of Egypt, assembled together, and agreed by oath to choose by a common vote, the man who could advantageously administer the Church of Alexandria; but that seven a of the bishops, in violation of their oath, and contrary to the opinion of all, secretly ordained Athanasius; and that on this account many of the people and of the Egyptian clergy seceded from communion with him. For my part, I am convinced that it was by Divine appointment that Athanasius succeeded to the high-priesthood; for he was eloquent and intelligent, and capable of opposing plots, and of such a man the times had the greatest need. He displayed great aptitude in the exercise of the ecclesiastical functions and fitness for the priesthood, and was, so to speak, from his earliest years, self-taught. It is said that the following incident occurred to him in his youth. It was the custom of the Alexandrians to celebrate with great pomp an annual festival in honor of one of their bishops named Peter, who had suffered martyrdom. Alexander, who then conducted the church, engaged in the celebration of this festival, and after having completed the worship, he remained on the spot, awaiting the arrival of some guests whom he expected to breakfast. In the meantime he chanced to cast his eyes towards the sea, and perceived some children playing on the shore, and amusing themselves by imitating the bishop and the ceremonies of the Church. At first he considered the mimicry as innocent, and took pleasure in witnessing it; but when they touched upon the unutterable, he was troubled, and communicated the matter to the chief of the clergy. The children were called together and questioned as to the game at which they were playing, and as to what they did and said when engaged in this amusement. At first they through fear denied; but when Alexander threatened them with torture, they confessed that Athanasius was their bishop and leader, and that many children who had not been initiated had been baptized by him. Alexander carefully inquired what the priest of their play was in the habit of saying or doing, and what they answered or were taught. On finding that the exact routine of the Church had been accurately observed by them, he consulted the priests around him on the subject, and decided that it would he unnecessary to rebaptize those who, in their simplicity, had been judged worthy of the Divine grace. He therefore merely performed for them such offices as it is lawful only for those who are consecrated to initiating the mysteries. He then took Athanasius and the other children, who had playfully acted as presbyters and deacons, to their own relations under God as a witness that they might be brought up for the Church, and for leadership in what they had imitated. Not long after, he took Athanasius as his table companion and secretary. He had been well educated, was versed in grammar and rhetoric, and already when he came to man's estate, and before he attained the bishopric, he gave proof to those conversing with him of his being a man of wisdom and intellectuality. But when, on the death of Alexander, the succession devolved upon him, his reputation was greatly increased, and was sustained by his own private virtues and by the testimony of the monk, Antony the Great. This monk repaired to him when he requested his presence, visited the cities, accompanied him to the churches, and agreed with him in opinion concerning the Godhead. He evinced unlimited friendship towards him, and avoided the society of his enemies and opponents.


THE reputation of Athanasius was, however, especially increased by the Arians and Melitians; although always plotting, they never appeared rightly to catch and make him a prisoner. In the first place, Eusebius wrote to urge him to receive the Arians into communion, and threatened, without writing it, to ill-treat him should he refuse to do so. But as Athanasius would not yield to his representation, but maintained that those who had devised a heresy in innovating upon the truth, and who had been condemned by the council of Nice, ought not to be received into the Church, Eusebius contrived to interest the emperor in favor of Arius, and so procured his return. I shall state a little further on how all these events came to pass.

At this period, the bishops had another tumultuous dispute among themselves, concerning the precise meaning of the term "consubstantial." Some thought that this term could not be admitted without blasphemy; that it implied the non-existence of the Son of God; and that it involved the error of Montanus and Sabellius. Those, on the other hand, who defended the term, regarded their opponents as Greeks (or pagans), and considered that their sentiments led to polytheism. Eusebius, surnamed Pamphilus, and Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, took the lead in this dispute. They both confessed the Son of God to exist hypostatically, and yet they contended together as if they had misunderstood each other. Eustathius accused Eusebius of altering the doctrines ratified by the council of Nicaea, while the latter declared that he approved of all the Nicaean doctrines, and reproached Eustathius for cleaving to the heresy of Sabellius.


A SYNOD having been convened at Antioch, Eustathius was deprived of the church of that city. It was most generally believed that he was deposed merely on account of his adherence to the faith of the council of Nicaea, and on account of his having accused Eusebius, Paulinus, bishop of Tyre, and Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis (whose sentiments were adopted by the Eastern priests), of favoring the heresy of Arius. The pretext resorted to for his deposition, however, was, that he had defiled the priesthood by unholy deeds. His deposition excited so great a sedition at Antioch, that the people were on the point of taking up arms, and the whole city was in a state of commotion. This greatly injured him in the opinion of the emperor; for when he understood what had happened, and that the people of that church were divided into two parties, he was much enraged, and regarded him with suspicion as the author of the tumult. The emperor, however, sent an illustrious officer of his palace, invested with full authority, to calm the populace, and put an end to the disturbance, without having recourse to violence or injury.

Those who had deposed Eustathius, and who on this account were assembled in Antioch, imagining that their sentiments would be universally received, if they could succeed in placing over the Church of Antioch one of their own opinion, who was known to the emperor, and held in repute for learning and eloquence, and that they could obtain the obedience of the rest, fixed their thoughts upon Eusebius Pamphilus for that see. They wrote to the emperor upon this subject, and stated that this course would be highly acceptable to the people. He had, in fact, been sought by all the clergy and laity who were inimical to Eustathius. Eusebius, however, wrote to the emperor refusing the dignity. The emperor approved of his refusal with praise; for there was an ecclesiastical law prohibiting the removal of a bishop from one bishopric to another. He wrote to the people and to Eusebius, adopting his judgment and calling him happy, because he was worthy to hold the bishopric not only of one single city, but of the world. The emperor also wrote to the people of the Church of Antioch concerning like-mindedness, and told them that they ought not to desire the bishops of other regions, even as they ought not to covet the possessions of others. In addition to these, he despatched another epistle to the Synod, in private session, and similarly commended Eusebius as in the letter to him for having refused the bishopric; and being convinced that Euphronius, a presbyter of Cappadocia, and George of Arethusa were men approved in creed, he commanded the bishops to decide for one or other of them, or for whomsoever might appear worthy of the honor, and to ordain a president for the Church of Antioch. On the receipt of these letters from the emperor, Euphronius was ordained; and I have heard that Eustathius bore this unjust calumny calmly, judging it to be better, as he was a man who, besides his virtues and excellent qualities, was justly admired on account of his fine eloquence, as is evidenced by his transmitted works, which are highly approved for their choice of words, flavor of expression, temperateness of sentiments, elegance and grace of narration.


ABOUT this time Mark, who had succeeded Silvester, and who had held the episcopal sway during a short period, died, and Julius was raised to the see of Rome. Maximus succeeded Macarius in the bishopric of Jerusalem. It is said that Macarius had ordained him bishop over the church of Diospolis, but that the members of the church of Jerusalem insisted upon his remaining among them. For since he was a confessor, and otherwise excellent, he was secretly chosen beforehand in the approbation of the people for their bishopric, after that Macarius should die. The dread of offending the people and exciting an insurrection led to the election of another bishop over Diospolis, and Maximus remained in Jerusalem, and exercised the priestly functions conjointly with Macarius; and after the death of this latter, he governed that church. It is, however, well known to those who are accurately acquainted with these circumstances, that Macarius concurred with the people in their desire to retain Maximus; for it is said that he regretted the ordination of Maximus, and thought that he ought necessarily to have been reserved for his own succession on account of his holding right views concerning God and his confession, which had so endeared him to the people. He likewise feared that, at his death, the adherents of Eusebius and Patrophilus, who had embraced Arianism, would take that opportunity to place one of their own views in his see; for even while Macarius was living, they had attempted to introduce some innovations, but since they were to be separated from him, they on this account kept quiet.


IN the meantime the contention which had been stirred in the beginning among the Egyptians, could not be quelled. The Arian heresy had been positively condemned by the council of Nice, while the followers of Melitius had been admitted into communion under the stipulations above stated. When Alexander returned to Egypt, Melitius delivered up to him the churches whose government he had unlawfully usurped, and returned to Lycus. Not long after, finding his end approaching, he nominated John, one of his most intimate friends, as his successor, contrary to the decree of the Nicaean Council, and thus fresh cause of discord in the churches was produced. When the Arians perceived that the Melitians were introducing innovations, they also harassed the churches. For, as frequently occurs in similar disturbances, some applauded the opinion of Arius, while others contended that those who had been ordained by Melitius ought to govern the churches. These two bodies of sectarians had hitherto been opposed to each other, but on perceiving that the priests of the Catholic Church were followed by the multitude, they became jealous and formed an alliance together, and manifested a common enmity to the clergy of Alexandria. Their measures of attack and defense were so long carried on in concert, that in process of time the Melitians were generally called Arians in Egypt, although they only dissent on questions of the presidency of the churches, while the Arians hold the same opinions concerning God as Arius. Although they individually denied one another's tenets, yet they dissimulated in contradiction of their own view, in order to attain an underhanded agreement in the fellowship of their enmity; at the same time each one expected to prevail easily in what he desired. From this period, however, the Melitians after the discussion on those topics, received the Arian doctrines, and held the same opinion as Arius concerning God. This revived the original controversy concerning Arius, and some of the laity and clergy seceded from communion with the others. The dispute concerning the doctrines of Arius was rekindled once more in other cities, and particularly in Bithynia and Hellespontus, and in the city of Constantinople. In short, it is said that Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, and Theognis, bishop of Nicaea, bribed the notary to whom the emperor had intrusted the custody of the documents of the Nicaean Council, effaced their signatures, and attempted openly to teach that the Son is not to be considered consubstantial with the Father. Eusebius was accused of these irregularities before the emperor, and he replied with great boldness as he showed part of his clothing. "If this robe," said he, "had been cut asunder in my presence, I could not affirm the fragments to be all of the same substance." The emperor was much grieved at these disputes, for he had believed that questions of this nature had been finally decided by the council of Nicaea, but contrary to his hopes he saw them again agitated. He more especially regretted that Eusebius and Theognis had received certain Alexandrians into communion, although the Synod had recommended them to repent on account of their heterodox opinions, and although he had himself condemned them to banishment from their native land, as being the exciters of sedition. It is asserted by some, that it was for the above reasons that the emperor in anger exiled Eusebius and Theognis; but as I have already stated, I have derived my information from those who are intimately acquainted with these matters.


THE various calamities which befell Athanasius were primarily occasioned by Eusebius and Theognis. As they possessed great freedom of speech and influence with the emperor, they strove for the recall of Arius, with whom they were on terms of concord and friendship, to Alexandria, and at the same time the expulsion from the Church of him who was opposed to them. They accused him before Constantine of being the author of all the seditions and troubles that agitated the Church, and of excluding those who were desirous of joining the Church; and alleged that unanimity would be restored were he alone to be removed. The accusations against him were substantiated by many bishops and clergy who were with John, and who sedulously obtained access to the emperor; they pretended to great orthodoxy, and imputed to Athanasius and the bishops of his party all the bloodshed, bonds, unjust blows, wounds, and conflagrations of churches. But when Athanasius demonstrated to the emperor the illegality of the ordination of John's adherents, their innovations of the decrees of the Nicaean Council, and the unsoundness of their faith, and the insults offered to those who held right opinions about God, Constantine was at a loss to know whom to believe. Since there were such mutual allegations, and many accusations were frequently stirred up by each party, and since he was earnestly anxious to restore the like-mindedness of the people, he wrote to Athanasius that no one should be shut out. If this should be betrayed to the last, he would send regardless of consequences, one who should expel him from the city of Alexandria. If any one should desire to see this letter of the emperor's, he will here find the portion of it relating to this affair: "As you are now acquainted with my will, which is, that to all who desire to enter the Church you should offer an unhindered entrance. For should I hear that any who are willing to join the Church, have been debarred or hindered therefrom by you, I shall send at once an officer who shall remove you, according to my command, and shall transfer you to some other place." Athanasius, however, wrote to the emperor and convinced him that the Arians ought not to be received into communion by the Catholic Church; and Eusebius perceiving that his schemes could never be carried into execution while Athanasius strove in opposition, determined to resort to any means in order to get rid of him. But as he could not find a sufficient pretext for effecting this design, he promised the Melitians to interest the emperor and those in power in their favor, if they would bring an accusation against Athanasius. Accordingly, came the first indictment that he had imposed upon the Egyptians a tax on linen tunics, and that such a tribute had been exacted from the accusers. Apis and Macarius, presbyters of the Church of Athanasius, who then happened to be at court, clearly proved the persistent accusation to be false. On being summoned to answer for the offense, Athanasius was further accused of having conspired against the emperor, and of having sent, for this purpose, a casket of gold to one Philumen. The emperor detected the calumny of his accusers, sent Athanasius home, and wrote to the people of Alexandria to testify that their bishop possessed great moderation and a correct faith; that he had gladly met him, and recognized him to be a man of God; and that, as envy had been the sole cause of his indictment, he had appeared to better advantage than his accusers; and having heard that the Arian and Melitian sectarians had excited dissensions in Egypt, the emperor, in the same epistle, exhorted the multitude to look to God, to take heed unto his judgments, to be well disposed toward one another, to prosecute with all their might those who plotted against their like-mindedness; thus the emperor wrote to the people, exhorting them all to like-mindedness, and striving to prevent divisions in the Church.


THE Melitians, on the failure of their first attempt, secretly concocted other indictments against Athanasius. On the one hand they charged him with breaking a sacred chalice, and on the other with having slain one Arsenius, and with having cut off his arm and retained it for magical purposes. It is said that this Arsenius was one of the clergy, but that, having committed some crime, he fled to a place of concealment for fear of being convicted and punished by his bishop. The enemies of Athanasius devised the most serious attack for this occurrence. They sought Arsenius with great diligence, and found him; they showed him great kindness, promised, to secure for him every goodwill and safety, and conducted him secretly to Patrines, a presbyter of a monastery, who was one of their confederates, and of the same interest as themselves. After having thus carefully concealed him, they diligently spread the report in the market-places and public assemblies that he had been slain by Athanasius. They also bribed John, a monk, to corroborate the accusation. As this evil report was universally circulated, and had even reached the ears of the emperor, Athanasius, being apprehensive that it would be difficult to defend his cause before judges whose minds were prejudiced by such false rumors, resorted to stratagems akin to those of his adversaries. He did everything in his power to prevent truth from being obscured by their attacks; but the multitude could not be convinced, on account of the non-appearance of Arsenius. Reflecting, therefore, that the suspicion which rested upon him could not be removed except by proving that Arsenius, who was said to be dead, was still alive, he sent a most trustworthy deacon in quest of him. The deacon went to Thebes, and ascertained from the declaration of some monks where he was living. And when he came to Patrines, with whom he had been concealed, he found that Arsenius was not there; for on the first intelligence of the arrival of the deacon he had been conveyed to Lower Egypt. The deacon arrested Patrines, and conducted him to Alexandria, as also Elias, one of his associates, who was said to have been the person who conveyed Arsenius elsewhere. He delivered them both to the commander of the Egyptian forces, and they confessed that Arsenius was still alive, that he had been secretly concealed in their house, and that he was now living in Egypt. Athanasius took care that all these facts should be reported to Constantine. The emperor wrote back to him, desiring him to attend to the due performance of the priestly functions, and the maintenance of order and piety among the people, and not to be disquieted by the machinations of the Melitians, it being evident that envy alone was the cause of the false indictments which were circulated against him and the disturbance in the churches. The emperor added that, for the future, he should not give place to such reports; and that, unless the calumniators preserved the peace, he should certainly subject them to the rigor of the state laws, add let justice have its course, as they had not only unjustly plotted against the innocent, but had also shamefully abused the good order and piety of the Church. Such was the strain of the emperor's letter to Athanasius; and he further commanded that it should be read aloud before the public, in order that they might all be made acquainted with his intentions. The Melitians were alarmed at these menaces, and became more quiet for a while, because they viewed with anxiety the threat of the ruler. The churches throughout Egypt enjoyed profound peace, and, directed by the presidency of this great priest, it daily increased in numbers by the conversion of multitudes of pagans and other heretics.


WE have heard that about this period some of the most distant of the nations that we call Indians, to whom the preaching of Bartholomew was unknown, shared in our doctrine, through Frumentius, who became a priest and teacher of the sacred learning among them. But in order that we may know, even by the marvel of what happened in India, that the doctrine of the Christians ought to be received as a system not from man, as it seems a tissue of miracles to some, it is necessary to relate the reason for the ordination of Frumentius. It was as follows: The most celebrated philosophers among the Greeks explored unknown cities and regions. Plato, the friend of Socrates, dwelt for a time among the Egyptians, in order to acquaint himself with their manners and customs. He likewise sailed to Sicily for the sight of its craters, whence, as from a fountain, spontaneously issued streams of fire, which frequently overflowing, rushed like a river and consumed the neighboring regions, so that even yet many fields appear burnt and cannot be sown or planted with trees, just as they narrate about the land of Sodom. These craters were likewise explored by Empedocles, a man highly celebrated for philosophy among the Greeks, and who has expounded his knowledge in heroic verse. He set out to investigate this fiery eruption, when either because he thought such a mode of death preferable to any other, or because, to speak more truthfully, he perhaps knew not wherefore he should seek to terminate his life in this manner, he leaped into the fire and perished. Democritus of Coos explored many cities and climates and nations, and he says concerning himself that eighty years of his life were spent in traveling through foreign lands. Besides these philosophers, thousands of wise men among the Greeks, ancient and modern, devoted themselves to this travel. In emulation, Meropius, a philosopher of Tyre in Phoenicia, journeyed as far as India. They say he was accompanied by two youths, named Frumentius and Edesius; they were his relatives; he conducted their rhetorical training, and educated them liberally. After exploring India as much as possible, he set out for home, and embarked in a vessel which was on the point of sailing for Egypt. It happened that, from want of water or some other necessary, the vessel was obliged to stop at some port, and the Indians rushed upon it and murdered all, Meropius included. These Indians had just thrown off their alliance with the Romans; they took the boys as living captives, because they pitied their youth, and conducted them to their king. He appointed the younger one his cup-bearer; the older, Frumentius, he put over his house and made him administrator of his treasures; for he perceived that he was intelligent and very capable in business. These youths served the king usefully and faithfully during a long course of years, and when he felt his end approaching, his son and wife surviving, he rewarded the good-will of the servants with liberty, and permitted them to go where they pleased. They were anxious to return to Tyre, where their relatives resided; but the king's son being a minor, his mother besought them to remain for a little while and take charge of public affairs, until her son reached the years of manhood. They yielded to her entreaties, and directed the affairs of the kingdom and of the government of the Indies. Frumentius, by some Divine impulse, perhaps because God moved him spontaneously, inquired whether there were any Christians in India, or Romans among the merchants, who had sailed thither. Having succeeded in finding the objects of his inquiry, he summoned them into his presence, treated them with love and friendliness, and convened them for prayer, and the assembly was conducted after the Roman usage; and when he had built houses of prayer, he encouraged them to honor God continually.

When the king's son attained the age of manhood, Frumentius and Edesius besought him and the queen, and not without difficulty persuaded the rulers to be separated from themselves, and having parted as friends, they went back as Roman subjects. Edesius went to Tyre to see his relatives, and was soon after advanced to the dignity of presbyter. Frumentius, however, instead of returning to Phoenicia, repaired to Alexandria; for with him patriotism and filial piety were subordinate to religious zeal. He conferred with Athanasius, the head of the Alexandrian Church, described to him the state of affairs in India, and the necessity of appointing a bishop over the Christians located in that country. Athanasius assembled the endemic priests, and consulted with them on the subject; and he ordained Frumentius bishop of India, since he was peculiarly qualified and apt to do much service among those among whom he was the first to manifest the name of Christian, and the seed of the participation in the doctrine was sown. Frumentius, therefore, returned to India, and, it is said, discharged the priestly functions so admirably that he became an object of universal admiration, and was revered as no less than an apostle. God highly honored him, enabling him to perform many wonderful cures, and to work signs and wonders. Such was the origin of the Indian priesthood.


THE plots of the enemies of Athanasius involved him in fresh troubles, excited the hatred of the emperor against him, and stirred up a multitude of accusers. Wearied by their importunity, the emperor convened a council at Caesarea in Palestine. Athanasius was summoned thither; but fearing the artifices of Eusebius, bishop of the city, of Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, and of their party, he refused to attend, and for thirty months, although pressed to attend, persisted in his refusal. At the end of that period, however, he was forced more urgently and repaired to Tyre, where a great number of the bishops of the East were assembled, who commanded him to undergo the charges of those who accused him. Of John's party, Callinicus, a bishop, and a certain Ischurias, accused him of breaking a mystical chalice and of throwing down an episcopal chair; and of often causing Ischurias, although he was a presbyter, to be loaded with chains; and by falsely informing Hyginus, governor of Egypt, that he had cast stones at the statues of the emperor of occasioning his being thrown into prison; of deposing Callinicus, bishop of the Catholic Church at Pelusium, and of saying that he would debar him from fellowship unless he could remove certain suspicions concerning his having broken a mystical chalice; of committing the Church of Pelusium to Mark, a deposed presbyter; and of placing Callinicus under a military guard, and of putting him under judicial tortures Euplus, Pachomius, Isaac, Achillas, and Hermaeon, bishops of John's party, accused him of inflicting blows. They all concurred in maintaining that he obtained the episcopal dignity by means of the perjury of certain individuals, it having been decreed that no one should receive ordination, who could not clear himself of any crime laid to his charge. They further alleged, that having been deceived by him, they had separated themselves from communion with him, and that, so far from satisfying their scruples, he had treated them with violence and thrown them into prison.

Further, the affair of Arsenius was again agitated; and as generally happens in such a studiously concocted plot, many even of those considered his friends loomed up unexpectedly as accusers. A document was then read, containing popular complaints that the people of Alexandria could not continue their attendance at church on his account. Athanasius, having been urged to justify himself, presented himself repeatedly before the tribunal; successfully repelled some of the allegations, and requested delay for investigation as to the others. He was exceedingly perplexed when he reflected on the favor in which his accusers were held by his judges, on the number of witnesses belonging to the sects of Arius and Melitius who appeared against him, and on the indulgence that was manifested towards the informers, whose allegations had been overcome. And especially in the indictment concerning Arsenius, whose arm he was charged with having cut off for purposes of magic, and in the indictment concerning a certain woman to whom he was charged with having given gifts for uncleanness, and with having corrupted her by night, although she was unwilling. Both these indictments were proved to be ridiculous and full of false espionage. When this female made the deposition before the bishops, Timothy, a presbyter of Alexandria, who stood by Athanasius, approached her according to a plan he had secretly concerted, and said to her, "Did I then, O woman, violate your chastity?" She replied, "But didst thou not?" and mentioned the place and the attendant circumstances, in which she had been forced. He likewise led Arsenius into the midst of them, showed both his hands to the judges, and requested them to make the accusers account for the arm which they had exhibited. For it happened that Arsenius, either driven by a Divine influence, or, as it is said, having been concealed by the plans of Athanasius, when the danger to that bishop on his account was announced, escaped by night, and arrived at Tyre the day before the trial. But these allegations having been thus summarily dismissed, so that no defense was necessary, no mention of the first was made in the transactions; most probably, I think, because the whole affair was considered too indecorous and absurd for insertion. As to the second, the accusers strove to justify themselves by saying that a bishop under the jurisdiction of Athanasius, named Plusian, had, at the command of his chief, burnt the house of Arsenius, fastened him to a column, and maltreated him with thongs, and then chained him in a cell. They further stated that Arsenius escaped from the cell through a window, and while he was sought for remained a while in concealment; that as he did not appear, they naturally supposed him to be dead; that the reputation he had acquired as a man and confessor, had endeared him to the bishops of John's party; and that they sought for him, and applied on his behalf to the magistrates.

Athanasius was filled with apprehension when he reflected on these subjects, and began to suspect that his enemies were secretly scheming to effect his ruin. After several sessions, when the Synod was filled with tumult and confusion, and the accusers and a multitude of persons around the tribunal were crying aloud that Athanasius ought to be deposed as a sorcerer and a ruffian, and as being utterly unworthy the priesthood, the officers, who had been appointed by the emperor to be present at the Synod for the maintenance of order, compelled the accused to quit the judgment hall secretly; for they feared lest they might become his murderers, as is apt to be the case in the rush of a tumult. On finding that he could not remain in Tyre without peril of his life, and that there was no hope of obtaining justice against his numerous accusers, from judges who were inimical to him, he fled to Constantinople. The Synod condemned him during his absence, deposed him from the bishopric, and prohibited his residing at Alexandria, lest, said they, he should excite disturbances and seditions. John and all his adherents were restored to communion, as if they had been unjustly suffering wrongs, and each was reinstated in his own clerical rank. The bishops then gave an account of their proceedings to the emperor, and wrote to the bishops of all regions, enjoining them not to receive Athanasius into fellowship, and not to write to him or receive letters from him, as one who had been convicted of the crimes which they had investigated, and on account of his flight, as also guilty in those indictments which had not been tried. They likewise declared, in this epistle, that they had been obliged to pass such condemnation upon him, because, when commanded by the emperor the preceding year to repair to the bishops of the East, who were assembled at Caesarea, he disobeyed the injunction, kept the bishops waiting for him, and set at naught the commands of the ruler. They also deposed that when the bishops had assembled at Tyre, he went to that city, attended by a large retinue, for the purpose of exciting disturbances and tumults in the Synod; that when there, he sometimes refused to reply to the charges preferred against him; sometimes insulted the bishops individually; when summoned by them, sometimes not obeying, at others not deigning to be judged. They specified in the same letter, that he was manifestly guilty of having broken a mystical chalice, and that this fact was attested by Theognis, bishop of Nicaea; by Maris, bishop of Chalcedonia; by Theodore, bishop of Heraclea; by Valentinus and Ursacius; and by Macedonius, who had been sent to the village in Egypt, where the chalice was said to have been broken, in order to ascertain the truth. Thus did the bishops detail successively each of the allegations against Athanasius, with the same art to which sophists resort when they desire to heighten the effect of their calumnies. Many of the priests, however, who were present at the trial, perceived the injustice of the accusation. It is related that Paphnutius, the confessor, who was present at the Synod, arose, and took the hand of Maximus, the bishop of Jerusalem, to lead him away, as if those who were confessors, and had their eyes dug out for the sake of piety, ought not to participate in an assembly of wicked men.


THE temple, called the "Great Martyrium," which was built in the place of the skull at Jerusalem, was completed about the thirtieth year of the reign of Constantine; and Marianus, an official, who was a short- hand writer of the emperor, came to Tyre and delivered a letter from the emperor to the council, commanding them to repair quickly to Jerusalem, in order to consecrate the temple. Although this had been previously determined upon, yet the emperor deemed it necessary that the disputes which prevailed among the bishops who had been convened at Tyre should be first adjusted, and that they should be purged of all discord and grief before going to the consecration of the temple. For it is fitting to such a festival for the priests to be like-minded. When the bishops arrived at Jerusalem, the temple was therefore consecrated, as likewise numerous ornaments and gifts, which were sent by the emperor and are still preserved in the sacred edifice; their costliness and magnificence is such that they cannot be looked upon without exciting wonder. Since that period the anniversary of the consecration has been celebrated with great pomp by the church of Jerusalem; the festival continues eight days, initiation by baptism is administered, and people from every region under the sun resort to Jerusalem during this festival, and visit the sacred places.


THE bishops who had embraced the sentiments of Arius found a favorable opportunity of restoring him and Euzoius to communion, by zealously striving to have a council in the city of Jerusalem. They effected their design in the following manner : —

A certain presbyter who was a great admirer of the Arian doctrines, was on terms of intimacy with the emperor's sister. At first he concealed his sentiments; but as he frequently visited and became by degrees more familiar with Constantia, for such was the name of the sister of Constantine, he took courage to represent to her that Arius was unjustly exiled from his country, and cast out from the Church, through the jealousy and personal enmity of Alexander bishop of the Alexandrian Church. He said that his jealousy had been excited by the esteem which the people manifested towards Arius.

Constantia believed these representations to be true, yet took no steps in her lifetime to innovate upon the decrees of Nicaea. Being attacked with a disease which threatened to terminate in death, she besought her brother, who went to visit her, to grant what she was about to ask, as a last favor; this request was, to receive the above mentioned presbyter on terms of intimacy, and to rely upon him as a man who had correct opinions about the Divinity. "For my part," she added, "I am drawing nigh to death, and am no longer interested in the concerns of this life; the only apprehension I now feel, arises from dread lest you should incur the wrath of God and suffer any calamity, or the loss of your empire, since you have been induced to condemn just and good men wrongfully to perpetual banishment." From that period the emperor received the presbyter into favor, and after permitting him to speak freely with him and to commune on the same topics concerning which his sister had given her command, deemed necessary to subject the case of Arius to a fresh examination; it is probable that, in forming this decision, the emperor was either influenced by a belief in the credibility of the attacks, or by the desire of gratifying his sister. It was not long before he recalled Arius from exile, and demanded of him a written exposition of his faith concerning the Godhead. Arius avoided making use of the new terms which he had previously devised, and constructed another exposition by using simple terms, and such as were recognized by the sacred Scriptures; he declared upon oath, that he held the doctrines set forth in this exposition, that he both felt these statements ex animo and had no other thought than these. It was as follows: "Arius and Euzoius, presbyters, to Constantine, our most pious emperor and most beloved of God.

"According as your piety, beloved of God, commanded, O sovereign emperor, we here furnish a written statement of our own faith, and we protest before God that we, and all those who are with us, believe what is here set forth.

"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, and in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ, who was begotten from Him before all ages, God the Word, by whom all things were made, whether things in heaven or things on earth; He came and took upon Him flesh, suffered and rose again, and ascended into heaven, whence He will again come to judge the quick and the dead.

"We believe in the Holy Ghost, in the resurrection of the body, in the life to come, in the kingdom of heaven, and in one Catholic Church of God, established throughout the earth. We have received this faith from the Holy Gospels, in which the Lord says to His disciples, 'Go forth and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.' If we do not so believe this, and if we do not truly receive the doctrines concerning the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, as they are taught by the whole Catholic Church and by the sacred Scriptures, as we believe in every point, let God be our judge, both now and in the day which is to come. Wherefore we appeal to your piety, O our emperor most beloved of God, that, as we are enrolled among the members of the clergy, and as we hold the faith and thought of the Church and of the sacred Scriptures, we may be openly reconciled to our mother, the Church, through your peacemaking and pious piety; so that useless questions and disputes may be cast aside, and that we and the Church may dwell together in peace, and we all in common may offer the customary prayer for your peaceful and pious empire and for your entire family."

Many considered this declaration of faith as an artful compilation, and as bearing the appearance of difference in expression, while, in reality, it supported the doctrine of Arius; the terms in which it was couched being so vague that it was susceptible of diverse interpretations. The emperor imagined that Arius and Euzoius were of the same sentiments as the bishops of the council of Nicaea, and was delighted over the affair. He did not, however, attempt to restore them to communion without the judgment and approval of those who are, by the law of the Church, masters in these matters. He, therefore, sends them to the bishops who were then assembled at Jerusalem, and wrote, desiring them to examine the declaration of faith submitted by Arius and Euzoius, and so to influence the Synod that, whether they found that their doctrine was orthodox, and that the jealousy of their enemies had been the sole cause of their condemnation, or that, without having reason to blame those who had condemned them, they had changed their minds, a humane decision might, in either case, be accorded them. Those who had long been zealous for this, seized the opportunity under cover of the emperor's letter, and received him into fellowship. They wrote immediately to the emperor himself, to the Church of Alexandria, and to the bishops and clergy of Egypt, of Thebes, and of Libya, earnestly exhorting them to receive Arius and Euzoius into communion, since the emperor bore witness to the correctness of their faith, in one of his own epistles, and since the judgment of the emperor had been confirmed by the vote of the Synod.

These were the subjects which were zealously discussed by the Synod of Jerusalem.


ATHANASIUS, after having fled from Tyre, repaired to Constantinople, and on coming to the emperor Constantine, complained of what he had suffered, in presence of the bishops who had condemned him, and besought him to permit the decrees of the council of Tyre to be submitted for examination before the emperor. Constantine regarded this request as reasonable, and wrote in the following terms to the bishops assembled at Tyre: —

"I know not what has been enacted in confusion and vehemence by your Synod; but it appears that, from some disturbing disorder, decrees which are not in conformity with truth have been enacted, and that your constant irritation of one another evidently prevented you from considering what is pleasing to God. But it will be the work of Divine Providence to scatter the evils which have been drawn out of this contentiousness, and to manifest to us clearly whether you have not been misled in your judgment by motives of private friendship or aversion. I therefore command that you all come here to my piety without delay, in order that we may receive an exact account of your transactions. I will explain to you the cause of my writing to you in this strain, and you will know from what follows, why I summon you before myself through this document. As I was returning on horseback to that city which bears my name, and which I regard as my much prospered country, Athanasius, the bishop, presented himself so unexpectedly in the middle of the highway, with certain individuals who accompanied him, that I felt exceedingly surprised at beholding him. God, who sees all things, is my witness, that at first I did not know who he was, but that some of my attendants having ascertained this point, and the injustice which he had suffered, gave me the necessary information. I did not on this occasion grant him an interview. He, however, persevered in requesting an audience; and although I refused him, and was on the point of commanding that he should be removed from my presence, he told me with more boldness, that he sought no other favor of me than that I should summon you hither, in order that he might in your presence complain of what he had suffered unnecessarily. As this request appears reasonable and timely, I deemed it right to address you in this strain, and to command all of you who were convened at the Synod of Tyre to hasten to the court of our clemency, so that you may demonstrate by your works, the purity and inflexibility of your decisions before me, whom you cannot refuse to acknowledge as a genuine servant of God. By my zeal in His service, peace has been established throughout the world, and the name of God is genuinely praised among the barbarians, who till now were m ignorance of the truth; and it is evident that whoever is ignorant of the truth knows not God. Notwithstanding, as is above stated, the barbarians have, through my instrumentality, learnt to know genuinely and to worship God; for they perceived that everywhere, and on all occasions, his protection rested on me; and they reverence God the more deeply because they fear my power. But we who have to announce the mysteries of forbearance (for I will not say that we keep them), we, I say, ought not to do anything that can tend to dissension or hatred, or, to speak plainly, to the destruction of the human race. Come, then, to us, as I have said, with all diligence, and be assured that I shall do everything in my power to preserve all the particularly infallible parts of the law of God in a way that no fault or heterodoxy can be fabricated; while those enemies of the law who, under the guise of the Holy Name, endeavor to introduce variant and differing blasphemies, have been openly scattered, utterly crushed, and wholly suppressed."

This letter of the emperor so excited the fears of some of the bishops that they set off on their journey homewards. But Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, and his partisans, went to the emperor, and represented that the Synod of Tyre had enacted no decrees against Athanasius but what were founded on justice. They brought forward as witnesses Theognis, Maris, Theodore, Valens, and Ursacius, and deposed that he had broken the mystical cup, and after uttering many other calumnies, they prevailed with their accusations. The emperor, either believing their statements to be true, or imagining that unanimity would be restored among the bishops if Athanasius were removed, exiled him to Treves, in Western Gaul; and thither, therefore, he was conducted.


AFTER the Synod of Jerusalem, Arius went to Egypt, but as he could not obtain permission to hold communion with the Church of Alexandria, he returned to Constantinople. As all those who had embraced his sentiments, and those who were attached to Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, had assembled cunningly in that city for the purpose of holding a council, Alexander, who was then ordering the see of Constantinople, used every effort to dissolve the council. But as his endeavors were frustrated, he openly refused all covenant with Arius, affirming that it was neither just nor according to ecclesiastical canons, to make powerless their own vote, and that of those bishops who had been assembled at Nicaea, from nearly every region under the sun. When the partisans of Eusebius perceived that their arguments produced no effect on Alexander, they had recourse to contumely, and threatened that unless he would receive Arius into communion on a stated day, he should be expelled from the church, and that another should be elected in his place who would be willing to hold communion with Arius. They then separated, the partisans of Eusebius, to await the time they had fixed for carrying their menaces into execution, and Alexander to pray that the words of Eusebius might be prevented from being carried into deed. His chief source of fear arose from the fact that the emperor had been persuaded to give way. On the day before the appointed day he prostrated himself before the altar, and continued all the night in prayer to God, that his enemies might be prevented from carrying their schemes into execution against him. Late in the afternoon, Arius, being seized suddenly with pain in the stomach, was compelled to repair to the public place set apart for emergencies of this nature. As some time passed away without his coming out, some persons, who were waiting for him outside, entered, and found him dead and still sitting upon the seat. When his death became known, all people did not view the occurrence under the same aspect. Some believed that he died at that very hour, seized by a sudden disease of the heart, or suffering weakness from his joy over the fact that his matters were falling out according to his mind; others imagined that this mode of death was inflicted on him in judgment, on account of his impiety. Those who held his sentiments were of opinion that his death was brought about by magical arts. It will not be out of place to quote what Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, stated on the subject. The following is his narrative:—


"ARIUS, the author of the heresy and the associate of Eusebius, having been summoned before the most blessed Constantine Augustus, at the solicitation of the partisans of Eusebius, was desired to give in writing an exposition of his faith. He drew up this document with great artfulness, and like the devil, concealed his Impious assertions beneath the simple words of Scripture. The most blessed Constantine said to him, 'If you have no other points in mind than these, render testimony to the truth; for if you perjure yourself, the Lord will punish you'; and the wretched man swore that he neither held nor conceived any sentiments except those now specified in the document, even if he had ever affirmed otherwise; soon after he went out, and judgment was visited upon him; for he bent forwards and burst in the middle, With all men the common end of life is death. We must not blame a man, even if he be an enemy, merely because he died, for it is uncertain whether we shall live to the evening. But the end of Arius was so singular that it seems worthy of some remark. The partisans of Eusebius threatened to reinstate him in the church, and Alexander, bishop of Constantinople, opposed their intention; Arius placed his confidence in the power and menaces of Eusebius; for it was the Sabbath, and he expected the next day to be readmitted. The dispute ran high; the partisans of Eusebius were loud in their menaces, while Alexander had recourse to prayer. The Lord was the judge, and declared himself against the unjust. A little before sunset Arius was compelled by a want of nature to enter the place appointed for such emergencies, and here he lost at once both restoration to communion and his life. The most blessed Constantine was amazed when he heard of this occurrence, and regarded it as the proof of perjury. It then became evident to every one that the menaces of Eusebius were absolutely futile, and that the expectations of Arius were vain. It also became manifest that the Arian madness could not be fellowshipped by the Saviour both here and in the church of the Firstborn. Is it not then astonishing that some are still found who seek to exculpate him whom the Lord condemned, and to defend that heresy which the Lord proved to be unworthy of fellowship, by not permitting its author to enter the church? We have been duly informed that this was the mode of the death of Arius." It is said that for a long period subsequently no one would make use of the seat on which he died. Those who were compelled by necessities of nature, as is wont to be the case in a crowd, to visit the public place, when they entered, spoke to one another to avoid the seat, and the place was shunned afterwards, because Arius had there received the punishment of his impiety. At a later time a certain rich and powerful man, who had embraced the Arian tenets, bought the place of the public, and built a house on the spot, in order that the occurrence might fall into oblivion, and that there might be no perpetual memorial of the death of Arius.


THE death of Arius did not terminate the doctrinal dispute which he had originated. Those who adhered to his sentiments did not cease from plotting against those who maintained opposite opinions. The people of Alexandria loudly complained of the exile of Athanasius, and offered up supplications for his return; and Antony, the celebrated monk, wrote frequently to the emperor to entreat him to attach no credit to the insinuations of the Melitians, but to reject their accusations as calumnies; yet the emperor was not convinced by these arguments, and wrote to the Alexandrians, accusing them of folly and of disorderly conduct. He commanded the clergy and the holy virgins to remain quiet, and declared that he would not change his mind nor recall Athanasius, whom, he said, he regarded as an exciter of sedition, justly condemned by the judgment of the Church. He replied to Antony, by stating that he ought not to overlook the decree of the Synod; for even if some few of the bishops, he said, were actuated by ill-will or the desire to oblige others, it scarcely seems credible that so many prudent and excellent bishops could have been impelled by such motives; and, he added, that Athanasius was contumelious and arrogant, and the cause of dissension and sedition. The enemies of Athanasius accused him the more especially of these crimes, because they knew that the emperor regarded them with peculiar aversion. When he heard that the Church was split into two factions, of which one supported Athanasius and the other John, he was transported with indignation, and exiled John himself. This John had succeeded Melitius, and had, with those who held the same sentiments as himself, been restored to communion and re- established in the clerical functions by the Synod of Tyre. His banishment was contrary to the wishes of the enemies of Athanasius, yet it was done, and the decrees of the Synod of Tyre did not benefit John, for the emperor was beyond supplication or petition of any kind with respect to any one who was suspected of stirring up Christian people to sedition or dissension.


ALTHOUGH the doctrine of Arius was zealously supported by many persons in disputations, a party had not as yet been formed to whom the name of Arians could be applied as a distinctive appellation; for all assembled together as a church and held communion with each other, with the exception of the Novatians, those called Phrygians, the Valentinians, the Marcionites, the Paulianians, and some few others who adhered to already invented heresies. The emperor, however, enacted a law that their own houses of prayer should be abolished; and that they should meet in the churches, and not hold church in private houses, or in public places. He deemed it better to hold fellowship in the Catholic Church, and he advised them to assemble in her walls. By means of this law, almost all the heresies, I believe, disappeared. During the reign of preceding emperors, all who worshiped Christ, however they might have differed from each other in opinion, received the same treatment from the pagans, and were persecuted with equal cruelty. These common calamities, to which they were all equally liable, prevented them from prosecuting any close inquiries as to the differences of opinion which existed among themselves; it was therefore easy for the members of each party to hold church by themselves, and by continually conferring with one another, however few they might have been in number, they were not disrupted. But after this law was passed they could not assemble in public, because it was forbidden; nor could they hold their assemblies in secret, for they were watched by the bishops and clergy of their city. Hence the greater number of these sectarians were led, by fear of consequences, to join themselves to the Catholic Church. Those who adhered to their original sentiments did not, at their death, leave any disciples to propagate their heresy, for they could neither come together into the same place, nor were they able to teach in security those of the same opinions. On account either of the absurdity of the heretical dogmas, or of the utter ignorance of those who devised and taught them, the respective followers of each heresy were, from the beginning, very few in number. The Novatians alone, who had obtained good leaders, and who entertained the same opinions respecting the Divinity as the Catholic Church, were numerous, from the beginning, and remained so, not being much injured by this law; the emperor, I believe, willingly relaxed in their favor the rigor of the enactment, for he only desired to strike terror into the minds of his subjects, and had no intention of persecuting them. Acesius, who was then the bishop of this heresy in Constantinople, was much esteemed by the emperor on account of his virtuous life; and it is probable that it was for his sake that the church which he governed met with protection. The Phrygians suffered the same treatment as the other heretics in all the Roman provinces except Phrygia and the neighboring regions, for here they had, since the time of Montanus, existed in great numbers and do so to the present day.

About this time the partisans of Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, and of Theognis, bishop of Nicaea, began to make innovations in writing upon the confession set forth by the Nicaean Council. They did not venture to reject openly the assertion that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, because this assertion was maintained by the emperor; but they propounded another document, and signified to the Eastern bishops that they received the terms of the Nicaean doctrine with verbal interpretations. From this declaration and reflection, the former dispute lapsed into fresh discussion, and what seemed to have been put at rest was again set in motion.


AT the same period, Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra, in Galatia, was deposed and cast out of the Church by the bishops assembled at Constantinople, because he had introduced some new doctrines, whereby he taught that the existence of the Son of God commenced when He was born of Mary, and that His kingdom would have an end; he had, moreover, drawn up a written document wherein these views were pro-pounded. Basil, a man of great eloquence and learning, was invested with the bishopric of the parish of Galatia. They also wrote to the churches in the neighboring regions, to desire them to search for the copies of the book written by Marcellus, and to destroy them, and to lead back any whom they might find to have embraced his sentiments. They stated that the work was too voluminous to admit of their transcribing the whole in their epistle, but that they inserted quotations of certain passages in order to prove that the doctrines which they had condemned were there advocated. Some persons, however, maintained that Marcellus had merely propounded a few questions which had been misconstrued by the adherents of Eusebius, and represented to the emperor as actual confessions. Eusebius and his partisans were much irritated against Marcellus, because he had not consented to the definitions propounded by the Synod in Phoenicia, nor to the regulations which had been made in favor of Arius at Jerusalem; and had likewise refused to attend at the consecration of the Great Martyrium, in order to avoid communion with them. In their letter to the emperor, they dwelt largely upon this latter circumstance, and brought it forward as a charge, alleging that it was a personal in-suit to him to refuse attendance at the consecration of the temple which he had constructed at Jerusalem. The motive by which Marcellus was induced to write this work was that Asterius, who was a sophist and a native of Cappadocia, had written a treatise in defense of the Arian doctrines, and had read it in various cities, and to the bishops, and likewise at several Synods where he had attended. Marcellus undertook to refute his arguments, and while thus engaged, he, either deliberately or unintentionally, fell into the opinions of Paul of Samosata. He was afterwards, however, reinstated in his bishopric by the Synod of Sardis, after having proved that he did not hold such sentiments.


THE emperor had already divided the empire among his sons, who were styled Caesars. To Constantine and Constans he awarded the western regions; and to Constantius, the eastern; and as he was indisposed, and required to have recourse to bathing, he repaired for that purpose to Helenopolis, a city of Bithynia. His malady, however, increased, and he went to Nicomedia, and was initiated into holy baptism in one of the suburbs of that city. After the ceremony he was filled with joy, and returned thanks to God. He then confirmed the division of the empire among his sons, according to his former allotment, and bestowed certain privileges on old Rome and on the city named after himself. He placed his testament in the hands of the presbyter who constantly extolled Arius, and who had been recommended to him as a man of virtuous life by his sister Constantia in her last moments, and commanded him with an added oath to deliver it to Constantius on his return, for neither Constantius nor the other Caesars were with their dying father. After making these arrangements, Constantine survived but a few days; be died in the sixty- fifth year of his age, and the thirty-first of his reign. He was a powerful protector of the Christian religion, and was the first of the emperors who began to be zealous for the Church, and to bestow upon her high benefactions. He was more successful than any other sovereign in all his undertakings; for he formed no design, I am convinced, without God. He was victorious in his wars against the Goths and Sarmatians, and, indeed, in all his military enterprises; and he changed the form of government according to his own mind with so much ease, that he created another senate and another imperial city, to which he gave his own name. He assailed the pagan religion, and in a little while subverted it, although it had prevailed for ages among the princes and the people.

After the death of Constantine, his body was placed in a golden coffin, conveyed to Constantinople, and deposited on a certain platform in the palace; the same honor and ceremonial were observed, by those who were in the palace, as were accorded to him while living. On hearing of his father's death, Constantius, who was then in the East, hastened to Constantinople, and interred the royal remains with the utmost magnificence, and deposited them in the tomb which had been constructed by order of the deceased in the Church of the Apostles. From this period it became the custom to deposit the remains of subsequent Christian emperors in the same place of interment; and here bishops, likewise, were buried, for the hierarchical dignity is not only equal in honor to imperial power, but, in sacred places, even takes the ascendancy.



WE have now seen what events transpired in the churches during the reign of Constantine- On his death the doctrine which had been set forth at Nicaea, was subjected to renewed examination. Although this doctrine was not universally approved, no one, during the life of Constantine, had dared to reject it openly. At his death, however, many renounced this opinion, especially those who had previously been suspected of treachery. Of all these Eusebius and Theognis, bishops of the province of Bithynia, did everything in their power to give predominance to the tenets of Arius. They believed that this object would be easily accomplished, if the return of Athanasius from exile could be prevented, and by giving the government of the Egyptian churches to a bishop of like opinion with them. They found an efficient coadjutor in the presbyter who had obtained from Constantine the recall of Arius. He was held in high esteem by the emperor Constantius, on account of the service he had rendered in delivering to him the testament of his father; since he was trusted, he boldly seized the opportunities, until he became an intimate of the emperor's wife, and of the powerful eunuchs of the women's sleeping apartments. At this period Eusebius was appointed to superintend the concerns of the royal household, and being zealously attached to Arianism, he induced the empress and many of the persons belonging to the court to adopt the same sentiments. Hence disputations concerning doctrines again became prevalent, both in private and in public, and revilings and animosities were renewed. This state of things was in accordance with the views of Theognis and his partisans.


AT this period Athanasius returned from Gaul to Alexandria. It is said that Constantine intended to have recalled him, and that in his testament he even gave orders to that effect. But as he was prevented by death from performing his intention, his son who bore his name, and who was then commanding in Western Gaul, recalled Athanasius, and wrote a letter on the subject to the people of Alexandria. Having met with a copy of this letter translated from the Latin into Greek, I shall insert it precisely as I found it. It is as follows:—

"Constantine Caesar, to the people of the Catholic Church in the city of Alexandria.

"You cannot, I believe, be unacquainted with the fact that Athanasius, the interpreter of the venerated law, since the cruelty of his bloodthirsty and hostile enemies continued, to the danger of his sacred person, was sent for a time into Gaul in order that he might not incur irretrievable extremities through the perversity of these worthless opponents; in order then to make this danger futile, he was taken out of the jaws of the men, who pressed upon him, and was commanded to live near me, so that in the city where he dwelt, he might be amply furnished with all necessaries; but his virtue is so famous and extraordinary, because he is confident of Divine aid, that he sets at naught all the rougher burdens of fortune. Our lord and my father, Constantine Augustus, of blessed memory, intended to have reinstated this bishop in his own place, and thus especially to have restored him to your much beloved piety; but, since he was anticipated by the human lot, and died before fulfilling his intention, I, as his successor, purpose to carry into execution the design of the emperor of Divine memory. Athanasius will inform you, when he shall see your face, in how great reverence he was held by me. Nor is it surprising that I should have acted as I have done towards him, for the image of your own desire and the appearance of so noble a man, moved and impelled me to this step. May Divine Providence watch over you, my beloved brethren."

In consequence of this letter from the emperor Athanasius went home, and resumed the government of the Egyptian churches. Those who were attached to the Arian doctrines were thrown into consternation and could not keep the peace; they excited continuous seditions, and had recourse to other machinations against him. The partisans of Eusebius accused him before the emperor of being a seditious person, and of having reversed the decree of exile, contrary to the laws of the church, and without the consent of the bishops. I shall presently relate in the proper place, how, by their intrigues, Athanasius was again expelled from Alexandria.

Eusebius, surnamed Pamphilus, died about this period, and Acacius succeeded to the bishopric of Caesarea in Palestine. He was a zealous imitator of Eusebius because he had been instructed by him in the Sacred Word; he possessed a capable mind and was polished in expression, so that he left many writings worthy of commendation. Not long after, the emperor Constantine declared war against his brother Constans at Aquileia, and was slain by his own generals. The Roman Empire was divided between the surviving brothers; the West fell to the lot of Constans and the East to Constantius.


ALEXANDER died about this time, and Paul succeeded to the high priesthood of Constantinople. The followers of Arius and Macedonius assert that he took possession at his own motion, and against the advice of Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, or of Theodore, bishop of Heraclea, in Thrace; upon whom, as being the nearest bishops, the right of conferring ordination devolved. Many, however, maintain, on the testimony of Alexander, whom he succeeded, that he was ordained by the bishops who were then assembled at Constantinople. For when Alexander, who was ninety- eight years of age, and who-had conducted the episcopal office vigorously for twenty-three years, was at the point of death, his clergy, asked him to whom he wished to turn over his church. "If," replied he, "you seek a man good in Divine matters and one who is apt to teach you, have Paul. But if you desire one who is conversant with public affairs, and with the councils of rulers, Macedonius is better." The Macedonians themselves admit that this testimony was given by Alexander; but they say that Paul was more skilled in the transaction of business and the art of eloquence; but they put emphasis for Macedonius, on the testimony of his life; and they accuse Paul of having been addicted to effeminacy and an indifferent conduct. It appears, however, from their own acknowledgment, that Paul was a man of eloquence, and brilliant in teaching the Church. Events proved that he was not competent to combat the casualties of life, or to hold intercourse with those in power; for he was never successful in subverting the machinations of his enemies, like those who are adroit in the management of affairs. Although he was greatly beloved by the people, he suffered severely from the treachery of those who then rejected the doctrine which prevailed at Nicaea. In the first place, he was expelled from the church of Constantinople, as if some accusation of misconduct had been established against him. He was then condemned to banishment, and finally, it is said, fell a victim to the devices of his enemies, and was strangled. But these latter events took place at a subsequent period.


THE ordination of Paul occasioned a great commotion in the Church of Constantinople. During the life of Alexander, the Arians did not act very openly; for the people by being attentive to him were well governed and honored Divine things, and especially believed that the unexpected occurrence which befell Arius, whom they believed met such a death, was the Divine wrath, drawn down by the imprecations of Alexander. After the death of this bishop, however, the people became divided into two parties, and disputes and contests concerning doctrines were openly carried on. The adherents of Arius desired the ordination of Macedonius, while those who maintained that the Son is consubstantial with the Farther wished to have Paul as their bishop; and this latter party prevailed. After the ordination of Paul, the emperor, who chanced to be away from home, returned to Constantinople, and manifested as much displeasure at what had taken place as though the bishopric had been conferred upon an unworthy man. Through the machinations of the enemies of Paul a Synod was convened, and he was expelled from the Church. It handed over the Church of Constantinople to Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia.


Soon after these occurrences, the emperor went to Antioch, a city of Syria. Here a church had already been completed, which excelled in size and beauty. Constantine began to build it during his lifetime, and as the structure had been just finished by his son Constantius, it was deemed a favorable opportunity by the partisans of Eusebius, who of old were zealous for it, to convene a council. They, therefore, with those from various regions who held their sentiments, met together in Antioch; their bishops were about ninety-seven in number. Their professed object was the consecration of the newly finished church; but they intended nothing else than the abolition of the decrees of the Nicaean Council, and this was fully proved by the sequel. The Church of Antioch was then governed by Placetus, who had succeeded Euphronius. The death of Constantine the Great had taken place about five years prior to this period. When all the bishops had assembled in the presence of the emperor Constantius, the majority expressed great indignation, and vigorously accused Athanasius of having contemned the sacerdotal regulation which they had enacted, and taken possession of the bishopric of Alexandria without first obtaining the sanction of a council. They also deposed that he was the cause of the death of several persons, who fell in a sedition excited by his return; and that many others had on the same occasion been arrested and delivered up to the judicial tribunals. By these accusations they contrived to cast odium on Athanasius, and it was decreed that Gregory should be invested with the government of the Church of Alexandria. They then turned to the discussion of doctrinal questions, and found no fault with the decrees of the council of Nice. They dispatched letters to the bishops of every city, in which they declared that, as they were bishops themselves, they had not followed Arius. "For how," said they, "could we have been followers of him, when he was but a presbyter, and we were placed above him?" Since they were the testers of his faith, they had readily received him; and they believed in the faith which had from the beginning been handed down by tradition. This they further explained at the bottom of their letter, but without mentioning the substance of the Father or the Son, or the term consubstantial. They resorted, in fact, to such ambiguity of expression, that neither the Arians nor the followers of the decrees of the Nicaean Council could call the arrangement of their words into question, as though they were ignorant of the holy Scriptures. They purposely avoided all forms of expression which were rejected by either party, and only made use of those which were universally admitted. They confessed that the Son is with the Father, that He is the only begotten One, and that He is God, and existed before all things; and that He took flesh upon Him, and fulfilled the will of His Father. They confessed these and similar truths, but they did not describe the doctrine of the Son being co-eternal or consubstantial with the Father, or the opposite. They subsequently changed their minds, it appears, about this formulary, and issued another, which, I think, very nearly resembled that of the council of Nice, unless, indeed, some secret meaning be attached to the words which is not apparent to me. Although they refrained — I know not from what motive — from saying that the Son is consubstantial, they confessed that He is immutable, that His Divinity is not susceptible of change, that He is the perfect image of the substance, and counsel, and power, and glory of the Father, and that He is the first- born of every creature. They stated that they had found this formulary of faith, and that it was entirely written by Lucianus, who was martyred in Nicomedia, and who was a man highly approved and exceedingly accurate in the sacred Scriptures. I know not whether this statement was really true, or whether they merely advanced it in order to give weight to their own document, by connecting with it the dignity of a martyr. Not only did Eusebius (who, on the expulsion of Paul, had been transferred from Nicomedia to the throne of Constantinople) participate in this council, but likewise Acacius, the successor of Eusebius Pamphilus, Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis, Theodore, bishop of Heraclea, formerly called Perinthus, Eudoxius, bishop of Germanicia, who subsequently directed the Church of Constantinople after Macedonius, and Gregory, who had been chosen to preside over the Church of Alexandria. It was universally acknowledged that all these bishops held the same sentiments, such as Dianius, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, George, bishop of Laodicea in Syria, and many others who acted as bishops over metropolitan and other distinguished churches.


EUSEBIUS, surnamed Emesenus, likewise at-tended the council. He sprang from a noble family of Edessa, a city of Osroenae. According to the custom of his country, he had from his youth upwards, learned the Holy Word, and was afterwards made acquainted with the learning of the Greeks, by the teachers who then frequented his native city. He subsequently acquired a more intimate knowledge of sacred literature under the guidance of Eusebius Pamphilus and Patrophilus, the president of Scythopolis. He went to Antioch at the time that Eustathius was deposed on the accusation of Cyrus, and lived with Euphronius, his successor, on terms of intimacy. He fled to escape being invested with the priestly dignity, went to Alexandria and frequented the schools of the philosophers. After acquainting himself with their mode of discipline, he returned to Antioch and dwelt with Placetus, the successor of Euphronius. During the time that the council was held in that city, Eusebius, bishop of Constantinople, entreated him to accept the see of Alexandria for it was thought that, by his great reputation for sanctity and consummate eloquence, he would easily supplant Athanasius in the esteem of the Egyptians. He, however, refused the ordination, on the plea that he could otherwise only incur the ready hatred of the Alexandrians, who would have no other bishop but Athanasius. Gregory was, therefore, appointed to the church of Alexandria, and Eusebius to that of Emesa.

There he suffered from a sedition; for the people accused him of practicing that variety of astronomy which is called astrological, and being obliged to seek safety by flight, he repaired to Laodicea, and dwelt with George, bishop of that city, who was his particular friend. He afterwards accompanied this bishop to Antioch, and obtained permission from the bishops Placetus and Narcissus to return to Emesa. He was much esteemed by the emperor Constantius, and attended him in his military expedition against the Persians. It is said that God wrought miracles through his instrumentality, as is testified by George of Laodicea, who has related these and other incidents about him.

But although he was endowed with so many exalted qualities, he could not escape the jealousy of those who are irritated by witnessing the virtues of others. He endured the censure of having embraced the doctrines of Sabellius. At the present time, however, he voted with the bishops who had been convened at Antioch. It is said that Maximus, bishop of Jerusalem, purposely, kept aloof from this council, because he repented having unawares consented to the deposition of Athanasius. The manager of the Roman see, nor any representative from the east of Italy, nor from the parts beyond Rome were present at Antioch. At the same period of time, the Franks devastated Western Gaul; and the provinces of the East, and more particularly Antioch after the Synod, were visited by tremendous earthquakes. After the Synod, Gregory repaired to Alexandria with a large body of soldiers, who were enjoined to provide an undisturbed and safe entrance into the city; the Arians also, who were anxious for the expulsion of Athanasius, sided with him. Athanasius, fearful lest the people should be exposed to sufferings on his account, assembled them by night in the church, and when the soldiers came to take possession of the church, prayers having been concluded, he first ordered a psalm to be sung. During the chanting of this psalm the soldiers remained without and quietly awaited its conclusion, and in the meantime Athanasius passed under the singers and secretly made his escape, and fled to Rome. In this manner Gregory possessed himself of the see of Alexandria. The indignation of the people was aroused, and they burnt the church which bore the name of Dionysius, one of their former bishops.


THUS were the schemes of those who upheld various heresies in opposition to truth successfully carried into execution; and thus did they depose those bishops who strenuously maintained throughout the East the supremacy of the doctrines of the Nicaean Council. These heretics had taken possession of the most important sees, such as Alexandria in Egypt, Antioch in Syria, and the imperial city of the Hellespont, and they held all the persuaded bishops in subjection. The ruler of the Church at Rome and all the priests of the West regarded these deeds as a personal insult; for they had accorded from the beginning with all the decisions in the vote made by those convened at Nice, nor did they now cease from that way of thinking. On the arrival of Athanasius, they received him kindly, and espoused his cause among themselves. Irritated at this interference, Eusebius wrote to Julius, exhorting him to constitute himself a judge of the decrees that had been enacted against Athanasius by the council of Tyre. But before he had been able to ascertain the sentiments of Julius, and, indeed, not long after the council of Antioch, Eusebius died. Immediately upon this event, those citizens of Constantinople who maintained the doctrines of the Nicaean Council, conducted Paul to the church. At the same time those of the opposing multitude seized this occasion and came together in another church, among whom were the adherents of Theognis, bishop of Nicaea, of Theodore, bishop of Heraclea, and others of the same party who chanced to be present, and they ordained Macedonius bishop of Constantinople. This excited frequent seditions in the city which assumed all the appearance of a war, for the people fell upon one another, and many perished. The city was filled with tumult, so that the emperor, who was then at Antioch, on hearing of what had occurred, was moved to wrath, and issued a decree for the expulsion of Paul. Hermogenes, general of the cavalry, endeavored to put this edict of the emperor's into execution; for having been sent to Thrace, he had, on the journey, to pass by Constantinople, and he thought, by means of his army, to eject Paul from the church by force. But the people, instead of yielding, met him with open resistance, and while the soldiers, in order to carry out the orders they had received, attempted still greater violence, the insurgents entered the house of Hermogenes, set fire to it, killed him, and attaching a cord to his body, dragged it through the city. The emperor had no sooner received this intelligence than he took horse for Constantinople, in order to punish the people. But he spared them when he saw them coming to meet him with tears and supplications. He deprived the city of about half of the corn which his father, Constantine, had granted them annually out of the public treasury from the tributes of Egypt, probably from the idea that luxury and excess made the populace idle and disposed to sedition. He turned his anger against Paul and commanded his expulsion from the city. He manifested great displeasure against Macedonius also, because he was the occasion of the murder of the general and of other individuals and also, because he had been ordained without first obtaining his sanction. He, however, returned to Antioch, without having either confirmed or dissolved his ordination. Meanwhile the zealots of the Arian tenets deposed Gregory, because he was indifferent in the support of their doctrines, and had moreover incurred the ill-will of the Alexandrians on account of the calamities which had befallen the city at his entrance, especially the conflagration of the church. They elected George, a native of Cappadocia, in his stead; this new bishop was admired on account of his activity and his zeal in support of the Arian dogma.


ATHANASIUS, on leaving Alexandria, had fled to Rome. Paul, bishop of Constantinople, Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra, and Asclepas, bishop of Gaza, repaired thither at the same time. Asclepas, who was opposed to the Arians and had therefore been deposed, after having been accused by some of the heterodox of having thrown down an altar; Quintianus had been appointed in his stead over the Church of Gaza. Lucius also, bishop of Adrianople, who had been. deposed from the church under his care on another charge, was dwelling at this period in Rome. The Roman bishop, on learning the accusation against each individual, and on finding that they held the same sentiments about the Nicaean dogmas, admitted them to communion as of like orthodoxy; and as the care for all was fitting to the dignity of his see, he restored them all to their own churches. He wrote to the bishops of the East, and rebuked them for having judged these bishops unjustly, and for harassing the Churches by abandoning the Nicaean doctrines. He summoned a few among them to appear before him on an appointed day, in order to account to him for the sentence they had passed, and threatened to bear with them no longer, unless they would cease to make innovations. This was the tenor of his letters. Athanasius and Paul were reinstated in their respective sees, and forwarded the letter of Julius to the bishops of the East. The bishops could scarcely brook such documents, and they assembled together at Antioch, and framed a reply to Julius, beautifully expressed and composed with great legal skill, yet filled with considerable irony and indulging in the strongest threats. They confessed in this epistle, that the Church of Rome was entitled to universal honor, because it was the school of the apostles, and had become the metropolis of piety from the outset, although the introducers of the doctrine had settled there from the East. They added that the second place in point of honor ought not to be assigned to them, because they did not have the advantage of size or number in their churches; for they excelled the Romans in virtue and determination. They called Julius to account for having admitted the followers of Athanasius into communion, and expressed their indignation against him for having insulted their Synod and abrogated their decrees, and they assailed his transactions as unjust and discordant with ecclesiastical right. After these censures and protestations against such grievances, they proceeded to state, that if Julius would acknowledge the deposition of the bishops whom they had expelled, and the substitution of those whom they had ordained in their stead, they would promise peace and fellowship; but that, unless he would accede to these terms, they would openly declare their opposition. They added that the priests who had preceded them in the government of the Eastern churches had offered no opposition to the deposition of Novatian, by the Church of Rome. They made no allusion in their letter to any deviations they had manifested from the doctrines of the council of Nice, but merely stated they had various reasons to allege in justification of the course they had pursued, and that they considered it unnecessary to enter at that time upon any defense of their conduct, as they were suspected of having violated justice in every respect.


AFTER having written in this strain to Julius, the bishops of the East brought accusations against those whom they had deposed before the emperor Constantius. Accordingly, the emperor, who was then at Antioch, wrote to Philip, the prefect of Constantinople, commanding him to surrender the Church to Macedonius, and to expel Paul from the city. The prefect feared the commotion among the people, and before the order of the emperor could be divulged, he repaired to the public bath which is called Zeuxippus, a conspicuous and large structure, and summoned Paul, as if he wished to converse with him on some affairs of general interest; as soon as he had arrived, he showed him the edict of the emperor. Paul was, according to orders, secretly conducted through the palace contiguous to the bath, to the seaside, and placed on board a vessel and was sent to Thessalonica, whence, it is said, his ancestors originally came. He was strictly prohibited from approaching the Eastern regions, but was not forbidden to visit Illyria and the remoter provinces.

On quitting the court room, Philip, accompanied by Macedonius, proceeded to the church. The people, who had in the meantime been assembling together in untold numbers, quickly filled the church, and the two parties into which they were divided, namely, the supporters of the Arian heresy and the followers of Paul respectively, strove to take possession of the building. When the prefect and Macedonius arrived at the gates of the church, the soldiers endeavored to force back the people, in order to make way for these dignitaries, but as they were so crowded together, it was impossible for them to recede, since they were closely packed to the farthest point, or to make way; the soldiers, under the impression that the crowd was unwilling to retire, slew many with their swords, and a great number were killed by being trampled upon. The edict of the emperor was thus accomplished, and Macedonius received the Churches, while Paul was unexpectedly ejected from the Church in Constantinople.

Athanasius in the meantime had fled, and concealed himself, fearing the menace of the emperor Constantius, for he had threatened to punish him with death; for the heterodox had made the emperor believe that he was a seditious person, and that he had, on his return to the bishopric, occasioned the death of several persons. But the anger of the emperor had been chiefly excited by the representation that Athanasius had sold the provisions which the emperor Constantine had bestowed on the poor of Alexandria, and had appropriated the price.


The bishops of Egypt, having sent a declaration in writing that these allegations were false, and Julius having been apprised that Athanasius was far from being in safety in Egypt, sent for him to his own city. He replied at the same time to the letter of the bishops who were convened at Antioch, for just then he happened to have received their epistle, and accused them of having clandestinely introduced innovations contrary to the dogmas of the Nicene council, and of having violated the laws of the Church, by neglecting to invite him to join their Synod; for he alleged that there is a sacerdotal canon which declares that whatever is enacted contrary to the judgment of the bishop of Rome is null. He also reproached them for having deviated from justice in all their proceedings against Athanasius, both at Tyre and Mareotis, and stated that the decrees enacted at the former city had been annulled, on account of the calumny concerning the hand of Arsenius, and at the latter city, on account of the absence of Athanasius. Last of all he reprehended the arrogant style of their epistle.

Julius was induced by all these reasons to undertake the defense of Athanasius and of Paul the latter had arrived in Italy not long previously, and had lamented bitterly these calamities. When Julius perceived that what he had written to those who held the sacerdotal dignity in the East was of no avail, he made the matter known to Constans the emperor. Accordingly, Constans wrote to his brother Constantius, requesting him to send some of the bishops of the East, that they might assign a reason for the edicts of deposition which they had passed. Three bishops were selected for this purpose; namely, Narcissus, bishop of Irenopolis, in Cilicia; Theodore, bishop of Heraclea, in Thrace; and Mark, bishop of Arethusa, in Syria. On their arrival in Italy, they strove to justify their actions and to persuade the emperor that the sentence passed by the Eastern Synod was just. Being required to produce a statement of their belief, they concealed the formulary they had drawn up at Antioch, and presented another written confession which was equally at variance with the doctrines approved at Nicaea. Constans perceived that they had unjustly en-trapped both Paul and Athanasius, and had ejected them from communion, not for charges against his conduct, as the depositions held, but simply on account of differences in doctrine; and he accordingly dismissed the deputation without giving any credit to the representations for which they had come.


THREE years afterwards, the bishops of the East sent to those of the West a formulary of faith, which, because it had been framed with verbiage and thoughts in excess of any former confession, was called makro'stichos e'kthesis. In this formulary they made no mention of the substance of God, but those are excommunicated who maintain that the Son arose out of what had no previous existence, or that He is of Another hypostasis, and not of God, or that there was a time or an age in which He existed not. Eudoxius, who was still bishop of Germanicia, Martyrius, and Macedonius, carried this document, but the Western priests did not entertain it; for they declared that they felt fully satisfied with the doctrines established at Nicaea, and thought it entirely unnecessary to be too curious about such points.

After the Emperor Constans had requested his brother to reinstate the followers of Athanasius in their sees, and had found his application to be unavailing, on account of the counteracting influence of those who adopted a hostile heresy; and when, moreover, the party of Athanasius and Paul entreated Constans to assemble a Synod on account of the plots for the abolition of orthodox doctrines, both the emperors were of the opinion that the bishops of the East and of the West should be convened on a certain day at Sardica, a city of Illyria. The bishops of the East, who had previously assembled at Philippopolis, a city of Thrace, wrote to the bishops of the West, who had already assembled at Sardica, that they would not join them, unless they would eject the followers of Athanasius from their assembly, and from communion with them, because they had been deposed. They afterwards went to Sardica, but declared they would not enter the church, while those who had been deposed by them were admitted thither. The bishops of the West replied, that they never had ejected them, and that they would not yield this now, particularly as Julius, bishop of Rome, after having investigated the case, had not condemned them, and that besides, they were present and ready to justify themselves and to refute again the offenses imputed to them. These declarations, however, were of no avail; and since the time they had appointed for the adjustment of their differences, concerning which they had convened, had expired, they finally wrote letters to one another on these points, and by these they were led to an increase of their previous ill-will. And after they had convened separately, they brought forward opposite decisions; for the Eastern bishops confirmed the sentences they had already enacted against Athanasius, Paul, Marcellus, and Asclepas, and deposed Julius, bishop of Rome, because he had been the first to admit those who had been condemned by them, into communion; and Hosius, the confessor, was also deposed, partly for the same reason, and partly because he was the friend of Paulinus and Eustathius, the riders of the church in Antioch. Maximus, bishop of Treves, was deposed, because he had been among the first who had received Paul into communion, and had been the cause of his returning to Constantinople, and because he had excluded from communion the Eastern bishops who had repaired to Gaul. Besides the above, they likewise deposed Protogenes, bishop of Sardica, and Gaudentius; the one because he favored Marcellus, although he had previously condemned him, and the other because he had adopted a different line of conduct from that of Cyriacus, his predecessor, and had supported many individuals then deposed by them. After issuing these sentences, they made known to the bishops of every region, that they were not to hold communion with those who were deposed, and that they were not to write to them, nor to receive letters from them. They likewise commanded them to believe what was said concerning God in the formulary which they subjoined to their letter, and in which no mention was made of the term "consubstantial,' but in which, those were excommunicated who said there are three Gods, or that Christ is not God, or that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are the same, or that the Son is unbegotten, or that there was a time or an age in which He existed not.


THE adherents of Hosius, in the meantime, assembled together, and declared them innocent: Athanasius, because unjust machinations had been carried on against him by those who had convened at Tyre; and Marcellus, because he did not hold the opinions with which he was charged; and Asclepas, because he had been re-established in his diocese by the vote of Eusebius Pamphilus and of many other judges; that this was true he proved by the records of the trial; and lastly, Lucius, because his accusers had fled. They wrote to the parishes of each of the acquitted, commanding them to receive and recognize their bishops. They stated that Gregory had not been nominated by them bishop of Alexandria; nor Basil, bishop of Ancyra; nor Quintianus, bishop of Gaza; and that they had not received these men into communion, and did not even account them Christians. They deposed from the episcopates, Theodore, bishop of Thrace; Narcissus, bishop of Irenopolis; Acacius, bishop of Caesarea, in Palestine; Menophantus, bishop of Ephesus; Ursacius, bishop of Sigidunus in Moesia; Valens, bishop of Mursia in Pannonia; and George, bishop of Laodicea, although this latter had not attended the Synod with the Eastern bishops. They ejected the above-named individuals from the priesthood and from communion, because they separated the Son from the substance of the Father, and had received those who had been formerly posed on account of their holding the Arian heresy, and had, moreover, promoted them to the highest offices in the service of God. After they had excided them for these perversions and decreed them to be aliens to the Catholic Church, they afterwards wrote to the bishops of every nation, commanding them to confirm these decrees, and to be of one mind on doctrinal subjects with themselves. They likewise compiled another document of faith, which was more copious than that of Nicaea, although the same thought was carefully preserved, and very little change was made in the words of that instrument. Hosius and Protogenes, who held the first rank among the Western bishops assembled at Sardica, fearing perhaps lest they should be suspected of making any innovations upon the doctrines of the Nicene council, wrote to Julius, and testified that they were firmly attached to these doctrines, but, pressed by the need of perspicuity, they had to expand the identical thought, in order that the Arians might not take advantage of the brevity of the document, to draw those who were unskilled in dialectics into some absurdity. When what I have related had been transacted by each party, the conference was dissolved, and the members returned to their respective homes. This Synod was held during the consulate of Rufinus and Eusebius, and about eleven years after the death of Constantine. There were about three hundred bishops of cities in the West, and upwards of seventy-six Eastern bishops, among whom was Ischyrion, who had been appointed bishop of Mareotis by the enemies of Athanasius.


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. 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 Nicaean 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 Nicaea. 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 Nicaean 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.


I SHALL commence my recital with Egypt and the two men named Macarius, who were the celebrated chiefs of Scetis and of the neighboring mountain; the one was a native of Egypt, the other was called Politicus, because he was a citizen and was of Alexandrian origin. They were both so wonderfully endowed with Divine knowledge and philosophy, that the demons regarded them with terror, and they wrought many extraordinary works and miraculous cures. The Egyptian, the story says, restored a dead man to life, in order to convince a heretic of the truth of the resurrection from the dead. He lived about ninety years, sixty of which he passed in the deserts. When in his youth he commenced the study of philosophy, he progressed so rapidly, that the monks surnamed him "old child," and at the age of forty he was ordained presbyter. The other Macarius became a presbyter at a later period of his life; he was proficient in all the exercises of asceticism, some of which he devised himself, and what particulars he heard among other ascetics, he carried through to success in every form, so that by thoroughly drying up his skin, the hairs of his beard ceased to grow. Pambo, Heraclides, Cronius, Paphnutius, Putubastus, Arsisius, Serapion the Great, Piturion, who dwelt near Thebes, and Pachomius, the founder of the monks called the Tabennesians, flourished at the same place and period. The attire and government of this sect differed in some respects from those of other monks. Its members were, however, devoted to virtue, they contemned the things of earth, excited the soul to heavenly contemplation, and prepared it to quit the body with joy. They were clothed in skins in remembrance of Elias, it appears to me, because they thought that the virtue of the prophet would be thus always retained in their memory, and that they would be enabled, like him to resist manfully the seductions of amorous pleasures, to be influenced by similar zeal, and be incited to the practice of sobriety by the hope of an equal reward. It is said that the peculiar vestments of these Egyptian monks had reference to some secret connected with their philosophy, and did not differ from those of others without some adequate cause. They wore their tunics without sleeves, in order to teach that the hands ought not to be ready to do presumptuous evil. They wore a covering on their heads called a cowl, to show that they ought to live with the same innocence and purity as infants who are nourished with milk, and wear a covering of the same form. Their girdle, and a species of scarf, which they wear across the loins, shoulders, and arms, admonish them that they ought to be always ready in the service and work of God. I am aware that other reasons have been assigned for their peculiarity of attire, but what I have said appears to me to be sufficient. It is said that Pachomius at first practiced philosophy alone in a cave, but that a holy angel appeared to him, and commanded him to call together some young monks, and live with them, for he had succeeded well in pursuing philosophy by himself, and to train them by the laws which were about to be delivered to him, and now he was to possess and benefit many as a leader of communities. A tablet was then given to him, which is still carefully preserved. Upon this tablet were inscribed injunctions by which he was bound to permit every one to eat, to drink, to work, and to fast, according to his capabilities of so doing; those who ate heartily were to be subjected to arduous labor, and the ascetic were to have more easy tasks assigned them; he was commanded to have many cells erected, in each of which three monks were to dwell, who were to take their meals at a common refectory in silence, and to sit around the table with a veil thrown over the rice, so that they might not be able to see each other or anything but the table and what was set before them; they were not to admit strangers to eat with them, with the exception of travelers, to whom they were to show hospitality; those who desired to live with them, were first to undergo a probation of three years, during which time the most laborious tasks were to be done, and, by this method they could share in their community. They were to clothe themselves in skins, and to wear woolen tiaras adorned with purple nails, and linen tunics and girdles. They were to sleep in their tunics and garments of skin, reclining on long chairs specially constructed by being closed on each side, so that it could hold the material of each couch. On the first and last days of the week they were to approach the altar for the communion in the holy mysteries, and were then to unloose their girdles and throw off their robes of skin. They were to pray twelve times every day and as often during the evening, and were to offer up the same number of prayers during the night. At the ninth hour they were to pray thrice, and when about to partake of food they were to sing a psalm before each prayer. The whole community was to be divided into twenty-four classes, each of which was to be distinguished by one of the letters of the Greek alphabet, and so that each might have a cognomen fitting to the grade of its conduct and habit. Thus the name of Iota was given to the more simple, and that of Zeta or of Xi to the crooked, and the names of the other letters were chosen according as the purpose of the order most fittingly answered the form of the letter.

These were the laws by which Pachomius ruled his own disciples. He was a man who loved men and was beloved of God, so that he could foreknow future events, and was frequently admitted to intercourse with the holy angels. He resided at Tabenna, in Thebais, and hence the name Tabennesians, which still continues. By adopting these rules for their government, they became very renowned, and in process of time increased so vastly, that they reached to the number of seven thousand men. But the community on the island of Tabenna with which Pachomius lived, consisted of about thirteen hundred; the others resided in the Thebais and the rest of Egypt. They all observed one and the same rule of life, and possessed everything in common. They regarded the community established in the island of Tabenna as their mother, and the rulers of it as their fathers and their princes.

About the same period, Apollonius became celebrated by his profession of monastic philosophy. It is said that from the age of fifteen he devoted himself to philosophy in the deserts, and that when he attained the age of forty, he went according to a Divine command he then received, to dwell in regions inhabited by men. He had likewise a community in the Thebais. He was greatly beloved of God, and was endowed with the power of performing miraculous cures and notable works. He was exact in the observance of duty, and instructed others in philosophy with great goodness and kindness. He was acceptable to such a degree in his prayers, that nothing of what he asked from God was denied him, but he was so wise that he always proffered prudent requests and such as the Divine Being is ever ready to grant.

I believe that Anuph the divine, lived about this period. I have been informed that from the time of the persecution, when he first avowed his attachment to Christianity, he never uttered a falsehood, nor desired the things of earth. All his prayers and supplications to God were duly answered, and he was instructed by a holy angel in every virtue. Let, however, what we have said of the Egyptian monks suffice.

The same species of philosophy was about this time cultivated in Palestine, after being learned in Egypt, and Hilarion the divine then acquired great celebrity. He was a native of Thabatha, a village situated near the town of Gaze, towards the south, and hard by a torrent which fills into the sea, and received the same name as the village, from the people of that country. When he was studying grammar at Alexandria, he went out into the desert to see the monk Antony the Great and in his company he learned to adopt a like philosophy. After spending a short time there, he returned to his own country, because he was not allowed to be as quiet as he wished, on account of the multitudes who flocked around Antony. On finding his parents dead, he distributed his patrimony among his brethren and the poor, and without reserving anything whatever for himself, he went to dwell in a desert situated near the sea, and about twenty stadia from his native village. His cell residence was a very little house, and was constructed of bricks, chips and broken tiles, and was of such a breadth, height, and length that no one could stand in it without bending the head, or lie down in it without drawing up the feet; for in everything he strove to accustom himself to hardship and to the subjugation of luxurious ease. To none of those we have known did he yield in the high reach of his unboastful and approved temperance. He contended against hunger and thirst, cold and heat, and other afflictions of the body and of the soul. He was earnest in conduct, grave in discourse, and with a good memory and accurate attainment in Sacred Writ. He was so beloved by God, that even now many afflicted and possessed people are healed at his tomb. It is remarkable that he was first interred in the island of Cyprus, but that his remains are now deposited in Palestine; for it so happened, that he died during his residence in Cyprus, and was buried by the inhabitants with great honor and respect. But Hesychas, one of the most renowned of his disciples, stole the body, conveyed it to Palestine, and interred it in his own monastery. From that period, the inhabitants conducted a public and brilliant festival yearly; for it is the custom in Palestine to bestow this honor on those among them, who have attained renown by their goodness, such as Aurelius, Anthedonius, Alexion, a native of Bethagathon, and Alaphion, a native of Asalea, who, during the reign of Constantius, lived religiously and courageously in the practice of philosophy, and by their personal virtues they caused a considerable increase to the faith [among the cities and villages that were still under the pagan superstition.

About the same period, Julian practiced philosophy near Edessa; he attempted a very severe and incorporeal method of life so that he seemed to consist of bones and skin without flesh. The setting forth of the history is due to Ephraim, the Syrian writer, who wrote the story of Julian's life. God himself confirmed the high opinion which men had formed of him; for He bestowed on him the power of expelling demons and of healing all kinds of diseases, without having recourse to drugs, but simply by prayer.

Besides the above, many other ecclesiastical philosophers flourished in the territories of Edessa and Amida, and about the mountain called Gaugalius; among these were Daniel and Simeon. But I shall now say nothing further of the Syrian monks; I shall further on, if God will, describe them more fully.

It is said that Eustathius, who governed the church of Sebaste in Armenia, founded a society of monks in Armenia, Paphlagonia, and Pontus, and became the author of a zealous discipline, both as to what meats were to be partaken of or to be avoided, what garments were to be worn, and what customs and exact course of conduct were to be adopted. Some assert that he was the author of the ascetic treatises commonly attributed to Basil of Cappadocia. It is said that his great exactness led him into certain extravagances which were altogether contrary to the laws of the Church. Many persons, however, justify him from this accusation, and throw the blame upon some of his disciples, who condemned marriage, refused to pray to God in the houses of married persons, despised married presbyters, fasted on Lord's days, held their assemblies in private houses, denounced the rich as altogether without part in the kingdom of God, contemned those who partook of animal food. They did not retain the customary tunics and stoles for their dress, but used a strange and unwonted garb, and made many other innovations. Many women were deluded by them, and left their husbands; but, not being able to practice continence, they fell into adultery. Other women, under the pretext of religion, cut off their hair, and behaved otherwise than is fitting to a woman, by arraying themselves in men's apparel. The bishops of the neighborhood of Gangroe, the metropolis of Paphlagonia, assembled themselves together, and declared that all those who imbibed these opinions should be aliens to the Catholic Church, unless, according to the definitions of the Synod, they would renounce each of the aforesaid customs. It is said that from that time, Eustathius exchanged his clothing for the stole, and made his journeys habited like other priests, thus proving that he had not introduced and practiced these novelties out of self-will, but for the sake of a godly asceticism. He was as renowned for his discourses as for the purity of his life. To confess the truth, he was not eloquent, nor had he ever studied the art of eloquence; yet he had admirable sense and a high capacity of persuasion, so that he induced several men and women, who were living in fornication, to enter upon a temperate and earnest course of life. It is related that a certain man and woman, who, according to the custom of the Church, had devoted themselves to a life of virginity, were accused of cohabiting together. He strove to make them cease from their intercourse; finding that his remonstrances produced no effect upon them, he sighed deeply, and said that a woman who had been legally married had, on one occasion, heard him discourse on the advantage of continence, and was thereby so deeply affected that she voluntarily abstained from legitimate intercourse with her own husband, and that the weakness of his powers of conviction was, on the other hand, attested by the fact, that the parties above mentioned persisted in their illegal course. Such were the men who originated the practice of monastic discipline in the regions above mentioned.

Although the Thracians, the Illyrians, and the other European nations were still inexperienced in monastic communities, yet they were not altogether lacking in men devoted to philosophy. Of these, Martin, the descendant of a noble family of Saboria in Pannonia, was the most illustrious. He was originally a noted warrior, and the commander of armies; but, accounting the service of God to be a more honorable profession, he embraced a life of philosophy, and lived, in the first place, in Illyria. Here be zealously defended the orthodox doctrines against the attacks of the Arian bishops, and after being plotted against and frequently beaten by the people, he was driven from the country. He then went to Milan, and dwelt alone. He was soon, however, obliged to quit his place of retreat on account of the machinations of Auxentius, bishop of that region, who did not hold soundly to the Nicene faith; and he went to an island called Gallenaria, where he remained for some time, satisfying himself with roots of plants. Gallenaria is a small and uninhabited island lying in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Martin was afterwards appointed bishop of the church of Tarracinae (Tours). He was so richly endowed with miraculous gifts that he restored a dead man to life, and performed other signs as wonderful as those wrought by the apostles. We have heard that Hilary, a man divine in his life and conversation, lived about the same time, and in the same country; like Martin, he was obliged [to flee from his place of abode, on account of his zeal in defense of the faith.

I have now related what I have been able to ascertain concerning the individuals who practiced philosophy in piety and ecclesiastical rites. There were many others who were noted in the churches about the same period on account of their great eloquence, and among these the most distinguished were, Eusebius, who administered the priestly office at Emesa; Titus, bishop of Bostra; Serapion, bishop of Thmuis; Basil, bishop of Ancyra; Eudoxius, bishop of Germanicia; Acacius, bishop of Caesarea; and Cyril, who controlled the see of Jerusalem. A proof of their education is in the books they have written and left behind, and the many things worthy of record.


DIDYMUS, an ecclesiastical writer and president of the school of sacred learning in Alexandria, flourished about the same period. He was acquainted with every branch of science, and was conversant with poetry and rhetoric, with astronomy and geometry, with arithmetic, and with the various theories of philosophy. He had acquired all this knowledge by the efforts of his own mind, aided by the sense of hearing, for he became blind during his first attempt at learning the rudiments. When he had advanced to youth, he manifested an ardent desire to acquire speech and training, and for this purpose he frequented the teachers of these branches, but learned by hearing only, where he made such rapid progress that he speedily comprehended the difficult theorems in mathematics. It is said that he learned the letters of the alphabet by means of tablets in which they were engraved, and which he felt with his fingers; and that he made himself acquainted with syllables and words by the force of attention and memory, and by listening attentively to the sounds. His was a very extraordinary case, and many persons resorted to Alexandria for the express purpose of hearing, or, at least, of seeing him. His firmness in defending the doctrines of the Nicaean council was extremely displeasing to the Arians. He easily carried conviction to the minds of his audience by persuasion rather than by power of reasoning, and he constituted each one a judge of the ambiguous points. He was much sought after by the members of the Catholic Church, and was praised by the orders of monks in Egypt, and by Antony the Great.

It is related that when Antony left the desert and repaired to Alexandria to give his testimony in favor of the doctrines of Athanasius, he said to Didymus, "It is not a severe thing, nor does it deserve to be grieved over, O Didymus, that you are deprived of the organs of sight which are possessed by rats, mice, and the lowest animals; but it is a great blessing to possess eyes like angels, whereby you can contemplate keenly the Divine Being, and see accurately the true knowledge." In Italy and its territories, Eusebius and Hilary, whom I have already mentioned, were conspicuous for strength in the use of their native tongue, whose treatises concerning the faith and against the heterodox, they say, were approvingly circulated. Lucifer, as the story goes, was the founder of a heresy which bears his name, and flourished at this period. Aetius was likewise held in high estimation among the heterodox; he was a dialectician, apt in syllogism and proficient in disputation, and a diligent student of such forms, but without art. He reasoned so boldly concerning the nature of God, that many persons gave him the name of "Atheist." It is said that he was originally a physician of Antioch in Syria, and that, as he frequently attended meetings of the churches, and thought over the Sacred Scriptures, he became acquainted with Gallus, who was then Caesar, and who honored religion much and cherished its professors. It seems likely that, as Aetius obtained the esteem of Caesar by means of these disputations, he devoted himself the more assiduously to these pursuits, in order to progress in the favor of the emperor. It is said that he was versed in the philosophy of Aristotle, and frequented the schools in which it was taught at Alexandria.

Besides the individuals above specified, there were many others in the churches who were capable of instructing the people and of reasoning concerning the doctrines of the Holy Scriptures. It would be too great a task to attempt to name them all. Let it not be accounted strange, if I have bestowed commendations upon the leaders or enthusiasts of the above- mentioned heresies. I admire their eloquence, and their impressiveness in discourse. I leave their doctrines to be judged by those whose right it is. For I have not been set forth to record such matters, nor is it befitting in history; I have only to give an account of events as they happened, not supplementing my own additions. Of those who at that time became most distinguished in education and discourse and who used the Roman and Greek languages, I have enumerated in the above narrative as many as I have received an account of.


EPHRAIM the Syrian was entitled to the highest honors, and was the greatest ornament of the Catholic Church. He was a native of Nisibis, or his family was of the neighboring territory. He devoted his life to monastic philosophy; and although he received no instruction, he became, contrary to all expectation, so proficient in the learning and language of the Syrians, that he comprehended with ease the most abstruse theorems of philosophy. His style of writing was so replete with splendid oratory and with richness and temperateness of thought that he surpassed the most approved writers of Greece. If the works of these writers were to be translated into Syriac, or any other language, and divested, as it were, of the beauties of the Greek language, they would retain little of their original elegance and value. The productions of Ephraim have not this disadvantage: they were translated into Greek during his life, and translations are even now being made, and yet they preserve much of their original force, so that his works are not less admired when read in Greek than when read in Syriac. Basil, who was subsequently bishop of the metropolis of Cappadocia, was a great admirer of Ephraim, and was astonished at his erudition. The opinion of Basil, who is universally confessed to have been the most eloquent man of his age, is a stronger testimony, I think, to the merit of Ephraim, than anything that could be indited to his praise. It is said that he wrote three hundred thousand verses, and that he had many disciples who were zealously attached to his doctrines. The most celebrated of his disciples were Abbas, Zenobius, Abraham, Maras, and Simeon, in whom the Syrians and whoever among them pursued accurate learning make a great boast. Paulanas and Aranad are praised for their finished speech, although reported to have deviated from sound doctrine.

I am not ignorant that there were some very learned men who formerly flourished in Osroene, as, for instance, Bardasanes, who devised a heresy designated by his name, and Harmonius, his son. It is related that this latter was deeply versed in Grecian erudition, and was the first to subdue his native tongue to meters and musical laws; these verses he delivered to the choirs, and even now the Syrians frequently sing, not the precise copies by Harmonius, but the same melodies. For as Harmonius was not altogether free from the errors of his father, and entertained various opinions concerning the soul, the generation and destruction of the body, and the regeneration which are taught by the Greek philosophers, he introduced some of these sentiments into the lyrical songs which he composed. When Ephraim perceived that the Syrians were charmed with the elegance of the diction and the rhythm of the melody, he became apprehensive, lest they should imbibe the same opinions; and therefore, although he was ignorant of Grecian learning, he applied himself to the understanding of the metres of Harmonius, and composed similar poems in accordance with the doctrines of the Church, and wrought also in sacred hymns and in the praises of passionless men. From that period the Syrians sang the odes of Ephraim according to the law of the ode established by Harmonius. The execution of this work is alone sufficient to attest the natural endowments of Ephraim. He was as celebrated for the good actions he performed as for the rigid course of discipline he pursued. He was particularly fond of tranquil-lily. He was so serious and so careful to avoid giving occasion to calumny, that he refrained from the very sight of women. It is related that a female of careless life, who was either desirous of tempting him, or who had been bribed for the purpose, contrived on one occasion to meet him face to face, and fixed her eyes intently upon him; he rebuked her, and commanded her to look down upon the ground, "Wherefore should I obey your injunction," replied the woman; "for I was born not of the earth, but of you? It would be more just if you were to look down upon the earth whence you sprang, while I look upon you, as I was born of you." Ephraim, astonished at the little woman, recorded the whole transaction in a book, which most Syrians regard as one of the best of his productions. It is also said of him, that, although he was naturally prone to passion, he never exhibited angry feeling toward any one from the period of his embracing a monastic life. It once happened that after he had, according to custom, been fasting several days, his attendant, in presenting some food to him, let fall the dish on which it was placed. Ephraim, perceiving that he was overwhelmed with shame and terror, said to him, "Take courage; we will go to the food as the food does not come to us"; and he immediately seated himself beside the fragments of the dish, and ate his supper. What I am about to relate will suffice to show that he was totally exempt from the love of vainglory. He was appointed bishop of some town, and attempts were made to convey him away for the purpose of ordaining him. As soon as he became aware of what was intended, he ran to the market-place, and showed himself as a madman by stepping in a disorderly way, dragging his clothes along, and eating in public. Those who had come to carry him away to be their bishop, on seeing him in this state, believed that he was out of his mind, and departed; and he, meeting with an opportunity for effecting his escape, remained in concealment until another had been ordained in his place. What I have now said concerning Ephraim must suffice, although his own countrymen relate many other anecdotes of him. Yet his conduct on one occasion, shortly before his death, appears to me so worthy of remembrance that I shall record it here. The city of Edessa being severely visited by famine, he quitted the solitary cell in which he pursued philosophy, and rebuked the rich for permitting the poor to die around them, instead of imparting to them of their superfluities; and he represented to them by his philosophy, that the wealth which they were treasuring up so carefully would turn to their own condemnation, and to the ruin of the soul, which is of more value than all riches, and the body itself and all other values, and he proved that they were putting no estimate upon their souls, because of their actions. The rich men, revering the man and his words, replied, "We are not intent upon hoarding our wealth, but we know of no one to whom we can confide the distribution of our goods, for all are prone to seek after lucre, and to betray the trust placed in them." "What think you of me?" asked Ephraim. On their admitting that they considered him an efficient, excellent, and good man, and worthy, and that he was exactly what his reputation confirmed, he offered to undertake the distribution of their alms. As soon as he received their money, he had about three hundred beds fitted up in the public porches; and here he tended those who were ill and suffering from the effects of the famine, whether they were foreigners or natives of the surrounding country. On the cessation of the famine he returned to the cell in which he had previously dwelt; and, after the lapse of a few days, he expired. He attained no higher clerical degree than that of deacon, although he became no less famous for his virtue than those who are ordained to the priesthood and are admired for the conversation of a good life and for learning. I have now given some account of the virtue of Ephraim. It would require a more experienced hand than mine, to furnish a full description of his character and that of the other illustrious men who, about the same period, had devoted themselves to a life and career of philosophy; and for some things, it would require such a writer as he himself was. The attempt is beyond my powers by reason of weakness of language, and ignorance of the men themselves and their exploits. Some of them concealed themselves in the deserts. Others, who lived in the intercourse of cities, strove to preserve a mean appearance, and to seem as if they differed in no respect from the multitude, working out their virtue, concealing a true estimate of themselves, that they might avoid the praises of others. For as they were intent upon the exchange of future benefits, they made God alone the witness of their thoughts, and had no concern for outward glory.


THOSE who presided over the churches at this period were noted for personal conduct, and, as might be expected, the people whom they governed were earnestly attached to the worship of Christ. Religion daily progressed, by the zeal, virtue, and wonderful works of the priests, and of the ecclesiastical philosophers, who attracted the attention of the pagans, and led them to renounce their superstitions. The emperors who then occupied the throne were as zealous as was their father in protecting the churches, and they granted honors and tax exemptions to the clergy, their children, and their slaves. They confirmed the laws enacted by their father, and enforced new ones prohibiting the offering of sacrifice, the worship of images, or any other pagan observance. They commanded that all temples, whether in cities or in the country, should be closed. Some of these temples were presented to the churches, when either the ground they stood on or the materials for building were required. The greatest possible care was bestowed upon the houses of prayer, those which had been defaced by time were repaired, and others were erected from the foundations in a style of extraordinary magnificence. The church of Emesa is one most worthy to see and famous for its beauty. The Jews were strictly forbidden to purchase a slave belonging to any other heresy than their own. If they transgressed this law, the slave was confiscated to the public; but if they administered to him the Jewish rite of circumcision, the penalties were death and total confiscation of property. For, as the emperors were desirous of promoting by every means the spread of Christianity, they deemed it necessary to prevent the Jews from proselyting those whose ancestors were of another religion, and those who were holding the hope of professing Christianity were carefully reserved for the Church; for it was from the pagan multitudes that the Christian religion increased.


THE emperors had, from the beginning, preserved their father's view about doctrine; for they both favored the Nicene form of belief. Constans maintained these opinions till his death; Constantius held a similar view for some time; he, however, renounced his former sentiments when the term "consubstantial" was calumniated, yet he did not altogether refrain from confessing that the Son is of like substance with the Father. The followers of Eusebius, and other bishops of the East, who were admired for their speech and life, made a distinction, as we know, between the term "consubstantial" (homoousios) and the expression "of like substance," which latter they designated by the term, "homoiousios." They say that the term "consubstantial" (homoousios) properly belongs to corporeal beings, such as men and other animals, trees and plants, whose participation and origin is in like things; but that the term "homoiousios" appertains exclusively to incorporeal beings, such as God and the angels, of each one of whom a conception is formed according to his own peculiar substance. The Emperor Constantius was deceived by this distinction; and although I am certain that he retained the same doctrines as those held by his father and brother, yet he adopted a change of phraseology, and, instead of rising the term "homoousios," made use of the term "homoiousios." The teachers to whom we have alluded maintained that it was necessary to be thus precise in the use of terms, and that otherwise we should be in danger of conceiving that to be a body which is incorporeal. Many, however, regard this distinction as an absurdity, "for," say they, "the things which are conceived by the mind can be designated only by names derived from things which are seen; and there is no danger in the use of words, provided that there be no error about the idea.


IT is not surprising that the Emperor Constantius was induced to adopt the use of the term "homoiousios," for it was admitted by many priests who conformed to the doctrines of the Nicaean council. Many use the two words indifferently, to convey the same meaning. Hence, it appears to me, that the Arians departed greatly from the truth when they affirmed that, after the council of Nicaea, many of the priests, among whom were Eusebius and Theognis, refused to admit that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, and that Constantine was in consequence so indignant, that he condemned them to banishment. They say that it was afterwards revealed to his sister by a dream or a vision from God, that these bishops held orthodox doctrines and had suffered unjustly; and that the emperor thereupon recalled them, and demanded of them wherefore they had departed from the Nicene doctrines, since they had been participants in the document concerning the faith which had been there framed; and that they urged in reply that they had not assented to those doctrines from conviction, but from the fear that, if the disputes then existing were prolonged, the emperor, who was then just beginning to embrace Christianity, and who was yet unbaptized, might be impelled to return to Paganism, as seemed likely, and to persecute the Church. They assert that Constantine was pleased with this defense, and determined upon convening another council; but that, being pre- vented by death from carrying his scheme into execution, the task devolved upon his eldest son, Constantius, to whom he represented that it would avail him nothing to be possessed of imperial power, unless he could establish uniformity of worship throughout his empire; and Constantius they say, at the instigation of his father, convened a council at Ariminum. This story is easily seen to be a gross fabrication, for the council was convened during the consulate of Hypatius and Eusebius, and twenty-two years after Constantius had, on the death of his father, succeeded to the empire. Now, during this interval of twenty-two years, many councils were held, in which debates were carried on concerning the terms "homoousias" and "homoiousios." No one, it appears, ventured to deny that the Son is of like substance with the Father, until Actius, by starting a contrary opinion, so offended the emperor that, in order to arrest the course of the heresy, he commanded the priests to assemble themselves together at Ariminum and at Seleucia. Thus the true cause of this council being convened was not the command of Constantine, but the question agitated by Aetius. And this will become still more apparent by what we shall hereafter relate.


WHEN Constans was apprised of what had been enacted at Sardica, he wrote to his brother to request him to restore the followers of Athanasius and Paul to their own churches. As Constantius seemed to hesitate, he wrote again, and threatened him with war, unless he would consent to receive the bishops. Constantius, after conferring on the subject with the bishops of the East, judged that it would be foolish to excite on this account the horrors of civil war. He therefore recalled Athanasius from Italy, and sent public carriages to convey him on his return homewards, and wrote several letters requesting his speedy return. Athanasius, who was then residing at Aquilea, on receiving the letters of Constantius, repaired to Rome to take leave of Julius and his friends. Julius parted from him with great demonstrations of friendship, and gave him a letter addressed to the clergy and people of Alexandria, in which he spoke of him as a wonderful man, deserving of renown by the numerous trials he had undergone, and congratulated the church of Alexandria on the return of so good a priest, and exhorted them to follow his doctrines.

He then proceeded to Antioch in Syria, where the emperor was then residing. Leontius presided over the churches of that region; for after the flight of Eustathius, those who held heretical sentiments had seized the see of Antioch. The first bishop they appointed was Euphronius; to him succeeded Placetus; and afterwards Stephen. This latter was deposed as being unworthy of the dignity, and Leontius obtained the bishopric. Athanasius avoided him as a heretic, and communed with those who were called Eustathians, who assembled in a private house. Since he found that Constantius was well disposed, and agreeable, and it looked as if the emperor would restore his own church to him, Constantius, at the instigation of the leaden of the opposing heresy, replied as follows "I am ready to perform all that I promised when I recalled you; but it is just that you should in return grant me a favor, and that is, that you yield one of the numerous churches which are under your sway to those who are averse to holding communion with you." Athanasius replied: "O emperor, it is exceedingly just and necessary to obey your commands, and I will not gainsay, but as in the city of Antioch there are many who eschew communion between the heterodox and ourselves, I seek a like favor that one church may be conceded to us, and that we may assemble there in safety." As the request of Athanasius appeared reasonable to the emperor, the heterodox deemed it more politic to keep quiet; for they reflected that their peculiar opinions could never gain any ground in Alexandria, on account of Athanasius, who was able both to retain those who held the same sentiments as himself, and lead those of contrary opinions; and that, moreover if they gave up one of the churches of Antioch, the Eustathians, who were very numerous, would assemble together, and then probably attempt innovations, since it would be possible for them without risk to retain those whom they held. Besides, the heterodox perceived that, although the government of the churches was in their hands, all the clergy and people did not conform to their doctrines. When they sang hymns to God, they were, according to custom, divided into choirs, and, at the end of the odes, each one declared what were his own peculiar sentiments. Some offered praise to "the Father and the Son," regarding them as co-equal in glory; others glorified "The Father by the Son," to denote by the insertion of the preposition that they considered the Son to be inferior to the Father. While these occurrences took place, Leontius, the bishop of the opposite faction, who then presided over the see of Antioch, did not dare to prohibit the singing of hymns to God which were in accordance with the tradition of the Nicaean Synod, for he feared to excite an insurrection of the people. It is related, however, that he once raised his hand to his head, the hairs of which were quite white, and said, "When this snow is dissolved, there will be plenty of mud." By this he intended to signify that, after his death, the different modes of singing hymns would give rise to great seditions, and that his successors would not show the same consideration to the people which he had manifested.


THE emperor, on sending back Athanasius to Egypt, wrote in his favor to the bishops and presbyters of that country, and to the people of the church of Alexandria; he testified to the integrity of his conduct and the virtue of his manners, and exhorted them to be of one mind, and to unite in prayer and service to God under his guidance. He added that, if any evil-disposed persons should excite disturbances, they should receive the punishment awarded by the laws for such offenses. He also commanded that the former decrees he had enacted against Athanasius, and those who were in communion with him, should be effaced from the public registers, and that his clergy should be admitted to the same exemptions they had previously enjoyed; and edicts to this effect were dispatched to the governors of Egypt and Libya.

Immediately on his arrival in Egypt, Athanasius displaced those whom he knew to be attached to Arianism, and placed the government of the Church and the confession of the Nicaean council in the hands of those whom he approved, and he exhorted them to hold to this with earnestness. It was said at that time, that, when he was traveling through other countries, he effected the same change, if be happened to visit churches which were under the Arians. He was certainly accused of having dared to perform the ceremony of ordination in cities where he had no right to do so. But because he had effected his return, although his enemies were unwilling, and it did not seem that he could be easily cast under suspicion, in that he was honored with the friendship of the Emperor Constans, he was regarded with greater consideration than before. Many bishops, who had previously been at enmity with him, received him into communion, particularly those of Palestine. When he at that time visited these latter, they received him kindly. They held a Synod at Jerusalem, and Maximus and the others wrote the following letter in his favor.


"THE holy Synod assembled at Jerusalem, to the presbyters, deacons, and people of Egypt, Libya, and Alexandria, our beloved and most cherished brethren, greeting in the Lord.

"We can never, O beloved, return adequate thanks to God, the Creator of all things, for the wonderful works he has now accomplished, particularly for the blessings He has conferred on your churches by the restoration of Athanasius, your shepherd and lord, and our fellow-minister. Who could have hoped to have ever seen this with his eyes, which now you are realizing in deed? But truly your prayers have been heard by the God of the universe who is concerned for His Church, and who has regarded your tears and complaint, and on this account has heard your requests. For you were scattered abroad and rent like sheep without a pastor. Therefore, the true Shepherd, who from heaven watched over you, and who is concerned for His own sheep, has restored to you him whom you desired. Behold, we do all things for the peace of the Church, and are influenced by love like yours. Therefore we received and embraced your pastor, and, having held communion with you through him, we dispatch this address and our eucharistic prayers that you may know how we are united by the bond of love to him and you. It is right that you should pray for the piety of the emperors most beloved of God, who having recognized your desire about him and his purity determined to restore him to you with every honor. Receive him, then, with uplifted hands, and be zealous to send aloft the requisite eucharistic prayers in his behalf to the God who has conferred these benefits upon you; and may you ever rejoice with God, and glorify the Lord in Christ Jesus our Lord, by whom be glory to the Father throughout all ages. Amen."


Such was the letter written by the Synod convened in Palestine. Some time after Athanasius had the satisfaction of seeing the injustice of the sentence enacted against him by the council of Tyre publicly recognized. Valens and Ursacius, who had been sent with Theognis and his followers to obtain information in Mareotis, as we before mentioned, concerning the holy cup which Ischyrion had accused Athanasius of having broken, wrote the following retraction to Julius, bishop of Rome: —

"Ursacius and Valens, to the most blessed Lord Pope Julius.

"Since we previously, as is well known made many various charges' against Athanasius, the bishop, by our letters, and although we have been urged persistently by the epistles of your excellency in this matter which we publicly alleged and have not been able to give a reason for our accusation, therefore, we now confess to your excellency in the presence of all the presbyters, our brethren, that all that you have heard concerning the aforesaid Athanasius is utterly false and fictitious, and in every way foreign to his nature. For this reason, we joyfully enter into communion with him, particularly as your piety in accordance with your implanted love of goodness has granted forgiveness to us for our error. Moreover, we declare unto you that if the bishops of the East, or even Athanasius himself, should at any time malignantly summon us to judgment, we would not sever ourselves from your judgment and disposition about the case. We now and ever shall anathematize, as we formerly did in the memorial which we presented at Milan, the heretic Arius and his followers, who say that there was a time, in which the Son existed not, and that Christ is from that which had no existence, and who deny that Christ was God and the Son of God before all ages. We again protest, in our own handwriting, that we shall ever condemn the aforesaid Arian heresy, and its originators.

"I, Ursacius, sign this confession with my own signature. In like manner also Valens."

This was the confession which they sent to Julius. It is also necessary to append to it their letter to Athanasius: it is as follows: —


"THE bishops, Ursacius and Valens, to Athanasius, our brother in the Lord.

"We take the opportunity of the departure of Museus, our brother and fellow-presbyter, who is going to your esteemed self, O beloved brother, to send you amplest greeting from Aquileia through him, and hope that our letter will find you in good health. You will afford us great encouragement if you will write us a reply to this letter. Know that we are at peace and in ecclesiastical communion with you."

Athanasius therefore returned under such circumstances from the West to Egypt. Paul, Marcellus, Asclepas, and Lucius, whom the edict of the emperor had returned from exile, received their own sees. Immediately on the return of Paul to Constantinople Macedonius retired, and held church in private. There was a great tumult at Ancyra on the deposition of Basil from the church there, and the reinstallation of Marcellus. The other bishops were reinstated in their churches without difficulty.



Four years after the council of Sardica, Constans was killed in Western Gaul. Magnentius, who had plotted his murder, reduced the entire government of Constans under his own sway. In the meantime Vetranio was proclaimed emperor at Sirmium, by the Illyrian troops. Nepotian, the son of the late emperor's sister, gathered about him a body of gladiators, and wrangled for the imperial power, and ancient Rome had the greatest share of these evils. Nepotian, however, was put to death by the soldiers of Magnentius. Constantius, finding himself the sole master of the empire, was proclaimed sole ruler, and hastened to depose the tyrants. In the meantime, Athanasius, having arrived in Alexandria, prepared to convene a Synod of the Egyptian bishops, and had the enactments confirmed which had been passed at Sardica, and in Palestine, in his favor.


THE emperor, deceived by the calumnies of the heterodox, changed his mind, and, in opposition to the decrees of the council of Sardica, exiled the bishops whom he had previously restored. Marcellus was again deposed, and Basil re-acquired possession of the bishopric of Ancyra. Lucius was thrown into prison, and died there. Paul was condemned to perpetual banishment, and was conveyed to Cucusum, in Armenia, where he died. I have never, however, been able to ascertain whether or not he died a natural death. It is still reported, that he was strangled by the adherents of Macedonius. As soon as he was sent into exile, Macedonius seized the government of his church; and, being aided by several orders of monks whom he had incorporated at Constantinople, and by alliances with many of the neighboring bishops, he commenced, it is said, a persecution against those who held the sentiments of Paul. He ejected them, in the first place, from the church, and then compelled them to enter into communion with himself. Many perished from wounds received in the struggle; some were deprived of their possessions; some, of the rights of citizenship; and others were branded on the forehead with an iron instrument, in order that they might be stamped as infamous. The emperor was displeased when he heard of these transactions, and imputed the blame of them to Macedonius and his adherents.


THE persecution increased in violence, and led to deeds of blood. Martyrius and Marcian were among those who were slain. They had lived in Paul's house, and were delivered up by Macedonius to the governor, as having been guilty of the murder of Hermogenes, and of exciting the former sedition against him. Martyrius was a sub-deacon, and Marcian a singer and a reader of Holy Scripture. Their tomb is famous, and is situated before the walls of Constantinople, as a memorial of the martyrs; it is placed in a house of prayer, which was commenced by John and completed by Sisinnius; these both afterwards presided over the church of Constantinople. For they who had been unworthily adjudged to have no part in the honors of martyrdom, were honored by God, because the very place where those conducted to death had been decapitated, and which previously was not approached on account of ghosts, was now purified, and those who were under the influence of demons were released from the disease, and many other notable miracles were wrought at the tomb. These are the particulars which should be stated concerning Martyrius and Marcian. If what I have related appears to be scarcely credible, it is easy to apply for further information to those who are more accurately acquainted with the circumstances; and perhaps far more wonderful things are related concerning them than those which I have detailed.


ON the expulsion of Athanasius, which took place about this period, George persecuted all those throughout Egypt who refused to conform to his sentiments. The emperor marched into Illyria, and entered Sirmium, whither Vetranio had repaired by appointment. The soldiers who had proclaimed him emperor suddenly changed their mind, and saluted Constantius as sole sovereign, and as Augustus, for both the emperor and his supporters, strove for this very action. Vetranio perceived that he was betrayed, and threw himself as a suppliant at the feet of Constantius. Constantius pitied him indeed, but stripped him of the imperial ornaments and purple, obliged him to return to private life, liberally provided for his wants out of the public treasury, and told him that it was more seemly to an old man to abstain from the cares of empire and to live in quietude. After terminating these arrangements in favor of Vetranio, Constantius sent a large army into Italy against Magnentius. He then conferred the title of Caesar on his cousin Gallus, and sent him into Syria to defend the provinces of the East.


AT the time that Cyril administered the church of Jerusalem after Maximus, the sign of the cross appeared in the heavens. It shone brilliantly, not with divergent rays like a comet, but with the concentration of a great deal of light, apparently dense and yet transparent. Its length was about fifteen stadia from Calvary to the Mount of Olives, and its breadth was in proportion to its length. So extraordinary a phenomenon excited universal terror. Men, women, and children left their houses, the market-place, or their respective employments, and ran to the church, where they sang hymns to Christ together, and voluntarily confessed their belief in God. The intelligence disturbed in no little measure our entire dominions, and this happened rapidly; for, as the custom was, there were travelers from every part of the world, so to speak, who were dwelling at Jerusalem for prayer, or to visit its places of interest, these were spectators of the sign, and divulged the facts to their friends at home. The emperor was made acquainted with the occurrence, partly by numerous reports concerning it which were then current, and partly by a letter from Cyril the bishop. It was said that this prodigy was a fulfillment of an ancient prophecy contained in the Holy Scriptures. It was the means of the conversion of many pagans and Jews to Christianity.


ABOUT this time, Photinus, who administered the church of Sirmium, laid before the emperor, who was then staying at that city, a heresy which he had originated some time previously. His natural ease of utterance and powers of persuasion enabled him to lead many into his own way of thinking. He acknowledged that there was one God Almighty, by whose own word all things were created, but would not admit that the generation and existence of the Son was before all ages; on the contrary, he alleged that Christ derived His existence from Mary. As soon as this opinion was divulged, it excited the indignation of the Western and of the Eastern bishops, and they considered it in common as an innovation of each one's particular belief, for it was equally opposed by those who maintained the doctrines of the Nicaean council, and by those who favored the tenets of Arius. The emperor also regarded the heresy with aversion, and convened a council at Sirmium, where he was then residing. Of the Eastern bishops, George, who governed the church of Alexandria, Basil, bishop of Ancyra, and Mark, bishop of Arethusa, were present at this council; and among the Western bishops were Valens, bishop of Mursa, and Hosius the Confessor. This latter, who had attended the council of Nicaea, was unwillingly a participant of this; he had not long previously been condemned to banishment through the machinations of the Arians; he was summoned to the council of Sirmium by the command of the emperor extorted by the Arians, who believed that their party would be strengthened, if they could gain over, either by persuasion or force, a man held in universal admiration and esteem, as was Hosius. The period at which the council was convened at Sirmium, was the year after the expiration of the consulate of Sergius and Nigrinian; and during this year there were no consuls either in the East or the West, owing to the insurrections excited by the tyrants. Photinus was deposed by this council, because he was accused of countenancing the errors of Sabellius and Paul of Samosata. The council then proceeded to draw up three formularies of faith in addition to the previous confessions, of which one was written in Greek, and the others in Latin. But they did not agree with one another, nor with any other of the former expositions of doctrine, either in word or import. It is not said in the Greek formulary, that the Son is consubstantial, or of like substance, with the Father, but it is there declared, that those who maintain that the Son had no commencement, or that He proceeded from an expansion of the substance of the Father, or that He is united to the Father without being subject to Him, are excommunicated. In one of the Roman formularies, it is forbidden to say, of the essence of the Godhead which the Romans call substance, that the Son is either consubstantial, or of like substance with the Father, as such statements do not occur in the Holy Scriptures, and are beyond the reach of the understanding and knowledge of men. It is said, that the Father must be recognized as superior to the Son in honor, in dignity, in divinity, and in the relationship suggested by His name of Father; and that it must be confessed that the Son, like all created beings, is subject to the Father, that the Father had no commencement, and that the generation of the Son is unknown to all save the Father. It is related, that when this formulary was completed, the bishops became aware of the errors it contained, and endeavored to withdraw it from the public, and to correct it; and that the emperor threatened to punish those who should retain or conceal any of the copies that had been made of it. But having been once published, no efforts were adequate to suppress it altogether.

The third formulary is of the same import as the others. It prohibits the use of the term "substance" on account of the terms used in Latin, while the Greek term having been used with too much simplicity by the Fathers, and having been a cause of offense to many of the unlearned multitude, because it was not to be found in the Scriptures, "we have deemed it right totally to reject the use of it: and we would enjoin the omission of all mention of the term in allusion to the Godhead, for it is nowhere said in the Holy Scriptures, that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are of the same substance, where the word person is written. But we say, in conformity with the Holy Scriptures, that the Son is like unto the Father."

Such was the decision arrived at in the presence of the emperor concerning the faith. Hosius at first refused to assent to it. Compulsion, however, was resorted to; and being extremely old, he sunk, as it is reported, beneath the blows that were inflicted on him, and yielded his consent and signature.

After the deposition of Photinus, the Synod thought it expedient to try whether it were not somehow possible to persuade him to change his views. But when the bishop urged him, and promised to restore his bishopric if he would renounce his own dogma, and vote for their formulary, he would not acquiesce, but challenged them to a discussion. On the day appointed for this purpose, the bishops, therefore, assembled with the judges who had been appointed by the emperor to preside at their meetings, and who, in point of eloquence and dignity, held the first rank in the palace. Basil, bishop of Ancyra, was selected to commence the disputation against Photinus. The conflict lasted a long time, on account of the numerous questions started and the answers given by each party, and which were immediately taken down in short-hand; but finally the victory declared itself in favor of Basil. Photinus was condemned and banished, but did not cease on that account from enlarging his own dogma. He wrote and published many works in Greek and Latin, in which he endeavored to show that all opinions, except his own, were erroneous. I have now concluded all that I had to say concerning Photinus and the heresy to which his name was affixed.


IN the meantime, Magnentius made himself master of ancient Rome, and put numbers of the senators, and of the people, to death. Hearing that the troops of Constantius were approaching, he retired into Gaul; and here the two parties had frequent encounters, in which sometimes the one and sometimes the other was victorious. At length, however, Magnentius was defeated, and fled to Mursa, which is the fortress of this Gaul, and when he saw that his soldiers were dispirited because they had been defeated, he stood on an elevated spot and endeavored to revive their courage. But, although the addressed Magnentius with the acclamations usually paid to emperors, and were ready to shout at his public appearance, they secretly and without premeditation shouted for Constantius as emperor in place of Magnentius. Magnentius, concluding from this circumstance, that he was not destined by God to hold the reins of empire, endeavored to retreat from the fortress to some distant place. But he was pursued by the troops of Constantius, and being overtaken at a spot called Mount Seleucus, he escaped alone from the encounter, and fled to Lugduna. On his arrival there, he slew his own mother and his brother, whom he had named Caesar; and lastly, he killed himself. Not long after, Decentius, another of his brothers, put an end to his own existence. Still the public tumults were not quelled; for not long after, Silvanus assumed the supreme authority in Gaul; but he was put to death immediately by the generals of Constantius.

The Jews of Diocaesarea also overran Palestine and the neighboring territories; they took up arms with the design of shaking off the Roman yoke. On hearing of their insurrection, Gallus Caesar, who was then at Antioch, sent troops against them, defeated them, and destroyed Diocaesarea. Gallus, intoxicated with success, could not bear his prosperity, but aspired to the supreme power, and he slew Magnus, the quaestor, and Domitian, the prefect of the East, because they apprised the emperor of his innovations. The anger of Constantius was excited; and he summoned him to his presence. Gallus did not dare to refuse obedience, and set out on his journey. When, however, he reached the island Elavona he was killed by the emperor's order; this event occurred in the third year of his consulate, and the seventh of Constantius.


ON the death of the tyrants, Constantius anticipated the restoration of peace and cessation of tumults, and quilted Sirmium in order to return to ancient Rome, and to enjoy the honor of a triumph after his victory over the tyrants. He likewise intended to bring the Eastern and the Western bishops, if possible, to one mind concerning doctrine, by convening a council in Italy. Julius died about this period, after having governed the church of Rome during twenty-five years; and Liberius succeeded him. Those who were opposed to the doctrines of the Nicaean council thought this a favorable opportunity to calumniate the bishops whom they had deposed, and to procure their ejection from the church as abettors of false doctrine, and as disturbers of the public peace; and to accuse them of having sought, during the life of Constans, to excite a misunderstanding between the emperors; and it was true, as we related above, that Constans menaced his brother with war unless he would consent to receive the orthodox bishops. Their efforts were principally directed against Athanasius, towards whom they entertained so great an aversion that, even when he was protected by Constans, and enjoyed the friendship of Constantius, they could not conceal their enmity. Narcissus, bishop of Cilicia, Theodore, bishop of Thrace, Eugenius, bishop of Nicaea, Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis, Menophantes, bishop of Ephesus, and other bishops, to the number of thirty, assembled themselves in Antioch, and wrote a letter to all the bishops of every region, in which they stated that Athanasius had returned to his bishopric in violation of the rules of the Church, that he had not justified himself in any council, and that he was only supported by some of his own faction; and they exhorted them not to hold communion with him, nor to write to him, but to enter into communion with George, who had been ordained to succeed him. Athanasius only contemned these proceedings; but he was about to undergo greater trials than any he had yet experienced. Immediately on the death of Magnentius, and as soon as Constantius found himself sole master of the Roman Empire, he directed all his efforts to induce the bishops of the West to admit that the Son is of like substance with the Father. In carrying out this scheme, however, he did not, in the first place, resort to compulsion, but endeavored by persuasion to obtain the concurrence of the other bishops in the decrees of the Eastern bishops against Athanasius; for he thought that if he could bring them to be of one mind on this point, it would be easy for him to regulate aright the affairs connected with religion.


THE emperor was extremely urgent to convene a council in Milan, yet few of the Eastern bishops repaired thither; some, it appears, excused themselves from attendance under the plea of illness; others, on account of the length and difficulties of the journey. There were, however, upwards of three hundred of the Western bishops at the council. The Eastern bishops insisted that Athanasius should be condemned to banishment, and expelled from Alexandria; and the others, either from fear, fraud, or ignorance, assented to the measure. Dionysius, bishop of Alba, the metropolis of Italy, Eusebius, bishop of Vercella in Liguria, Paulinus, bishop of Treves, Rhodanus, and Lucifer, were the only bishops who protested against this decision; and they declared that Athanasius ought not to be condemned on such slight pretexts; and that the evil would not cease with his condemnation; but that those who supported the orthodox doctrines concerning the Godhead would be forthwith subjected to a plot. They represented that the whole measure was a scheme concerted by the emperor and the Arians with the view of suppressing the Nicene faith. Their boldness was punished by an edict of immediate banishment, and Hilary was exiled with them. The result too plainly showed for what purpose the council of Milan had been convened. For the councils which were held shortly after at Ariminum and Seleucia were evidently designed to change the doctrines established by the Nicaean council, as I shall directly show.

Athanasius, being apprised that plots had been formed against him at court, deemed it prudent not to repair to the emperor himself, as he knew that his life would be thereby endangered, nor did he think that it would be of any avail. He, however, selected five of the Egyptian bishops, among whom was Serapion, bishop of Thumis, a prelate distinguished by the wonderful sanctity of his life and the power of his eloquence, and sent them with three presbyters of the Church to the emperor, who was then in the West. They were directed to attempt, if possible, to conciliate the emperor; to reply, if requisite, to the calumnies of the hostile party; and to take such measures as they deemed most advisable for the welfare of the Church and himself. Shortly after they had embarked on their voyage, Athanasius received some letters from the emperor, summoning him to the palace. Athanasius and all the people of the Church were greatly troubled at this command; for they considered that no safety could be enjoyed when acting either in obedience or in disobedience to an emperor of heterodox sentiments. It was, however, determined that he should remain at Alexandria, and the bearer of the letters quitted the city without having effected anything. The following summer, another messenger from the emperor arrived with the governors of the provinces, and he was charged to urge the departure of Athanasius from the city, and to act with hostility against the clergy. When he perceived, however, that the people of the Church were full of courage, and ready to take up arms, he also departed from the city without accomplishing his mission. Not long after, troops, called the Roman legions, which were quartered in Egypt and Libya, marched into Alexandria. As it was reported that Athanasius was concealed in the church known by the name "Theonas," the commander of the troops, and Hilary, whom the emperor had again intrusted with the transaction of this affair, caused the doors of the church to be burst open, and thus effected their entrance; but they did not find Athanasius within the walls, although they sought for him everywhere. It is said that he escaped this and many other perils by the Divine interposition; and that God had disclosed this previously; directly as he went out, the soldiers took the doors of the church, and were within a little of seizing him.


THERE is no doubt but that Athanasius was beloved of God, and endowed with the gift of foreseeing the future. More wonderful facts than those which we have related might be adduced to prove his intimate acquaintance with futurity. It happened that during the life of Constans, the Emperor Constantius was once determined upon ill-treating this holy man; but Athanasius fled, and concealed himself with some one of his acquaintances. He lived for a long time in a subterraneous and sunless dwelling, which had been used as a reservoir for water. No one knew where he was concealed except a serving-woman, who seemed faithful, and who waited upon him. As the heterodox, however, were anxiously intent upon taking Athanasius alive, it appears that, by means of gifts or promises, they at length succeeded in corrupting the attendant. But Athanasius was forewarned by God of her treachery, and effected his escape from the place. The servant was punished for having made a false deposition against her masters, while they, on their part, fled the country i for it was accounted no venial crime by the heterodox to receive or to conceal Athanasius, but was, on the contrary, regarded as an act of disobedience against the express commands of the emperor, and as a crime against the empire, and was visited as such by the civil tribunals. It has come to my hearing that Athanasius was saved on another occasion in a similar manner. He was again obliged for the same reason to flee for his life; and he set sail up the Nile with the design of retreating to the further districts of Egypt, but his enemies received intelligence of his intention, and pursued him. Being forewarned of God that he would be pursued, he announced it to his fellow-passengers, and commanded them to return to Alexandria. While he sailed down the river, his plotters rowed by. He reached Alexandria in safety, and effectually concealed himself in the midst of its similar and numerous houses. His success in avoiding these and many other perils led to his being accused of sorcery by the pagan and the heterodox. It is reported, that once, as he was passing through the city, a crow was heard to caw, and that a number of pagans who happened to be on the spot, asked him in derision what the crow was saying. He replied, smiling, "It utters the sound eras, the meaning of which in the Latin language is, 'tomorrow'; and it has hereby announced to you that the morrow will not be propitious to you; for it indicates that you will be forbidden by the Roman emperor to celebrate your festival tomorrow." Although this prediction of Athanasius appeared to be absurd, it was fulfilled; for the following day edicts were transmitted to the governors from the emperor, by which it was commanded that the pagans were not to be permitted to assemble in the temples to perform their usual ceremonies, nor to celebrate their festival; and thus was abolished the most solemn and magnificent feast which the pagans had retained. What I have said is sufficient to show that this holy man was endowed with the gift of prophecy. After Athanasius had escaped, in the manner we have described, from those who sought to arrest him, his clergy and people remained for some time in possession of the churches; but eventually, the governor of Egypt and the commander of the army forcibly ejected all those who maintained the sentiments of Athanasius, in order to deliver up the government of the churches to those who favored George, whose arrival was then expected. Not long after he reached the city, and the churches were placed under his authority. He ruled by force rather than by priestly moderation; and as he strove to strike terror into the minds of the people, and carried on a cruel persecution against the followers of Athanasius, and, moreover, imprisoned and maimed many men and women, he was accounted a tyrant. For these reasons he fell into a universal hate; the people were so deeply incensed at his conduct, that they rushed into the church, and would have torn him to pieces; in such an extremity of danger, he escaped with difficulty, and fled to the emperor. Those who held the sentiments of Athanasius then took possession of the churches. But they did not long retain the mastery of them; for the commander of the troops in Egypt came and restored the churches to the partisans of George. An imperial shorthand writer of the notary class was afterwards sent to punish the leaders of the sedition, and he tortured and scourged many of the citizens. When George returned a little while after, he was more formidable, it appears, than ever, and was regarded with greater aversion than before, for he instigated the emperor to the perpetration of many evil deeds; and besides, the monks of Egypt openly declared him to be perfidious and inflated with arrogance. The opinions of these monks were always adopted by the people, and their testimony was universally received, because they were noted for their virtue and the philosophical tenor of their fives.


ALTHOUGH what I have recorded did not occur to Athanasius and the church of Alexandria, at the same period of time after the death of Constans, yet I deemed it right, for the sake of greater clearness, to relate all these events collectively. The council of Milan was dissolved without any business having been transacted, and the emperor condemned to banishment all those who had opposed the designs of the enemies of Athanasius. As Constantius wished to establish uniformity of doctrine throughout the Church, and to unite the priesthood in the maintenance of the same sentiments, he formed a plan to convene the bishops of every religion to a council, to be held in the West. He was aware of the difficulty of carrying this scheme into execution, arising from the vast extent of land and seas which some of the bishops would have to traverse, yet he did not altogether despair of success. While this project was occupying his mind, and before he prepared to make his triumphal entrance into Rome, he sent for Liberius, the bishop of Rome, and strove to persuade him to conformity of sentiment with the priests by whom he was attended, amongst whom was Eudoxius. As Liberius, however, refused compliance, and protested that he would never yield on this point, the emperor banished him to Beroea, in Thrace. It is alleged, that another pretext for the banishment of Liberius was, that he would not withdraw from communion with Athanasius, but manfully opposed the emperor, who insisted that Athanasius had injured the Church, had occasioned the death of the eider of his two brothers, and had sown the seeds of enmity between Constans and himself. As the emperor revived all the decrees which had been enacted against Athanasius by various councils, and particularly by that of Tyre, Liberius told him that no regard ought to be paid to edicts which were issued from motives of hatred, of favor, or of fear. He desired that the bishops of every region should be made to sign the formulary of faith compiled at Nicaea, and that those bishops who had been exiled on account of their adherence to it should be recalled. He suggested that after these matters were righted all the bishops should, at their own expense, and without being furnished either with public conveyances or money, so as not to seem burdensome and destructive, proceed to Alexandria, and make an accurate test of the truth, which could be more easily instituted at that city than elsewhere, as the injured and those who had inflicted injury as well as the confuters of the charges dwelt there. He then exhibited the letter written by Valens and Ursacius to Julius, his predecessor in the Roman see, in which they solicited his forgiveness, and acknowledged that the depositions brought against Athanasius, at the Mareotis, were false; and he besought the emperor not to condemn Athanasius during his absence, nor to give credit to enactments which were evidently obtained by the machinations of his enemies. With respect to the alleged injuries which had been inflicted on his two brothers, he entreated the emperor not to revenge himself by the hands of priests who had been set apart by God, not for the execution of vengeance, but for sanctification, and the performance of just and benevolent actions.

The emperor perceiving that Liberius was not disposed to comply with his mandate, commanded that he should be conveyed to Thrace, unless he would change his mind within two days. "To me, O emperor," replied Liberius, "there is no need of deliberation; my resolution has long been formed and decided, and I am ready to go forth to exile." It is said, that when he was being conducted to banishment, the emperor sent him five hundred pieces of gold; he, however, refused to receive them, and said to the messenger who brought them, "Go, and tell him who sent this gold to give it to the flatterers and hypocrites who surround him, for their insatiable cupidity plunges them into a state of perpetual want which can never be relieved. Christ, who is in all respects, like unto his Father, supplies us with food and with all good things."

Liberius having for the above reasons been deposed from the Roman church, his government was transferred to Felix, a deacon of the clergy there. It is said that Felix always continued in adherence to the Nicene faith; and that, with respect to his conduct in religious matters he was blameless. The only thing alleged against him was, that, prior to his ordination, he held communion with the heterodox. When the emperor entered Rome, the people loudly demanded Liberius, and besought his return; after consulting with the bishops who were with him, he replied that he would recall Liberius and restore him to the people, if he would consent to embrace the same sentiments as those held by the priests of the court.


ABOUT this time, Aetius broached his peculiar opinions concerning the Godhead. He was then deacon of the church of Antioch, and had been ordained by Leontius. He maintained, like Arius, that the Son is a created being, that He was created out of nothing, and that He is dissimilar from the Father. As he was extremely addicted to contention, very bold in his assertions on theological subjects, and prone to have recourse to a very subtle mode of argumentation, he was accounted a heretic, even by those who held the same sentiments as himself. When he had been, for this reason, excommunicated by the heterodox, he feigned a refusal to hold communion with them, because, they had unjustly admitted Arius into communion after he had perjured himself by declaring to the Emperor Constantine that he maintained the doctrines of the council of Nicaea. Such is the account given of Aetius.

While the emperor was in the West, tidings arrived of the death of Leontius, bishop of Antioch. Eudoxius requested permission of the emperor to return to Syria, that he might superintend the affairs of that church. On permission being granted, he repaired with all speed to Antioch, and installed himself as bishop of that city without the sanction of George, bishop of Laodicea; of Mark, bishop of Arethusa; of the other Syrian bishops; or of any other bishop to whom the right of ordination pertained. It was reported that he acted with the concurrence of the emperor, and of the eunuchs belonging to the palace, who, like Eudoxius, favored the doctrines of Aetius, and believed that the Son is dissimilar from the Father. When Eudoxius found himself in possession of the church of Antioch, he ventured to uphold this heresy openly. He assembled in Antioch all those who held the same opinions as himself, among whom was Acacius, bishop of Tyre, and rejected the terms, "of like substance," and "consubstantial," under the pretext that they had been denounced by the Western bishops. For Hosius, with some of the priests there, had certainly, with the view of arresting the contention excited by Valens, Ursacius, and Germanius, consented, though by compulsion, at Sirmium, as it is reported, to refrain from the use of the terms "consubstantial" and "of like substance," because such terms do not occur in the Holy Scriptures, and are beyond the understanding of men. They sent an epistle to the bishops as though these sustained the writings of Hosius on this point, and conveyed their thanks to Valens, Ursacius, and Germanius, because they had given the impulse of right views to the Western bishops.


After Eudoxius had introduced these new doctrines, many members of the church of Antioch, who were opposed to them, were excommunicated. George, bishop of Laodicea, gave them a letter to take to the bishops who had been invited from the neighboring towns of Ancyra in Galatia by Basil, for the purpose of consecrating a church which he had erected. This letter was as follows: —

"George, to his most honored lords Macedonius, Basil, Cecropius, and Eugenius, sends greeting in the Lord.

"Nearly the whole city has suffered from the shipwreck of Aetius. The disciples of this wicked man, whom you contemned, have been encouraged by Eudoxius, and promoted by him to clerical appointments, and Aetius himself has been raised to the highest honor. Go, then, to the assistance of this great city, lest by its shipwreck the whole world should be submerged. Assemble yourselves together, and solicit the signatures of other bishops, that Aetius may be ejected from the church of Antioch, and that his disciples who have been manipulated beforehand into the lists of the clergy by Eudoxius, may be cut off. If Eudoxius persist in affirming with Aetius, that the Son is dissimilar from the Father, and in preferring those who uphold this dogma to those who reject it, the city of Antioch is lost to you." Such was the strain of George's letter.

The bishops who were assembled at Ancyra dearly perceived by the enactments of Eudoxius at Antioch, that he contemplated the introduction of innovations in doctrine; they apprised the emperor of this fact, and besought him that the doctrine established at Sardica, at Sirmium, and at other councils, might be confirmed, and especially the dogma that the Son is of like substance with the Father. In order to proffer this request to the emperor, they sent to him a deputation composed of the following bishops: Basil, bishop of Ancyra; Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste; Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus; and Leontius, the presbyter of the imperial bed-chamber. On their arrival at the palace, they found that Asphalius, a presbyter of Antioch, and a zealot of the Aetian heresy, was on the point of taking his departure, after having terminated the business for which he undertook the journey and having obtained a letter from the emperor. On receiving, however, the intelligence concerning the heresy conveyed by the deputation from Ancyra, Constantius condemned Eudoxius and his followers, withdrew the letter he had confided to Asphalius, and wrote the following one:—


"CONSTANTIUS AUGUSTUS the Conqueror, to the holy church in Antioch. "Eudoxius came without our authority; let no one suppose that he had it, for we are far from regarding such persons with favor. If they have recourse to deceit with others in transactions like this, they give evidence that they will refine away the truth in still higher things. For from what will they voluntarily refrain, who, for the sake of power, follow the round of the cities, leaping from one to another, as a kind of wanderer, prying into every nook, led by the desire for more? It is reported that there are among these people certain quacks and sophists, whose very names are scarcely to be tolerated, and whose deeds are evil and most impious. You all know to what set of people I allude; for you are all thoroughly acquainted with the doctrines of Aetius and the heresy which he has cultivated. He and his followers have devoted themselves exclusively to the task of corrupting the people; and these clever fellows have had the audacity to publish that we approved of their ordination. Such is the report they circulate, after the manner of those who talk overmuch; but it is not true, and, indeed, far removed from the truth. Recall to your recollection the words of which we made use, when we first made a declaration of our belief; for we confessed that our Saviour is the Son of God, and of like substance with the Father. But these people, who have the audacity to set forth whatever enters their imagination, concerning the Godhead, are not far removed from atheism; and they strive, moreover, to propagate their opinions among others. We are convinced that their iniquitous proceedings will fall back upon their own heads. In the meantime, it is sufficient to eject them from synods and from ordinary conference; for I will not now allude to the chastisements which must hereafter overtake them, unless they will desist from their madness. How great is the evil they perpetrate, when they collect together the most wicked persons, as if by an edict, and they select the leaders of heresy for the clergy, thus debasing the reverend order as though they were allowed to do what they please! Who can bear with people who fill the cities with impiety, who secrete impurity in the most distant regions, and who delight in nothing but in injuring the righteous? What an evil-working unity it is, which limps forward to enthrone itself in the diviner seats! Now is the time for those who have imbibed the truth to come forward into the light, and whoever were previously restrained through fear, and now would escape from conventionalism, let them step into the middle; for the artifices of these evil men have been thoroughly confuted, and no sort of device can be invented which will deliver them from acting impiously. It is the duty of good men to retain the faith of the Fathers, and, so to speak, to augment it, without busying themselves with other matters. I earnestly exhort those who have escaped, though but recently, from the precipice of this heresy, to assent to the decrees which the bishops who are wise in divine learning, have rightly determined for the better."

Thus we see that the heresy usually denominated Anomian was within a little of becoming predominant at this period.


NOT long after these events, the emperor returned to Sirmium from Rome; on receiving a deputation from the Western bishops, he recalled Liberius from Beroea. Constantius urged him, in the presence of the deputies of the Eastern bishops, and of the other priests who were at the camp, to confess that the Son is not of the same substance as the Father. He was instigated to this measure by Basil, Eustathius, and Eusebius, who possessed great influence over him. They had formed a compilation, in one document, of the decrees against Paul of Samosata, and Photinus, bishop of Sirmium; to which they subjoined a formulary of faith drawn up at Antioch at the consecration of the church, as if certain persons had, under the pretext of the term "consubstantial," attempted to establish a heresy of their own. Liberius, Athanasius, Alexander, Severianus, and Crescens, a priest of Africa, were induced to assent to this document, as were likewise Ursacius, Germanius, bishop of Sirmium, Valens, bishop of Mursa, and as many of the Eastern bishops as were present. They partially approved of a confession of faith drawn up by Liberius, in which he declared that those who affirm that the Son is not like unto the Father in substance and in all other respects, are excommunicated. For when Eudoxius and his partisans at Antioch, who favored the heresy of Aetius, received the letter of Hosius, they circulated the report that Liberius had renounced the term "consubstantial," and had admitted that the Son is dissimilar from the Father. After these enactments had been made by the Western bishops, the emperor permitted Liberius to return to Rome. The bishops who were then convened at Sirmium wrote to Felix, who governed the Roman church, and to the other bishops, desiring them to receive Liberius. They directed that both should share the apostolical throne and discharge the priestly duties in common, with harmony of mind; and that whatever illegalities might have occurred in the ordination of Felix, or the banishment of Liberius, might be buried in oblivion. The people of Rome regarded Liberius as a very excellent man, and esteemed him highly on account of the courage he had evinced in opposing the emperor, so that they had even excited seditions on his account, and had gone so far as to shed blood. Felix survived but a short time; and Liberius found himself in sole possession of the church. This event was, no doubt, ordained by God, that the seat of Peter might not be dishonored by the occupancy of two bishops; for such an arrangement is a sign of discord, and is foreign to ecclesiastical law.


Such were the events which transpired at Sirmium. It seemed at this period as if, from the fear of displeasing the emperor, the Eastern and Western Churches had united in the profession of the same doctrine. The emperor had determined upon convening a council at Nicaea to take into consideration the innovations introduced at Antioch, and the heresy of Aetius. As Basil, however, and his party were averse to the council being held in this city, because doctrinal questions had previously been agitated there, it was determined to hold the council at Nicomedia in Bithynia; and edicts were issued, summoning the most intelligent and eloquent bishops of every nation to repair thither punctually on an appointed day, so that it might be the privilege of all the priests of the state to share in the Synod and to be present at its decisions. The great number of these bishops had commenced their journey when the calamity that had come upon Nicomedia was reported, and that God had shaken the entire city to its foundations. Since the story of the destruction of the city everywhere prevailed and grew, the bishops arrested their journey; for as is usual in such cases, far more was rumored to those at a distance, than had actually occurred. It was reported that Nicaea, Perinthus, and the neighboring cities, even Constantinople, had been involved in the same catastrophe. The orthodox bishops were grieved immoderately at this occurrence; for the enemies of religion took occasion, on the overthrow of a magnificent church, to represent to the emperor that a multitude of bishops, men, women, and children fled to the church in the hope of their finding safety, and that they all perished. This report was not true. The earthquake occurred at the second hour of the day, at which time there was no assembly in the church. The only bishops who were killed were Cecropius, bishop of Nicomedia, and a bishop from the Bosphorus, and they were outside of the church when the fatal accident happened. The city was shaken in an instant of time, so that the people had not the power, even if they had the wish, to seek safety by flight; at the first experience of danger, they were either preserved, or they perished on the spot where they were standing.

It is said that this calamity was predicted by Arsacius. He was a Persian, and a soldier who was employed in tending the emperor's lions; but during the reign of Licinius he became a noted confessor, and left the army. He then went to the citadel of Nicomedia, and led the life of a monastic philosopher within its walls. Here a vision from heaven appeared to him, and he was commanded to quit the city immediately, that he might be saved from the calamity about to happen. He ran with the utmost earnestness to the church, and besought the clergy to offer supplications to God that His anger might be turned away. But, finding that far from being believed by them, he was regarded with ridicule, and as disclosing unlooked-for sufferings, he returned to his tower, and prostrated himself on the ground in prayer. Just at this moment the earthquake occurred, and many perished. Those who were spared fled into the country and the desert. And as happens in a prosperous and large city, there were fires in the brasiers and extinguishers of every house, and in the ovens of the baths, and in the furnaces of all who use fire in the arts; and when the framework fell in ruin, the flame was hemmed in by the stuff, and of course there was dry wood commingled, much of which was oily, — this served as a contribution to the rapid conflagration, and nourished the fire without stint; the flame creeping everywhere, and attaching to itself all circumjacent material, made the entire city, so to speak, one mass of fire. It being impossible to obtain access to the houses, those who had been saved from the earthquake rushed to the citadel. Arsacius was found dead in the unshaken tower, and prostrated on the ground, in the same posture in which he had begun to pray. It was said that he had supplicated God to permit him to die, because he preferred death to beholding the destruction of a city in which he had first known Christ, and practiced monastical philosophy. As I have been led to speak of this good man, it is well to mention that he was endowed by God with the power of exorcising demons and of purifying those troubled by them. A man possessed with a demon once ran through the market-place with a naked sword in his hand. The people fled from him, and the whole city was in confusion. Arsacius went out to meet him, and called upon the name of Christ, and at that name the demon was expelled, and the man restored to sanity. Besides the above, Arsacius performed many other actions beyond the power and skill of man. There was a dragon, or some other species of reptile, which had entrenched itself in a cavity of the roadside, and which destroyed those who passed by, with its breath. Arsacius went to the spot and engaged in prayer, and the serpent voluntarily crept forth from its hole, dashed its head against the ground, and killed itself. All these details I have obtained from persons who heard them stated by those who had seen Arsacius.

As the bishops were deterred from continuing their journey by the intelligence of the calamity which had occurred at Nicomedia, some awaited the further commands of the emperor, and others declared their opinions concerning the faith in letters which they wrote on the subject. The emperor hesitates as to what measures ought to be adopted, and writes to consult Basil as to whether a council ought to be convened. In his reply, it appears, Basil commended his piety, and tried to console him for the destruction of Nicomedia by examples drawn from the Holy Scriptures; he exhorted him, for the sake of religion, to hasten the Synod; and not to drop such a proof of his zeal for religion, and not to dismiss the priests who had been gathered together for this purpose, and had already set forth and were on their way, until some business had been transacted. He also suggested that the council might be held at Nicaea instead of Nicomedia, so that the disputed points might be finally decided on the very spot where they had been first called in question. Basil, in writing to this effect, believed that the emperor would be pleased with this proposition, as he had himself originally suggested the propriety of holding the council at Nicaea. On receiving this epistle from Basil, the emperor commanded that, at the commencement of summer, the bishops should assemble together at Nicaea, with the exception of those who were laboring under bodily infirmity; and these latter were to depute presbyters and deacons to make known their sentiments and to consult together on contested points of doctrine, and arrive at the same decision concerning all points at issue. He ordained that ten delegates should be selected from the Western churches, and as many from the Eastern, to take cognizance of the enactments that might be issued, and to decide whether they were in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, and also to exercise a general superintendence over the transactions of the council. After further consultation the emperor enacted that the bishops should remain where they might be residing, or in their own churches, until it had been decided where the council was to be held, and until they received notice to repair thither. He then writes to Basil, and directs him to inquire by letter of the Eastern bishops, where they would advise the council to be held, so that a public announcement might be made at the commencement of spring; for the emperor was of opinion that it was not advisable to convene the council at Nicaea, on account of the earthquake which had recently occurred in the province. Basil wrote to the bishops of every province, urging them to deliberate together, and to decide quickly upon the locality in which it would be most expedient to hold the council, and he prefixed a copy of the emperor's letter to his epistle. As is frequently the case in similar circumstances, the bishops were divided in opinion on the subject, and Basil repaired to the emperor, who was then at Sirmium. He found several bishops at that city who had gone thither on their own private affairs, and among them were Mark, bishop of Arethusa, and George, who had been appointed to preside over the church of Alexandria. When at length it was decided that the council should be held in Seleucia, a city of Isauria, by Valens and his adherents, for Valens was then sojourning in Sirmium; since they favored the heresy of the Anomians, they urged the bishops who were present at the military court, to subscribe to a formulary of the faith which had been prepared, and in which there was no mention of the term "substance." But while preparations were being zealously made for convening the council, Eudoxius and Acacius, Ursacius and Valens, with their followers, reflected that, while many of the bishops were attached to the Nicene faith, and others favored the formulary drawn up at the consecration of the church of Antioch, yet that both parties retained the use of the term "substance," and maintained that the Son was, in every respect, like unto the Father; and being aware that if both parties assembled together in one place they would readily condemn the doctrines of Aetius, as being contrary to their respective creeds, they so contrived matters that the bishops of the West were convened at Ariminum, and those of the East at Seleucia, a city of Isauria. As it is easier to convince a few than a great many individuals, they conceived that they might possibly lead both parties to favor their sentiments by dealing with them separately, or that they might, at any rate, succeed with one, so that their heresy might not incur universal condemnation. They accomplished this through Eusebius, a eunuch who was superintendent of the imperial house: he was on terms of friendship with Eudoxius, and upheld the same doctrines, and many of those in power were seeking to conciliate this very Eusebius.


THE emperor was persuaded that it would not be desirable for the public, on account of the expense, nor advantageous to the bishops, on account of the length of the journey, to convene them all to the same place for the purpose of holding a council. He therefore writes to the bishops who were then at Ariminum, as well as to those who were then at Seleucia, and directed them to enter upon an investigation of contested points concerning the faith, and then to turn their attention to the complaints of Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, and of other bishops who had remonstrated against the injustice of the decrees of deposition and banishment which had been issued against them, and to examine the legality of various sentences which had been enacted against other bishops. There were, in fact, several accusations pending against different bishops. George was accused by the Egyptians of rapine and violence. Finally, the emperor commanded that ten deputies should be sent to him from each council, to inform him of their respective proceedings.

In accordance with this edict, the bishops assembled at the appointed cities. The Synod at Ariminum first commenced proceedings; it consisted of about four hundred members. Those who regarded Athanasius with the greatest enmity, were of opinion that there was nothing further to be decreed against him. When they had entered upon the investigation of doctrinal questions, Valens and Ursacius, supported by Germenius, Auxentius, Caius, and Demophilus, advanced into the middle of the assembly, and demanded that all the formularies of the faith which had been previously compiled should be suppressed, and that the formulary which they had but a short time previously set forth in the Latin language at Sirmium should be alone retained. In this formulary it was taught, according to Scripture, that the Son is like unto the Father; but no mention was made of the substance of God. They declared that this formulary had been approved by the emperor, and that it was incumbent upon the council to adopt it, instead of consulting too scrupulously the individual opinions of every member of the council, so that disputes and divisions might not spring up, were the terms to be delivered up to debate and accurate proof. They added that it would better enable those who were more ignorant of the art of discourse to have a right conception of God, than were they to introduce novelties in terms, so akin to disputatious jugglery. By these representations, they designed to denounce the use of the term "consubstantial," because they said it was not found in the Holy Scriptures, and was obscure to the multitude; and, instead of this term, they wished to substitute the expression that "the Son is like unto the Father in all things," which is borne out by the Holy Scriptures. After they had read their formulary containing the above representations, many of the bishops told them that no new formulary of the faith ought to be set forth, that those which had been previously compiled were quite sufficient for all purposes, and that they were met together for the express purpose of preventing all innovations. These bishops then urged those who had compiled and read the formulary to declare publicly their condemnation of the Arian doctrine, as the cause of all the troubles which had agitated the churches of every region. Ursacius and Valens, Germenius and Auxentius, Demophilus and Caius, having protested against this protestation, the council commanded that the expositions of the other heresies should be read, and likewise that set forth at Nicaea; so that those formularies which favored divers heresies might be condemned, and those which were in accordance with the Nicene doctrines might be approved; in order that there might be no further ground for dispute, and no future necessity for councils, but that an efficient decision might be formed. They remarked that it was absurd to compose so many formularies, as if they had but just commenced to become acquainted with the faith, and as if they wished to slight the ancient traditions of the Church, by which the churches had been governed by themselves, and by their predecessors, many of whom had witnessed a good! confession, and had received the crown of martyrdom. Such were the arguments adduced by these bishops, to prove that no innovations ought to be attempted. As Valens and Ursacius and their partisans refused to be convinced by these arguments, but persisted in advocating the adoption of their own formulary, they were deposed, and it was decided that their formulary should be rejected. It was remarked that the declaration at the commencement of this formulary, of its having been compiled at Sirmium, in the presence of Constantius, "the eternal Augustus," and during the consulate of Eusebius and Hypatius, was an absurdity. Athanasius made the same remark, in a letter addressed to one of his friends, and said that it was ridiculous to term Constantius the eternal emperor, and yet to shrink from acknowledging the Son of God to be eternal; he also ridiculed the date affixed to the formulary, as though condemnation were meant to be thrown on the faith of former ages, as well as on those who had, before that period, been initiated into the faith.

After these events had transpired at Ariminum, Valens and Ursacius, together with their adherents, irritated at their deposition, repaired with all haste to the emperor.


THE Synod selected twenty bishops, and sent them on an embassy to the emperor, with the following letter, which has been translated from Latin into Greek:—

"We believe that it is by the command of God, as well as by the arrangement of your piety, that we have been led from all the cities of the West, to assemble at Ariminum, for the purpose of declaring the faith of the Catholic Church, and of detecting those who have set forth heresies in opposition to it. After a protracted investigation, we have come to the conclusion that it is best to preserve that faith which has been continuous from antiquity, and which was preached by the prophets, the evangelists, the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Guardian of your empire, and Protector of your strength, by holding on thereto and guarding it to the end. It would have been absurd, as well as illegal, to have introduced any change in the doctrines which were so rightly and so justly propounded by the bishops at Nicaea, with the concurrence of the most illustrious Constantine, the emperor and your father, whose teaching and thought has gone forth and been preached in the universal hearing and reflection of men; and it is the antagonist and destroyer of the Arian heresy; through whose agency not only that deflection from the faith, but all others have been destroyed. There is great danger in adding to, or in taking away from, these doctrines; nor can the slightest alteration be made in any one of them, without giving an opportunity to the adversaries to do what they list. Ursacius and Valens, after having been suspected of participating in and advising about the Arian doctrine, were cut off from communion with us. In the hope of being restored to communion, they confessed their error, and obtained forgiveness, as their own writings testify, through which they were spared and received a pardon from the charges. The occasion on which the edict of forgiveness was conceded, was at the council of Milan, when the presbyters of the Roman church were also present.

"Since we know that the formulary of the faith set forth at Nicaea was compiled with the greatest care and accuracy, in the presence of Constantine, of worthy memory, who maintained it throughout his life, and at his baptism, and when he departed to enjoy the merited peace of heaven, we judge that it would be absurd to attempt any alteration in it, and to overlook so many holy confessors and martyrs, and the writers and authors of this dogma, who have bestowed much thought upon it, and have perpetuated the ancient decree of the Catholic Church. God has transmitted the knowledge of their faith to the time in which you live, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom you reign and rule the world. Again have these wretched men, who are lamentable, to our way of thinking, announced themselves as heralds of an impious view with unlawful rashness, and have attempted to overturn the entire system of truth. For according to your injunction, the Synod was convened, and these men laid bare the view of their own deceit; for they attempted an innovation which they introduced with knavery and disturbance, and they found some companions whom the), captured for this nefarious transaction; viz. Germanius, Auxentius, and Caius, who caused contention and discord. The teaching of these men, although it was uniform, exceeded the entire range of blasphemies. As they perceived that they were after all not of the same heresy, and that they did not think alike in any of the points of their evil suggestions, they went over to our symbol, so that it might appear as some other document. The time was indeed brief, but it was sufficient to refute their opinions. In order that the affairs of the Church might not be wrecked by them and that the disturbance and tumult which tossed everything to and fro might be restrained, it appeared the safe thing to preserve the ancient and immovable definitions, and to eject the aforesaid persons from communion with us. We have, for this reason, sent our re-instructed deputies to your Clemency, and have furnished them with letters, declaratory of the sentiments of the council. These deputies have been especially charged by us to maintain the truths which were defined rightly by the founders, and to instruct your Holiness as to the falsity of the assertion of Valens and Ursacius, that a few changes in righteous truths would produce peace in the Church. For how can peace be reproduced by those who destroy peace? They would be more likely to introduce contention and disturbance into the other cities and into the Church of Rome. We therefore entreat your Clemency to consider our deputies with gentle audience and mild look, and not to allow the dead to be dishonored by any novel changes. We pray you to permit us to remain in the definitions and decrees which we received from our ancestors, who, we would affirm, did their work with ready minds, with prudence, and with the Holy Spirit. For these innovations not only lead believers to infidelity, but also delude unbelievers to immaturity. We likewise entreat you to command that the bishops who are now absent from their churches, and of whom some are laboring under the infirmities of old age, and others under the privations of poverty, may be furnished with the means of returning to their own homes, in order that the churches may not be longer deprived of their ministry.

"Again, we beseech you that nothing be taken away from the former decisions, or added to them; let all remain unchanged, even as it has been preserved from the piety of your father to the present time; so that we may not in future be fatigued, and be compelled to become strangers to our own parishes, but that bishops and people may dwell together in peace, and be able to devote themselves to prayer and supplication for your own personal salvation and empire and peace, which may the Deity graciously vouchsafe to you uninterruptedly.

"Our deputies will show you the signatures and the names of the bishops, and some of them will offer instruction to your Holiness out of the Sacred Scriptures."


We have now transcribed the letter of the council of Ariminum. Ursacius and Valens, with their adherents, anticipating the arrival of the deputies of the council, showed to the emperor the document which they had read, and calumniated the council. The emperor was displeased at the rejection of this formulary, as it had been composed in his presence at Sirmium, and he therefore treated Ursacius and Valens with honor; while, on the other hand, he manifested great contempt towards the deputies, and even delayed granting them an audience. At length, however, he wrote to the Synod, and informed them that an expedition which he was compelled to undertake against the barbarians prevented him from conferring with the deputies; and that he had, therefore, commanded them to remain at Adrianople until his return, in order that, when public business had been dismissed, his mind might be at liberty to hear and test the representations of the deputies; "for it is right," he said, "to bring to the investigation of Divine subjects, a mind unfettered by other cares." Such was the strain of his letter.

The bishops replied that they could never depart from the decision they had formed, as they had before declared in writing, and had charged their deputies to declare; and they besought him to regard them with favor, and to give audience to their deputies, and to read their letter. They told him that it must appear grievous to him that so many churches should be deprived of their bishops; and that, if agreeable to him, they would return to their churches before the winter. After writing this letter, which was full of supplications and entreaties, the bishops waited for a time for a reply; but as no answer was granted them, they afterwards returned to their own cities.

What I have above stated clearly proves that the bishops who were convened at Ariminum confirmed the decrees which had of old been set forth at Nicaea. Let us now consider how it was that they eventually assented to the formulary of faith compiled by Valens and Ursacius and their followers. Various accounts have been given me of this transaction. Some say that the emperor was offended at the bishops having departed from Ariminum without his permission, and allowed Valens and his partisans to govern the churches of the West according to their own will, to set forth their own formulary, to eject those who refused to sign it from the churches, and to ordain others in their place. They say that, taking advantage of this power, Valens compelled some of the bishops to sign the formulary, and that he drove many who refused compliance, from their churches, and first of all Liberius, bishop of Rome. It is further asserted that when Valens and his adherents had acted in this manner in Italy, they resolved to handle the Eastern churches in the same way. As these persecutors were passing through Thrace, they stopped, it is said, at Nicaea, a city of that province. They there convened a council, and read the formulary of Ariminum, which they had translated into the Greek language, and by representing that it had been approved by a general council, they obtained its adoption at Nicaea; they then cunningly denominated it the Nicaean formulary of faith, in order, by the resemblance of names, to deceive the simple, and cause it to be mistaken for the ancient formulary set forth by the Nicaean council. Such is the account given by some parties. Others say that the bishops who were convened at the council of Ariminum were wearied by their detention in that city, as the emperor neither honored them with a reply to their letter, nor granted them permission to return to their own churches; and that, at this juncture, those who had espoused the opposite heresy represented to them that it was not right that divisions should exist between the priests of the whole world for the sake of one word, and that it was only requisite to admit that the Son is like unto the Father in order to put an end to all disputes; for that the bishops of the East would never rest until the term "substance" was rejected. By these representations, it is said, the members of the council were at length persuaded to assent to the formulary which Ursacius had so sedulously pressed upon them. Ursacius and his partisans, being apprehensive lest the deputies sent by the council to the emperor should declare what firmness was in the first place evinced by the Western bishops, and should expose the true cause of the rejection of the term "consubstantial," detained these deputies at Nicaea in Thrace throughout the winter, under the pretext that no public conveyance could be then obtained, and that the roads were in a bad state for traveling; and they then induced them, it is said, to translate the formulary they had accepted from Latin into Greek, and to send it to the Eastern bishops. By this means, they anticipated that the formulary would produce the impression they intended without the fraud being detected; for there was no one to testify that the members of the council of Ariminum had not voluntarily rejected the term" substance" from deference to the Eastern bishops, who were averse to the use of that word. But this was evidently a false account; for all the members of the council, with the exception of a few, maintained strenuously that the Son is like unto the Father in substance, and the only differences of opinion existing between them were that some said that the Son is of the same substance as the Father, while others asserted that he is of like substance with the Father. Some state this matter in one form, others in a different one.


WHILE the events I have above related were taking place in Italy, the East, even before the council of Seleucia had been constituted, was the theatre of great disturbances. The adherents of Acacius and Patrophilus, having ejected Maximus, turned over the church of Jerusalem to Cyril. Macedonius harassed Constantinople and the neighboring cities; he was abetted by Eleusius and Marathonius. This latter was originally a deacon in his own church, and was a zealous superintendent of the poor of the monastical dwellings inhabited by men and women, and Macedonius raised him to the bishopric of Nicomedia. Eleusius, who, not without distinction, was formerly attached to tile military service of the palace, had been ordained bishop of Cyzicus. It is said that Eleusius and Marathonius were both good men in their conduct, but that they were zealous in persecuting those who maintained that the Son is of the same substance as the Father, although they were not so distinctly cruel as Macedonius, who not only expelled those who refused to hold communion with him, but imprisoned some, and dragged others before the tribunals. In many cases he compelled the unwilling to communion. He seized children and women who had not been initiated and initiated them, and destroyed many churches in different places, under the pretext that the emperor had commanded the demolition of all houses of prayer in which the Son was recognized to be of the same substance as the Father.

Under this pretext the church of the Novatians at Constantinople, situated in that part of the city called Pelargus, was destroyed. It is related that these heretics performed a courageous action with the aid of the members of the Catholic Church, with whom they made common cause. When those who were employed to destroy this church were about to commence the work of demolition, the Novatians assembled themselves together; some tore down the materials, and others conveyed them to a suburb of the city called Sycae. They quickly achieved this task; for men, women, and children participated in it, and by offering their labor to God they were extraordinarily inspirited. By the exercise of this zeal the church was soon renewed, and, from this circumstance, received the name of Anastasia. After the death of Constantius, Julian, his successor, granted to the Novatians the ground which they had previously possessed, and permitted them to rebuild their church. The people spiritedly took advantage of this permission, and transported the identical materials of the former edifice from Sycae. But this happened at a later period of time than that which we are now reviewing. At this period a union was nearly effected between the Novatian and Catholic churches; for as they held the same opinions concerning the Godhead, and were subjected to a common persecution, the members of both churches assembled and prayed together. The Catholics then possessed no houses of prayer, for the Arians had wrested them from them. It appears, too, that from the frequent intercourse between the members of each church, they reasoned that the differences between them were vain, and they resolved to commune with one another. A reconciliation would certainly have been effected, I think, had not the desire of the multitude been frustrated by the slander of a few individuals, who asserted that there was an ancient law prohibiting the union of the churches.


About the same time Eleusius wholly demolished the church of the Novatians in Cyzicus. The inhabitants of other parts of Paphlagonia, and particularly of Mantinium, were subjected to similar persecutions. Macedonius, having been apprised that the majority of these people were followers of Novatus, and that the ecclesiastical power was not of itself sufficiently strong to expel them, persuaded the emperor to send four cohorts against them. For he imagined that men who are unaccustomed to arms would, on the first appearance of soldiers, be seized with terror, and conform to his sentiments. But it happened otherwise, for the people of Mantinium armed themselves with sickles and axes and whatever other weapons chanced to be at hand, and marched against the military. A severe conflict ensued, and many of the Paphlagonians fell, but nearly all the soldiers were slain. Many of the friends of Macedonius blamed him for having occasioned so great a disaster, and the emperor was displeased, and regarded him with less favor than before. Inimical feelings were engendered still more strongly by another occurrence. Macedonius contemplated the removal of the coffin of the Emperor Constantine, as the structure in which it had been concealed was falling into ruin. The people were divided in opinion on this subject: some concurred in the design, and others opposed it, deeming it impious and similar to digging up a grave. Those who maintained the Nicene doctrines were of the latter sentiment, and insisted that no indignity should be offered to the body of Constantine, as that emperor had held the same doctrines as themselves. They were besides, I can readily imagine, eager to oppose the projects of Macedonius. However, without further delay, Macedonius caused the coffin to be conveyed to the same church in which the tomb of Acacius the martyr is placed. The people, divided into two factions, the one approving, the other condemning the deed, rushed upon each other in the same church, and so much carnage ensued that the house of prayer and the adjoining place were filled with blood and slaughtered bodies. The emperor, who was then in the West, was deeply incensed on hearing of this occurrence; and he blamed Macedonius as the cause of the indignity offered to his father, and of the slaughter of the people.

The emperor had determined to visit the East, and held on his way; he conferred the title of Caesar on his cousin Julian, and sent him to Western Gaul.


ABOUT the same period the Eastern bishops assembled, to the number of about one hundred and sixty, in Seleucia, a city of Isauria. This was during the consultate of Eusebius and Hypatius. Leonas, who held a brilliant military office at the palace, repaired to this council at the command of Constantius, so that the doctrinal confession might be conducted in his presence. Lauricius, the military governor of the province, was present to prepare whatever might be necessary; for the letter of the emperor had commanded him to render this service. At the first session of this council, several of the bishops were absent, and among others, Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis; Macedonius, bishop of Constantinople; and Basil, bishop of Ancyra. They resorted to divers pretexts in justification of their non-attendance. Patrophilus alleged in excuse a complaint in the eyes, and Macedonius pleaded indisposition; but it was suspected they had absented themselves from the fear that various accusations would be brought against them. As the other bishops refused to enter upon the investigation of disputed points during their absence, Leonas commanded them to proceed at once to the examination of the questions that had been agitated. Thus some were others maintained that inquiries ought first to be instituted into the conduct of those among them against whom accusations had been laid, as had been the case with Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste, and others. The ambiguity of the emperor's letters, which sometimes prescribed one course and sometimes another, gave rise to this dispute. The contention arising from this source became so fierce, that all union was destroyed between them, and they became divided into two parties. However, the advice of those who wished to commence with the examination of doctrine, prevailed. When they proceeded to the investigation of terms, some desired to reject the use of the term "substance," and appealed to the authority of the formulary of faith which had not long previously been compiled by Mark at Sirmium, and had been received by the bishops who were at the court, among whom was Basil, bishop of Ancyra. Many others were anxious for the adoption of the formulary of faith drawn up at the dedication of the church of Antioch. To the first of these parties belonged Eudoxius, Acacius, Patrophilus, George, bishop of Alexandria, Uranius, bishop of Tyre, and thirty-two other bishops. The latter party was supported by George, bishop of Laodicea, in Syria; by Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus; by Sophronius, bishop of Pompeiopolis, in Paphlagonia; with these the majority agreed. It was suspected, and with reason, that Acacius and his partisans absented themselves on account of the difference between their sentiments and those of the aforesaid bishops, and also because they desired to evade the investigation of certain accusations which had been brought against them; for, although they had previously acknowledged in writing to Macedonius, bishop of Constantinople, that the Son is in all respects like unto the Father, and of the same substance, now they fought entirely shy of their former professions. After prolonged disputations and contention, Silvanus, bishop of Tarsus, declared, in a loud and peremptory tone, that no new formulary of faith ought to be introduced but that which had been approved at Antioch, and this alone ought to prevail. As this proposition was repugnant to the followers of Acacius, they withdrew, and the other bishops read the formulary of Antioch. The following day these bishops assembled in the church, closed the doors, and privately confirmed this formulary. Acacius condemned this proceeding, and laid the formulary which he advocated before Leonas and Lauricius privately. Three days afterwards the same bishops reassembled, and were joined by Macedonius and Basil, who had been previously absent. Acacius and his partisans declared that they would take no part in the proceedings of the council until those who had been deposed and accused had quilted the assembly. His demand was complied with; for the bishops of the opposite party were determined that he should have no pretext for dissolving the council, which was evidently his object, in order to prevent the impending examination of the heresy of Aetius, and of the accusations which had been brought against himself and his partisans. When all the members were assembled, Leonas stated that he held a document which had been handed to him by the partisans of Acacius; it was their formulary of faith, with introductory remarks. None of the other bishops knew anything about it; for Leonas, who was of the same sentiment as Acacius, had willingly kept the whole matter a secret. When this document was read, the whole assembly was filled with tumult; for some of the statements it contained were to the effect that, though the emperor had prohibited the introduction of any term into the formularies of filth which was not found in the Sacred Scriptures, yet that bishops who had been deposed, having been brought from various provinces to the assembly, with others who had been illegally ordained, the council had been thrown into confusion, and that some of the members had been insulted, and others prevented from speaking. It was added that Acacius and his partisans did not reject the formulary which had been compiled at Antioch, although those who had assembled in that city had drawn it up for the express purpose of meeting the difficulty which had just then arisen; but that, as the terms "consubstantial" and "of similar substance" had grieved some individuals, and that; as it had been recently asserted that the Son is dissimilar from the Father, it was necessary, on this account, to reject the terms "consubstantial" and a "similar substance," which do not occur in Scripture, to condemn the term "dissimilar," and to confess clearly that the Son is like unto the Father; for He is, as the Apostle Paul somewhere says, "the image of the invisible God." These prefatory observations were followed by a formulary, which was neither conformable with that of Nicaea, nor with that of Antioch, and which was so artfully worded that the followers of Arius and of Aetius would not appear to be in error if they should thus state their faith. In this formulary, the words used by those who had convened at Nicaea, in condemnation of the Arian doctrine, were omitted, and the declarations of the council of Antioch, concerning the immutability of the Deity of the Son, and concerning His being the unchangeable image of the substance, the counsel, and the power, and the glory of the Father, were passed over in silence, and belief was simply expressed in the Father, in the Son, and in the Holy Ghost; and after bestowing some vulgar epithets on a few individuals who had never entered into any doctrinal contention on one side or the other, all those who entertained any other opinions than those set forth in this formulary were declared to be aliens to the Catholic Church. Such were the contents of the document presented by Leonas, and which had been signed by Acacius, and by those who had adopted his sentiments. After it had been read, Sophronius, a bishop of Paphlagonia, exclaimed, "If we daily receive the opinions of individuals as a statement of the faith, we shall fail in attaining precision of the truth." Acacius having retorted that it was not forbidden to compile new formularies, as that of Nicaea had been once and frequently altered, Eleusius replied as follows: "But the council has not now met for the purpose of learning what is already known, or of accepting any other formulary than that which has been already approved by those who assembled at Antioch; and, moreover, living and dying, we will adhere to this formulary." The dispute having taken this turn, they entered upon another inquiry, and asked the partisans of Acacius, in what they considered the Son to be like unto the Father. They replied that the Son is similar in will only, but not in substance, and the others thereupon insisted that He is similar in substance, and convicted Acacius, by a work which he had formerly written, that he had once been of their opinion. Acacius replied that he ought not to be judged from his own writings; and the dispute had continued with heat for some time, when Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus, spoke as follows: "It matters little to the council whether Mark or Basil has transgressed in any way, whether they or the adherents of Acacius have any accusation to bring against each other; neither does the trouble devolve upon the council of examining whether their formulary be commendable or otherwise; it is enough to maintain the formulary which has been already confirmed at Antioch by ninety-seven priests; and if any one desire to introduce any doctrine which is not contained therein, he ought to be held as an alien to religion and the Church." Those who were of his sentiments applauded his speech; and the assembly then arose and separated. The following day, the partisans of Acacius and of George refused to attend the council; and Leonas, who had now openly declared himself to be of their sentiments, likewise refused, in spite of all entreaties, to repair thither. Those who were deputed to request his attendance found the partisans of Acacius in his house; and he declined their invitation, under the plea that too much discord prevailed in the council, and that he had only been commanded by the emperor to attend the council in case of unanimity among the members. Much time was consumed in this way; and the partisans of Acacius were frequently solicited by the other bishops to attend the assemblies; but they sometimes demanded a special conference in the house of Leonas, and sometimes alleged that they had been commissioned by the emperor to judge those who had been accused; for they would not receive the creed adopted by the other bishops, nor clear themselves of the crimes of which they had been accused; neither would they examine the case of Cyril, whom they had deposed; and there was no one to compel them to do so. The council, however, eventually deposed George, bishop of Alexandria; Acacius, bishop of Caesarea; Uranius, bishop of Tyre; Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis; and Eudoxius, bishop of Antioch; and several other prelates. Many persons were likewise put out of communion until they could purge themselves of the crimes imputed to them. The transactions were conveyed in writing to the parish of each of the clergy. Adrian, a presbyter of Antioch, was ordained bishop over that church, in room of Eudoxius; but the partisans of Acacius arrested him and delivered him over to Leonas and Lauricius. They committed him into the custody of the soldiers, but afterwards sent him into exile.

We have now given a brief account of the termination of the council of Seleucia. Those who desire more detailed information must seek it in the acts of the council, which have been transcribed by attendant shorthand miters.


IMMEDIATELY after the above transactions, the adherents of Acacius repaired to the emperor; but the other bishops returned to their respective homes. The ten bishops who had been unanimously chosen as deputies to the emperor, met, on their arrival at the court, the ten deputies of the council of Ariminum, and likewise the partisans of Acacius. These latter had gained over to their cause the chief men attached to the palace, and, through their influence, had secured the favor of the emperor. It was reported that some of these proselytes had espoused the sentiments of Acacius at some previous period; that some were bribed by means of the wealth belonging to the churches; and that others were seduced by the subtilty of the arguments presented to them, and by the dignity of the persuader. Acacius was, in fact, no common character; by nature he was gifted with great powers of intellect and eloquence, and he exhibited no want of skill or of address in the accomplishment of his schemes. He was the president of an illustrious church, and could boast of Eusebius Pamphilus as his teacher, whom he succeeded in the episcopate, and was more honorably known than any other man by the reputation and succession of his books. Endowed with all these advantages, he succeeded with ease in whatever he undertook.

As there were at this period at Constantinople all together twenty deputies, ten from each council, besides many other bishops, who, from various motives, had repaired to the city, Honoratus, whom the emperor, before his departure to the West, had constituted chief governor of Constantinople, received directions to examine, in the presence of the exarchs of the great council, the reports circulated concerning Aetius and his heresy. Constantius, with some of the rulers, eventually undertook the investigation of this case; and as it was proved that Aetius had introduced dogmas essentially opposed to the faith, the emperor and the other judges were offended at his blasphemous statements. It is said that the partisans of Acacius at first reigned ignorance of this heresy, for the purpose of inducing the emperor and those around him to take cognizance of it; for they imagined that the eloquence of Aetius would be irresistible; that he would infallibly succeed in convincing his auditory; and that his heresy would conquer the unwilling. When, however, the result proved the futility of their expectations, they demanded that the formulary of faith accepted by the council of Ariminum should receive the sanction of the deputies from the council of Seleucia. As these latter protested that they would never renounce the use of the term "substance," the Acacians declared to them upon oath that they did not hold the Son to be, in substance, dissimilar from the Father; but that, on the contrary, they were ready to denounce this opinion as heresy. They added that they esteemed the formulary compiled by the Western bishops at Ariminum the more highly, because the word "substance" had been unexpectedly expunged from it; because, they said, if this formulary were to be received, there would be no further mention, either of the word "substance" or of the term "consubstantial," to which many of the Western priests were, from their reverence for the Nicaean council, peculiarly attached.

It was for these reasons that the emperor approved of the formulary; and when he recalled to mind the great number of bishops who had been convened at Ariminum, and reflected that there is no error in saying either that "the Son is like unto the Father" or "of the same substance as the Father"; and when he further considered that no difference in signification would ensue, if, for terms which do not occur in Scripture, other equivalent and uncontrovertible expressions were to be substituted (such, for instance, as the word "similar"), he determined upon giving his sanction to the formulary. Such being his own sentiments, he commanded the bishops to accept the formulary. The next day preparations were made for the pompous ceremony of proclaiming him consul, which, according to the Roman custom, took place in the beginning of the month of January, and the whole of that day and part of the ensuing night the emperor spent with the bishops, and at length succeeded in persuading the deputies of the council of Seleucia to receive the formulary transmitted from Ariminum.


THE partisans of Acacius remained some time at Constantinople, and invited thither several bishops of Bithynia, among whom were Maris, bishop of Chalcedon, and Ulfilas, bishop of the Goths. These prelates having assembled together, in number about fifty, they confirmed the formulary read at the council of Ariminum, adding this provision, that the terms "substance " and "hypostasis" should never again be used in reference to God. They also declared that all other formularies set forth in times past, as likewise those that might be compiled at any future period, should be condemned. They then deposed Aetius from his office of deacon, because he had written works full of contention and of a species of vain knowledge opposed to the ecclesiastical vocation; because he had used in writing and in disputation several impious expressions; and because he had been the occasion of troubles and seditions in the Church. It was alleged by many that they did not depose him willingly, but merely because they wished to remove all suspicion from the mind of the emperor which be had with regard to them, for they had been accused of holding Aetian views. Those who held these sentiments took advantage of the resentment with which, for reasons above mentioned, the emperor regarded Macedonius, and they accordingly deposed him, and likewise Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus; Basil, bishop of Ancyra; Heortasius, bishop of Sardis; and Dracontius, bishop of Pergamus. Although they differed about doctrine from those bishops, yet in deposing them, no blame was thrown upon their faith, but charges were alleged against them in common with all, that they had disturbed the peace and violated the laws of the Church. They specified, in particular, that when the presbyter Diogenes was traveling from Alexandria to Ancyra, Basil seized his papers, and struck him; they also deposed that Basil had, without trial, delivered over many of the clergy from Antioch, from the banks of the Euphrates, and from Cilicia, Galatia, and Asia, to the rulers of the provinces, to be exiled and subjected to cruel punishments, so that many had been loaded with chains, and had been compelled to bribe the soldiers, who were conducting them away, not to ill-use them. They added that, on one occasion, when the emperor had commanded Aetius and some of his followers to be led before Cecropius, that they might answer to him for various accusations laid to their charge, Basil recommended the person who was intrusted with the execution of this edict, to act according to the dictates of his own judgment. They said that he wrote directions to Hermogenes, the prefect and governor of Syria, stating who were to be banished, and whither they were to be sent; and that, when the exiles were recalled by the emperor, he would not consent to their return, but opposed himself to the wishes of the rulers and of the priests. They further deposed that Basil had excited the clergy of Sirimium against Germanius; and that, although he stated in writing that he had admitted Germanius, Valens, and Ursacius into communion, he had placed them as criminals before the tribunal of the African bishops; and that, when taxed with this deed, he had denied it, and perjured himself; and that, when he was afterwards convicted, he strove to justify his perjury by sophistical reasoning. They added, that he had been the cause of contention and of sedition in Illyria, Italy, Africa, and in the Roman church; that he had thrown a servant into prison to compel her to bear false witness against her mistress; hat he had baptized a man of loose life, who lived in illicit intercourse with a woman, and had promoted him to be a deacon; that he had neglected to excommunicate a quack-doctor who had occasioned the death of several persons; and that he and some of the clergy had bound themselves by oath before the holy table, not to bring accusations against each other. This, they said, was an artifice adopted by the president of the clergy to shield himself from the accusations of his plaintiffs. In short, such were the reasons they specified for the deposition of Basil. Eustathius, they said, was deposed because, when a presbyter, he had been condemned, and put away from the communion of prayers by Eulalius, his own father, who was bishop of the church of Caesarea, in Cappadocia; and also because he had been excommunicated by a council held at Neocaesarea, a city of Pontus, and deposed by Eusebius, bishop of Constantinople, for unfaithfulness in the discharge of certain duties that had devolved upon him. He had also been deprived of his bishopric by those who were convened in Gangroe, on account of his having taught, acted, and thought contrary to sound doctrine. He had been convicted of perjury by the council of Antioch. He had likewise endeavored to reverse the decrees of those convened at Melitina; and, although he was guilty of many crimes, he had the assurance to aspire to be judge over the others, and to stigmatize them as heretics. They deposed Eleusius because he had raised inconsiderately one Heraclius, a native of Tyre, to be a deacon; this man had been a priest of Hercules at Tyre, had been accused of and tried for sorcery, and, therefore, had retired to Cyzicus and feigned conversion to Christianity; and moreover, Eleusius, after having been apprised of these circumstances, had not driven him from the Church. He had also, without inquiry, ordained certain individuals, who had come to Cyzicus, after they had been condemned by Maris, bishop of Chalcedonia, who participated in this council. Heortasius was deposed because he had been ordained bishop of Sardis without the sanction of the bishops of Lydia. They deposed Dracontius, bishop of Pergamus, because he had previously held another bishopric in Galatia, and because, they stated, he had on both occasions been unlawfully ordained. After these transactions, a second assembly of the council was held, and Silvanus, bishop of Tarsus, So-phronius, bishop of Pompeiopolis in Paphlagonia, Elpidius, bishop of Satala, and Neonas, bishop of Seleucia in Isauria, were deposed. The reason they assigned for the deposition of Silvanus was, that he had constituted himself the leader of a foolish party in Seleucia and Constantinople; he had, besides, constituted Theophilus as president of the church of Castabala, who had been previously ordained bishop of Eleutheropolis by the bishops of Palestine, and who had promised upon oath that he would never accept any other bishopric without their permission. Sophronius was deposed on account of his avarice, and on account of his having sold some of the offerings presented to the church, for his own profit; besides, after he had received a first and second summons to appear before the council, he could, at last, be scarcely induced to make his appearance, and then, instead of replying to the accusations brought against him, he appealed to other judges. Neonas was deposed for having resorted to violence in his endeavors to procure the ordination in his own church, of Annianus, who had been appointed bishop of Antioch, and for having ordained as bishops certain individuals who had previously been engaged in politics, and who were utterly ignorant of the Holy Scriptures and of ecclesiastical canons, and who, after their ordination, preferred the enjoyment of their property to that of the priestly dignity, and declared in writing that they would rather take charge of their own possessions than to discharge the episcopal functions without them. Elpidius was deposed because he had participated in the malpractices of Basil, and had occasioned great disorders; and because he had, contrary to the decrees of the council of Melitina, restored to his former rank in the presbytery a man named Eusebius, who had been deposed for having created Nectaria a deaconess, after she had been excommunicated on account of violating agreements and oaths; and to confer this honor upon her was clearly contrary to the laws of the Church.


BESIDES the prelates above mentioned, Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, was deposed because he had admitted Eustathius and Elpidius into communion, after they had opposed the decrees enacted by those convened at Melitina, among whom was Cyril himself; and because he had also received Basil and George, bishop of Laodicea, into communion after their deposition in Palestine. When Cyril was first installed in the bishopric of Jerusalem, he had a dispute with Acacius, bishop of Caesarea, concerning his rights as a Metropolitan, which he claimed on the ground of his bishopric being an apostolic see. This dispute excited feelings of enmity between the two bishops, and they mutually accused each other of unsoundness of doctrine concerning the Godhead. In fact, they had both been suspected previously; the one, that is, Acacius, of favoring the heresy of Arius; and the Other, of siding with those who maintain that the Son is in substance like unto the Father. Acacius being thus inimically disposed towards Cyril, and finding himself supported by the bishops of the province, who were of the same sentiments as himself, contrived to depose Cyril under the following pretext. Jerusalem and the neighboring country was at one time visited with a famine, and the poor appealed in great multitudes to Cyril, as their bishop, for necessary food. As he had no money to purchase the requisite provisions, he sold for this purpose the veil and sacred ornaments of the church. It is said that a man, having recognized an offering which he had presented at the altar as forming part of the costume of an actress, made it his business to inquire whence it was procured; and ascertained that a merchant had sold it to the actress, and that the bishop had sold it to the merchant. It was under this pretext that Acacius deposed Cyril.

And on inquiry I find these to be the facts. It is said that the Acacians then expelled from Constantinople all the bishops above mentioned who had been deposed. Ten bishops of their own party who had refused to subscribe to these edicts of deposition, were separated from the others, and were interdicted from performing the functions of the ministry or ruling their churches until they consented to give their signatures. It was enacted that unless they complied within six months, and yielded their assent to all the decrees of the council, they should be deposed, and that the bishops of every province should be summoned to elect other bishops in their stead. After these determinations and deeds, letters were then sent to all the bishops and clergy, to observe and fulfill its decrees.

As a consequence, not long after, some of the Eudoxian party were substituted here and there. Eudoxius himself took possession of the bishopric of Macedonius; Athanasius was placed over the church of Basil; and Eunomius, who was 322 subsequently the leader of a heresy bearing his name, took the see of Eleusius; and Meletius was appointed to the church of Sebaste, instead of Eustathius.


MACEDONIUS, On his expulsion from the church of Constantinople, retired to one of the suburbs of the city, where he died. Eudoxius took possession of his church in the tenth year of the consulate of Constantius, and the third of Julian, surnamed Caesar. It is related that, at the dedication of the great church called "Sophia," when he rose to teach the people, he commenced his discourse with the following proposition: "The Father is impious, the Son is pious and that, as these words excited a great commotion among the people, he added, "Be calm; the Father is impious, because he worships no one; the Son is pious, because he worships the Father." On this explanation, he threw his audience into laughter. Eudoxius and Acacius jointly exerted themselves to the utmost in endeavoring to cause the edicts of the Nicene Council to fall into oblivion. They sent the formulary read at Ariminum with various explanatory additions of their own, to every province of the empire, and procured from the emperor an edict for the banishment of all who should refuse to subscribe to it. But this undertaking, which appeared to them so easy of execution, was the beginning of the greatest calamities, for it excited commotions throughout the empire, and entailed upon the Church in every region a persecution more grievous than those which it had suffered under the pagan emperors. For if this persecution did not occasion such tortures to the body as the preceding ones, it appeared more grievous to all who reflected aright, on account of its disgraceful nature; for both the persecutors and the persecuted belonged to the Church; and the one was all the more disgraceful in that men of the same religion treated their fellows with a degree of cruelty which the ecclesiastical laws prohibit to be manifested towards enemies and strangers.


THE spirit of innovation is self-laudatory, and hence it advanced further and further, and crept along to greater novelties with increasing self-conceit, and in scorn of the fathers it enacted laws of its own, nor does it honor the doctrines of the ancients concerning God, but is always thinking out strange dogmas and restlessly adds novelty to novelty as the events now show. For after Macedonius had been deposed from the church of Constantinople, he renounced the tenets; of Acacius and Eudoxius. He began to teach that the Son is God, and that He is in all respects and in substance like unto the Father. But he affirmed that the Holy Ghost is not a participant of the same dignities, and designated Him a minister and a servant, and applied to Him whatever could, without error, be said of the holy angels. This doctrine was embraced by Eleusius, Eustathius, and by all the other bishops who had been deposed at Constantinople, by the partisans of the opposite heresy. Their example was quickly followed by no small part of the people of Constantinople, Bithynia, Thrace, the Hellespont, and of the neighboring provinces. For their mode of life had no little influence, and to this do the people give special attention. They assumed great gravity of demeanor, and their discipline was like that of the monks; their conversation was plain and of a style fitted to persuade. It is said that all these qualifications were united in Marathonius. He originally held a public appointment in the army, under the command of the prefect. After amassing some money in this employment, he quit military science, and undertook the superintendence of the establishments for the relief of the sick and the destitute. Afterwards, at the suggestion of Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste, he embraced an ascetic mode of life, and founded a monastical institution in Constantinople which exists to the present day. He brought so much zeal, and so much of his own wealth to the support of the aforesaid, heresy, that the Macedonians were by many termed Marathonians, and it seems to me not without reason; for it appears that he alone, together with his institutions, was the cause that it was not altogether extinguished in Constantinople. In fact, after the deposition of Macedonius, the Macedonians possessed neither churches nor bishops until the reign of Arcadius.

The Arians, who drove out of the churches and rigorously persecuted all who held different sentiments from themselves, deprived them of all these privileges. It would be no easy task to enumerate the names of the priests who were at this period ejected from their own cities; for I believe that no province of the empire was exempted from such a calamity.


AT the period that Eudoxius obtained the government of the church of Constantinople, there were many aspirants to the see of Antioch; and as is frequently the case under such circumstances, contentions and seditions divided the clergy and the people of that church.

Each party was anxious to commit the government of the church to a bishop of its own persuasion; for interminable disputes concerning doctrine were rampant among them, and they could not agree as to the mode of singing psalms; and, as has been before stated, psalms were sung by each individual, in conformity with his own peculiar creed. Such being the state of the church at Antioch, the partisans of Eudoxius thought it would be well to intrust the bishopric of that city to Meletius, then bishop of Sebaste, he being possessed of great and persuasive eloquence, of excellent life, and all, as they imagined, being of like opinions with themselves. They believed that his reputation would attract the inhabitants of Antioch and of the neighboring cities to conform to their heresy, particularly those called Eustathians, who had adhered invariably to the Nicene doctrines. But their expectations were utterly frustrated. It is said that on his first arrival in Antioch, an immense multitude, composed of Arians, and of those who were in communion with Paulinus, flocked around him. Some wished to see the man because his fame was great, even before his coming; others were anxious to hear what he had to say, and to ascertain the nature of his opinions; for a report had been spread abroad which was afterwards proved to be true, that he maintained the doctrines of those convened at Nicaea. In his first discourses he confined himself to instructing the people in what we call ethics; afterwards, however, he openly declared that the Son is of the same substance as the Father. It is said that at these words, the arch deacon of the church, who was then one of the clergy there, stretched out his hand, and covered the mouth of the preacher; but that he continued to explain his sentiments more clearly by means of his fingers than he could by language. He extended three fingers only towards the people, closed them, and then allowed only one finger to remain extended, and thus expressed by signs what he was prevented from uttering. As the archdeacon, in his embarrassment, seized the hand, he released the mouth; the tongue was free, and Meletius declared his opinion still more clearly and with a loud voice, and exhorted his auditors to adhere to the tenets of the council of Nicaea, and he testified to his hearers that those who held other views deviated from the truth. As he persisted in the enunciation of the same sentiments, either by word of mouth or by means of signs, when the archdeacon closed his mouth, a contention between both sides occurred, not unlike that of the pancratium; the followers of Eustathius shouted aloud and rejoiced and leaped, while the Arians were cast down. Eudoxius and his partisans were transported with indignation at this discourse, and contrived by their machinations to expel Meletius from Antioch. Soon afterwards, however, they recalled him, for they fancied he had renounced his former sentiments and had espoused theirs. As, however, it soon became apparent that his devotion to the Nicene doctrines was firm and unalterable, he was ejected from the church, and banished by order of the emperor; and the see of Antioch was conferred on Euzoius, who had formerly been banished with Arius. The followers of Meletius separated themselves from the Arians, and held their assemblies apart, for those who had from the beginning maintained that the Son is consubstantial with the Father refused to admit them into communion, because Meletius had been ordained by Arian bishops, and because his followers had been baptized by Arian priests. For this reason they were separated, although holding the same views.

The emperor having been informed that an Insurrection was about to arise in Persia, repaired to Antioch.


THE partisans of Acacius were not able to 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 Aetius, who had been the first after Arius to venture openly upon the profession of these opinions; hence Aetius 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," 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.


DURING this period, Athanasius was obliged to remain in concealment, and George returned to Alexandria, and commenced a cruel persecution against the pagans, and against the Christians who differed from him in opinion. He compelled both parties to offer worship in the mode he indicated, and where opposition was made, he enforced obedience by compulsion. He was hated by the rulers because he scorned them and was giving orders to the officers; and the multitude detested him on account of his tyranny, for his power was greater than all the rest. The pagans regarded him with even greater aversion than the Christians, because he prohibited them from offering sacrifices, and from celebrating their ancestral festivals; and because he had on one occasion, introduced the governor of Egypt and armed soldiery into the city, and despoiled their images, votives and temple ornaments. This was, in fact, the cause of his death, on which I will dwell.

On the deposition of Cyril, Erennius obtained the church of Jerusalem; he was succeeded by Heraclius, and to Heraclius succeeded Hilarius; for we have gathered from tradition that in that period these persons administered the church there, until the reign of Theodosius, when Cyril was once more restored to his own see.



Such were the transactions which took place in the Eastern Church. In the meantime, however, Julian, the Caesar, attacked and conquered the barbarians who dwelt on the banks of the Rhine; many he killed, and others he took prisoners. As the victory added greatly to his fame, and as his moderation and gentleness had endeared him to the troops, they proclaimed him Augustus. Far from making an excuse to Constantius for this act, he exchanged the officers who had been elected by Constantius, and industriously circulated letters wherein Constantius had solicited the barbarians to enter the Roman territories, and aid him against Magnentius. He then suddenly changed his religion, and although he had previously confessed Christianity, he declared himself high-priest, frequented the pagan temples, offered sacrifices, and invited his subjects to adopt that form of worship.

As an invasion of Roman territory by the Persians was expected, and as Constantius had on this account repaired to Syria, Julian conceived that he might without battle render himself master of Illyricum; he therefore set out on his journey to this province, under pretense that he intended to present an apology to Constantius for having, without his sanction, received the symbols of imperial power. It is said, that when he arrived on the borders of Illyria, the vines appeared full of green grapes, although the time of the vintage was past, and the Pleiades had set; and that there fell upon his followers a dashing of the dew from the atmosphere, of which each drop was stamped with the sign of the cross. He and many of those with him regarded the grapes appearing out of season as a favorable omen; while the dew had made that figure by chance on the garments upon which it happened to fall.

Others thought that of the two symbols, the one of the green grapes signified that the emperor would die prematurely, and his reign would be very short; while the second sign, that of the crosses formed by the drops of dew, indicated that the Christian religion is from heaven, and that all persons ought to receive the sign of the cross. I am, for my own part, convinced that those who regarded these two phenomena as unfavorable omens for Julian, were not mistaken; and the progress of time proved the accuracy of their opinion.

When Constantius heard that Julian was marching against him at the head of an army, he abandoned his intended expedition against the Persians, and departed for Constantinople; but he died on the journey, when he had arrived as far as Mopsucrenae, which lies near the Taurus, between Cilicia and Cappadocia.

He died in the forty-fifth year of his age, after reigning thirteen years conjointly with his father Constantine, and twenty-five years after the death of that emperor.

A little while after the decease of Constantius, Julian, who had already made himself master of Thrace, entered Constantinople and was proclaimed emperor. Pagans assert that diviners and demons had predicted the death of Constantius, and the change in affairs, before his departure for Galatia, and had advised him to undertake the expedition. This might have been regarded as a true prediction, had not the life of Julian been terminated so shortly afterwards, and when he had only tasted the imperial power as in a dream. But it appears to me absurd to believe that, after he had heard the death of Constantius predicted, and had been warned that it would be his own fate to fall in battle by the hands of the Persians, he should have leaped into manifest death, —offering him no other fame in the world than that of lack of counsel, and poor generalship,—and who, had he lived, would probably have suffered the greater part of the Roman territories to fall under the Persian yoke. This observation, however, is only inserted lest I should be blamed for omitting it. I leave every one to form his own opinion.


Immediately after the death of Constantius, the dread of a persecution arose in the Church, and Christians suffered more anguish from the anticipation of this calamity than they would have experienced from its actual occurrence. This state of feeling proceeded from the fact that a long interval had made them unaccustomed to such dangers, and from the remembrance of the tortures which had been exercised by the tyrants upon their fathers, and from their knowledge of the hatred with which the emperor regarded their doctrines. It is said that he openly renounced the faith of Christ so entirely, that he by sacrifices and expiations, which the pagans call renunciatory, and by the blood of animals, purged himself of our baptism. From that period he employed himself in auguries and in the celebration of the pagan rites, both publicly and privately. It is related that one day, as he was inspecting the entrails of a victim, he beheld among them a cross encompassed with a crown. This appearance terrified those who were assisting in the ceremony, for they judged that it indicated the strength of religion, and the eternal duration of the Christian doctrines; inasmuch as the crown by which it was encircled is the symbol of victory, and because of its continuity, for the circle beginning everywhere and ending in itself, has no limits in any direction. The chief augur commanded Julian to be of good cheer, because in his judgment the victims were propitious, and since they surrounded the symbol of the Christian doctrine, and was indeed pushing into it, so that it would not spread and expand itself where it wished, since it was limited by the circumference of the circle.

I have also heard that one day Julian descended into a most noted and terrific adytum, either for the purpose of participating in some initiation, or of consulting an oracle; and that, by means of machinery which is devised for this end, or of enchantments, such frightful specters were projected suddenly before him, that through perturbation and fear, he became forgetful of those who were present, for he had turned to his new religion when already a man, and so unconsciously fell into his earlier habit, and signed himself with the symbol of Christ, just as the Christian encompassed with untried dangers is wont to do. Immediately the specters disappeared and their designs were frustrated. The initiator was at first surprised at this, but when apprised of the cause of the flight of the demons, he declared that the act was a profanation; and after exhorting the emperor to be courageous and to have no recourse in deed or thought to anything connected with the Christian religion, he again conducted him to the initiation. The zeal of the king for such matters saddened the Christians not a little and made them extremely anxious, more especially as he had been himself formerly a Christian. He was born of pious parents, had been initiated in infancy according to the custom of the Church, and had been brought up in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and was nurtured by bishops and men of the Church. He and Gallus were the sons of Constantius, the brother by the same father of Constantine the emperor, and of Dalmatius. Dalmatius had a son of the same name, who was declared Caesar, and was slain by the soldiery after the death of Constantine. His fate would have been shared by Gallus and Julian, who were then orphans, had not Gallus been spared on account of a disease under which he was laboring, and from which, it was supposed, that he would soon naturally die; and Julian, on account of his extreme youth, for he was but eight years of age. After this wonderful preservation, a residence was assigned to the two brothers in a palace called Macellum, situated in Cappadocia; this imperial post was near Mount Argeus, and not far from Caesarea; it contained a magnificent palace and was adorned with baths, gardens, and perennial fountains. Here they were cultured and educated in a manner corresponding to the dignity of their birth; they were taught the sciences and bodily exercises befitting their age, by masters of languages and interpreters of the Holy Scriptures, so that they were enrolled among the clergy, and read the ecclesiastical books to the people. Their habits and actions indicated no dereliction from piety. They respected the clergy and other good people and persons zealous for doctrine; they repaired regularly to church and rendered due homage to the tombs of the martyrs.

It is said that they undertook to deposit the tomb of St. Mammas the martyr in a large edifice, and to divide the labor between themselves, and that while they were trying to excel one another in a rivalry of honor, an event occurred which was so astonishing that it would indeed be utterly incredible were it not for the testimony of many who are still among us, who heard it from those who were eyewitnesses of the transaction.

The part of the edifice upon which Gallus labored advanced rapidly and according to wish, but of the section upon which Julian labored, a part fell into ruin; another was projected upward from the earth; a third immediately on its touching the foundation could not be held upright, but was hurled backward as if some resistant and strong force from beneath were pushing against it.

This was universally regarded as a prodigy. The people, however, drew no conclusion from it till subsequent events manifested its import. There were a few who from that moment doubted the reality of Julian's religion, and suspected that he only made an outward profession of piety for fear of displeasing the emperor, who was then a Christian, and that he concealed his own sentiments because it was not safe to divulge them. It is asserted that he was first secretly led to renounce the religion of his fathers by his intercourse with diviners; for when the resentment of Constantius against the two brothers was abated, Gallus went to Asia, and took up his residence in Ephesus, where the greater part of his property was situated; and Julian repaired to Constantinople, and frequented the schools, where his fine natural abilities and ready attainments in the sciences did not remain concealed. He appeared in public in the garb of a private individual, and had much company; but because he was related to the emperor and was capable of conducting affairs and was expected to become emperor, considerable talk about him to this effect was prevalent, as is wont to be the case in a populous and imperial city, he was commanded to retire to Nicomedia.

Here he became acquainted with Maximus, an Ephesian philosopher, who instructed him in philosophy, and inspired him with hatred towards the Christian religion, and moreover assured him that the much talked of prophecy about him was true. Julian, as happens in many cases, while suffering in anticipation of severe circumstances, was softened by these favorable hopes and held Maximus as his friend. As these occurrences reached the ears of Constantius, Julian became apprehensive, and accordingly shaved himself, and adopted externally the monkish mode of life, while he secretly held to the other religion.

When he arrived at the age of manhood, he was more readily infatuated, and yet was anxious about these tendencies; and admiring the art (if there be such an art) of predicting the future, he thought the knowledge of it necessary; he advanced to such experiments as are not lawful for Christians. Froth this period he had as his friends those who followed this art. In this opinion, he came into Asia from Nicomedia, and there consorting with men of such practices, he became more ardent in the pursuit of divination.

When Gallus, his brother, who had been established as Caesar, was put to death on being accused of revolution, Constantius also suspected Julian of cherishing the love of empire, and therefore put him under the custody of guards.

Eusebia, the wife of Constantius, obtained for him permission to retire to Athens; and he accordingly settled there, under pretext of attending the pagan exercises and schools; but as rumor says, he communed with diviners concerning his future prospects. Constantius recalled him, and proclaimed him Caesar, promised him his sister Constantia in marriage, and sent him to Gaul; for the barbarians whose aid had been hired by Constantius previously against Magnentius, finding that their services were not required, had portioned out that country. As Julian was very young, generals, to whom the prudential affairs were turned over, were sent with him; but as these generals abandoned themselves to pleasure, he was present as Caesar, and provided for the war. He confirmed his soldiers in their spirit for battle, and urged them in other ways to incur danger; he also ordered that a fixed reward should be given to each one who should slay a barbarian. After he had thus secured the affections of the soldiery, he wrote to Constantius, acquainting him with the levity of the generals; and when another general had been sent, he attacked the barbarians, and obtained the victory. They sent embassies to beg for peace, and showed the letter in which Constantius had requested them to enter the Roman dominions. He purposely delayed to send the ambassador back; he attacked a number of the enemy unexpectedly and conquered them.

Some have said that Constantius, with designed enmity, committed this campaign to him; a but this does not appear probable to me. For, as it rested with Constantius alone to nominate him Caesar, why did he confer that title upon him? Why did he give him his sister in marriage, or hear his complaints against the inefficient generals, and send a competent one in their stead in order to complete the war, if he were not friendly to Julian?

But as I conjecture, he conferred on him the title of Caesar because he was well disposed to Julian; but that after Julian had, without his sanction, been proclaimed emperor, he plotted against him through the barbarians on the Rhine; and this, I think, resulted either from the dread that Julian would seek revenge for the ill-treatment he and his brother Gallus had experienced during their youth, or as would be natural, from jealousy of his attaining similar honor. But a great variety of opinions are entertained on this subject.


WHEN Julian found himself sole possessor of the empire, he commanded that all the pagan temples should be reopened throughout the East; that those which had been neglected should be repaired; that those which had fallen into ruins should be rebuilt, and that the altars should be restored. He assigned considerable money for this purpose; he restored the customs of antiquity and the ancestral ceremonies in the cities, and the practice of offering sacrifice.

He himself offered libations openly and publicly sacrificed; bestowed honors on those who were zealous in the performance of these ceremonies; restored the initiators and the priests, the hierophants and the servants of the images, to their old privileges; and confirmed the legislation of former emperors in their behalf; he conceded exemption from duties and from other burdens as was their previous right; he restored the provisions, which had been abolished, to the temple guardians, and commanded them to be pure from meats, and to abstain from whatever according to pagan saying was befitting him who had announced his purpose of leading a pure life.

He also ordered that the nilometer and the symbols and the former ancestral tablets should be cared for in the temple of Serapis, instead of being deposited, according to the regulation, established by Constantine, in the church. He wrote frequently to the inhabitants of those cities in which he knew paganism was nourished, and urged them to ask what gifts they might desire. Towards the Christians, on the contrary, he openly manifested his aversion, refusing to honor them with his presence, or to receive their deputies who were delegated to report about grievances.

When the inhabitants of Nisibis sent to implore his aid against the Persians, who were on the point of invading the Roman territories, he refused to assist them because they were wholly Christianized, and would neither reopen their temples nor resort to the sacred places; he threatened that he would not help them, nor receive their embassy, nor approach to enter their city before he should hear that they had returned to paganism.

He likewise accused the inhabitants of Constantia in Palestine, of attachment to Christianity, and rendered their city tributary to that of Gaza. Constantia, as we stated before, was formerly called Majuma, and was used as a harbor for the vessels of Gaza; but on hearing that the majority of its inhabitants were Christians, Constantine elevated it to the dignity of a city, and conferred upon it the name of his own son, and a separate form of government; for he considered that it ought not to be dependent on Gaza, a city addicted to pagan rites. On the accession of Julian, the citizens of Gaza went to law against those of Constantia. The emperor himself sat as judge, and decided in favor of Gaza, and commanded that Constantia should be an appendage to that city, although it was situated at a distance of twenty stadia.

Its former name having been abolished by him, it has since been denominated the maritime region of Gaza. They have now the same city magistrates, military officers, and public regulations. With respect to ecclesiastical concerns, however, they may still be regarded as two cities. They have each their own bishop and their own clergy; they celebrate festivals in honor of their respective martyrs, and in memory of the priests who successively ruled them; and the boundaries of the adjacent fields by which the altars belonging to the bishops are divided, are still preserved.

It happened within our own remembrance that an attempt was made by the bishop of Gaza, on the death of the president of the church at Majuma, to unite the clergy of that town with those under his own jurisdiction; and the plea he advanced was, that it was not lawful for two bishops to preside over one city. The inhabitants of Majuma opposed this scheme, and the council of the province took cognizance of the dispute, and ordained another bishop. The council decided that it was altogether right for those who had been deemed worthy of the honors of a city on account of their piety, not to be deprived of the privilege conferred upon the priesthood and rank of their churches, through the decision of a pagan emperor, who had taken a different ground of action.

But these events occurred at a later period than that now under review.


About the same time, the emperor erased Caesarea, the large and wealthy metropolis of Cappadocia, situated near Mount Argeus, from the catalogue of cities, and even deprived it of the name of Caesarea, which had been conferred upon it during the reign of Claudius Caesar, its former name having been Mazaca. He had long regarded the inhabitants of this city with extreme aversion, because they were zealously attached to Christianity, and had formerly destroyed the temple of the ancestral Apollo and that of Jupiter, the tutelar deity of the city. The temple dedicated to Fortune, the only one remaining in the city, was overturned by the Christians after his accession; and on hearing of the deed, he hated the entire city intensely and could scarce endure it. He also-blamed the pagans, who were few in number, but who ought, he said, to have hastened to the temple, and, if necessary, to have suffered cheerfully for Fortune. He caused all possessions and money belonging to the churches of the city and suburbs of Caesarea to be rigorously sought out and carded away; about three hundred pounds of gold, obtained from this source, were conveyed to the public treasury. He also commanded that all the clergy should be enrolled among the troops under the governor of the province, which is accounted the most arduous and least honorable service among the Romans.

He ordered the Christian populace to be numbered, women and children inclusive, and imposed taxes upon them as onerous as those to which villages are subjected.

He further threatened that, unless their temples were speedily re- erected, his wrath would not be appeased, but would be visited on the city, until none of the Galileans remained in existence; for this was the name which, in derision, he was wont to give to the Christians. There is no doubt but that his menaces would have been fully executed had not death quickly intervened.

It was not from any feeling of compassion towards the Christians that he treated them at first with greater humanity than had been evinced by former persecutors, but because he had discovered that paganism had derived no advantage from their tortures, while Christianity had been especially increased, and had become more honored by the fortitude of those who died in defense of the faith.

It was simply from envy of their glory, that instead of employing fire and the sword against them, and maltreating their bodies like former persecutors, and instead of casting them into the sea, or burying them alive in order to compel them to a change of sentiment, he had recourse to argument and persuasion, and sought by these means to reduce them to paganism; he expected to gain his ends more easily by abandoning all violent measures, and by the manifestation of unexpected benevolence. It is said that on one occasion, when he was sacrificing in the temple of Fortune at Constantinople, Maris, bishop of Chalcedon, presented himself before him, and publicly rebuked him as an irreligous man, an atheist, and an apostate. Julian had nothing in return to reproach him with except his blindness, for his sight was impaired by old age, and he was led by a child. According to his usual custom of uttering blasphemies against Christ, Julian afterward added in derision, "The Galilean, thy God, will not cure thee." Maris replied, 'I thank God for my blindness, since it prevents me from beholding one who has fallen away from our religion." Julian passed on without giving a reply, for he considered that paganism would be more advanced by a personal and unexpected exhibition of patience and mildness towards Christians.


IT was from these motives that Julian recalled from exile a all Christians who, during the reign of Constantius, had been banished on account of their religious sentiments, and restored to them their property that had been confiscated by law. He charged the people not to commit any act of injustice against the Christians, not to insult them, and not to constrain them to offer sacrifice unwillingly. He commanded that if they should of their own accord desire to draw near the altars, they were first to appease the wrath of the demons, whom the pagans regard as capable of averting evil, and to purify themselves by the customary course of expiations. He deprived the clergy, however, of the immunities, honors, and provisions which Constantine had conferred; repealed the laws which had been enacted in their favor, and reinforced their statute liabilities. He even compelled the virgins and widows, who, on account of their poverty, were reckoned among the clergy, to refund the provision which had been assigned them from public sources. For when Constantine adjusted the temporal concerns of the Church, he devoted a sufficient portion of the taxes raised upon every city, to the support of the clergy everywhere; and to ensure the stability of this arrangement he enacted a law which has continued in force from the death of Julian to the present day. They say these transactions were very cruel and rigorous, as appears by the receipts given by the receivers of the money to those from whom it had been extorted, and which were designed to show that the property received in accordance with the law of Constantine had been refunded.

Nothing, however, could diminish the enmity of the ruler against religion. In the intensity of his hatred against the faith, he seized every opportunity to ruin the Church. He deprived it of its property, votives, and sacred vessels, and condemned those who had demolished temples during the reign of Constantine and Constantius, to rebuild them, or to defray the expenses of their re-erection. On this ground, since they were unable to pay the sums and also on account of the inquisition for sacred money, many of the priests, clergy, and the other Christians were cruelly tortured and cast into prison.

It may be concluded from what has been said, that if Julian shed less blood than preceding persecutors of the Church, and that if he devised fewer punishments for the torture of the body, yet that he was severer in other respects; for he appears as inflicting evil upon it in every way, except that he recalled the priests who had been condemned to banishment by the Emperor Constantius; but it is said he issued this order in their behalf, not out of mercy, but that through contention among themselves, the churches might be involved in fraternal strife, and might fail of her own rights, or because he wanted to asperse Constantius; for he supposed that he could render the dead monarch odious to almost all his subjects, by favoring the pagans who were of the same sentiments as himself, and by showing compassion to those who had suffered for Christ, as having been treated unjustly. He expelled the eunuchs from the palaces, because the late emperor had been well affected towards them. He condemned Eusebius, the governor of the imperial court, to death, from a suspicion he entertained that it was at his suggestion that Gallus his brother had been slain. He recalled Aetius, the leader of the Eunomian heresy, from the region whither Constantius had banished him, who had been otherwise suspected on account of his intimacy with Gallus; and to him Julian sent letters full of benignity, and furnished him with public conveyances. For a similar reason he condemned Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus, under the heaviest penalty, to rebuild, within two months, and at his own expense, a church belonging to the Novatians which he had destroyed under Constantius. Many other things might be found which he did from hatred to his predecessor, either himself effecting these or permitting others to accomplish them.


AT this period, Athanasius, who had long remained in concealment, having heard of the death of Constantius, appeared by night in the church at Alexandria. His unexpected appearance excited the greatest astonishment. He had escaped falling into the hands of the governor of Egypt, who, at the command of the emperor, and at the request of the friends of George, had formed plans to arrest him, as before stated, and had concealed himself in the house of a holy virgin in Alexandria. It is said that she was endowed with such extraordinary beauty, that those who beheld her regarded her as a phenomenon of nature; and that men who possessed continence and prudence, kept aloof from her in order that no blame might be attached to them by the suspicious. She was in the very flower of youth and was exceedingly modest and prudent, qualities which are wont alone to adorn the body even to a refinement of beauty when nature may not be helpful with the gift. For it is not true, as some assert, that "as is the body, so is the soul." On the contrary, the habit of the body is imaged forth by the operation of the soul, and any one who is active in any way whatever will appear to be of that nature as long as he may be thus actively engaged.

This is a truth I think admitted by all who have accurately investigated the subject. It is related that Athanasius sought refuge in the house of this holy virgin by the revelation of God, who designed to save him in this manner.

When I reflect on the result which ensued, I cannot doubt but that all the events were directed by God; so that the relatives of Athanasius might not have distress if any one had attempted to trouble them about him, and had they been compelled to swear. There was nothing to excite suspicion of a priest being concealed in the house of so lovely a virgin. However, she had the courage to receive him, and through her prudence preserved his life. She was his most faithful keeper and assiduous servant; for she washed his feet and brought him food, and she alone served in every other necessity, which nature demands in her exacting uses; the books he stood in need of she cared for through the help of others; during the long time in which these services were rendered, none of the inhabitants of Alexandria knew anything about it.


After Athanasius had been preserved in this wise and appeared suddenly in the church, no one knew whence he came. The people of Alexandria, however, rejoiced at his return, and restored his churches to him.

The Arians, being thus expelled from the churches, were compelled to hold their assemblies in private houses, and constituted Lucius, in the place of George, as the bishop of their heresy. George had been already slain; for when the magistrates had announced to the public the decease of Constantius, and that Julian was sole ruler, the pagans of Alexandria rose up in sedition. They attacked George with shouts and reproaches as if they would kill him at once. The repellants of this precipitate attack, then put him in prison; a little while after they rushed, early in the morning, to the prison, killed him, flung the corpse upon a camel, and after exposing it to every insult during the day, burnt it at nightfall. I am not ignorant that the Arian heretics assert that George received this cruel treatment from the followers of Athanasius; but it seems to me more probable that the perpetrators of these deeds were the pagans; for they had more cause than any other body of men to hate him, especially on account of the insults be offered their images and their temples; and having, morever, prohibited them from sacrificing, or performing the ancestral rites. Besides, the influence he had acquired in the palaces intensified the hatred towards him; and as the people, are wont to feel towards those in power, they regarded him as unendurable.

A calamity had also taken place at a spot called Mithrium; it was originally a desert, and Constantius had bestowed it on the church of Alexandria. While George was clearing the ground, in order to erect a house of prayer, an adytum was discovered. In it were found idols and certain instruments for initiation or perfection which seemed ludicrous and strange to the beholders. The Christians caused them to be publicly exhibited, and made a procession in order to nettle the pagans; but the pagans gathered a multitude together, and rushed upon and attacked the Christians, after arming themselves with swords, stones, and whatever weapon came first to hand. They slew many of the Christians, and, in derision of their religion, crucified others, and they left many wounded.

This led to the abandonment of the work that had been commenced by the Christians, while the pagans murdered George as soon as they had heard of the accession of Julian to the empire. This fact is admitted by that emperor himself, which he would not have confessed unless he had been forced by the truth; for he would rather, I think, have had the Christians, whoever they were, than the pagans to be the murderers of George; but it could not be concealed. It is apparent in the letter which he wrote on the subject to the inhabitants of Alexandria, wherein he expresses severe opinions. In this epistle he only censures and passes over the punishment; for he said that he feared Serapis, their tutelary divinity, and Alexander their founder, and Julian, his own uncle, who formerly was governor of Egypt and of Alexandria. This latter was so favorable to paganism and hated Christianity so exceedingly, that contrary to the wishes of the emperor, he persecuted the Christians unto death.


It is said that when Julian, the uncle of the emperor, was intent upon removing the votive gifts of the church of Antioch, which were many and costly, and placing them in the imperial treasury, and also closing the places of prayer, all the clergy fled. One presbyter, by name Theodoritus, alone did not leave the city; Julian seized him, as the keeper of the treasures, and as capable of giving information concerning them, and maltreated him terribly; finally he ordered him to be slain with the sword, after he had responded bravely under every torture and had been well approved by his doctrinal confessions. When Julian had made a booty of the sacred vessels, he flung them upon the ground and began to mock; after blaspheming Christ as much as he wished, he sat upon the vessels and augmented his insulting acts. Immediately his genitals and rectum were corrupted; their flesh became putrescent, and was changed into worms. The disease was beyond the skill of the physicians. However, from reverence and fear for the emperor, they resorted to experiments with all manner of drugs, and the most costly and the fattest birds were slain, and their fat was applied to the corrupted parts, in the hope that the worms might be thereby attracted to the surface, but this was of no effect; for being deep buried, they crept into the living flesh, and did not cease their gnawing until they put an end to his life. It seemed that this calamity was an infliction of Divine wrath, because the keeper of the imperial treasures, and other of the chief officers of the court who had made sport of the Church, died in an extraordinary and dreadful manner, as if condemned by Divine wrath.


As I have advanced thus far in my history, and have given an account of the death of George and of Theodoritus, I deem it right to relate some particulars concerning the death of the three brethren, Eusebius, Nestabus, and Zeno. The inhabitants of Gaza, being inflamed with rage against them, dragged them from their house, in which they had concealed themselves and cast them into prison, and beat them. They then assembled in the theater, and cried out loudly against them, declaring that they had committed sacrilege in their temple, and had used the past opportunity for the injury and insult of paganism. By these shouts and by instigating one another to the murder of the brethren, they were filled with fury; and when they had been mutually incited, as a crowd in revolt is wont to do, they rushed to the prison. They handled the men very cruelly; sometimes with the face and sometimes with the back upon the ground, the victims were dragged along, and were dashed to pieces by the pavement. I have been told that even women quilted their distaffs and pierced them with the weaving- spindles, and that the cooks in the markets snatched from their stands the boiling pots foaming with hot water and poured it over the victims, or perforated them with spits. When they had torn the flesh from them and crushed in their skulls, so that the brain ran out on the ground, their bodies were dragged out of the city and flung on the spot generally used as a receptacle for the carcasses of beasts; then a large fire was lighted, and they burned the bodies; the remnant of the bones not consumed by the fire was mixed with those of camels and asses, that they might not be found easily. But they were not long concealed; for a Christian woman, who was an inhabitant, though not a native of Gaza, collected the bones at night by the direction of God. She put them in an earthen pot and gave them to Zeno, their cousin, to keep, for thus God had informed her in a dream, and also had indicated to the woman where the man lived: and before she saw him, he was shown to her, for she was previously unacquainted with Zeno; and when the persecution had been agitated recently he remained concealed. He was within a little of being seized by the people of Gaza and being put to death; but he had effected his escape while the people were occupied in the murder of his cousins, and had fled to Anthedon, a maritime city, about twenty stadia from Gaza and similarly favorable to paganism and devoted to idolatry. When the inhabitants of this city discovered that he was a Christian, they beat him terribly on the back with rods and drove him out of the city. He then fled to the harbor of Gaza and concealed himself; and here the woman found him and gave him the remains. He kept them carefully in his house until the reign of Theodosius, when he was ordained bishop; and he erected a house of prayer beyond the wails of the city, placed an altar there, and deposited the bones of the martyrs near those of Nestor, the Confessor. Nestor had been on terms of intimacy with his cousins, and was seized with them by the people of Gaza, imprisoned, and scourged. But those who dragged him through the city were affected by his personal beauty; and, struck with compassion, they cast him, before he was quite dead, out of the city. Some persons found him, and carried him to the house of Zeno, where he expired during the dressing of his cuts and wounds. When the inhabitants of Gaza began to reflect on the enormity of their crime, they trembled lest the emperor should take vengeance on them.

It was reported that the emperor was filled with indignation, and had determined upon punishing the decuria; but this report was false, and had no foundation save in the fears and self-accusations of the criminals. Julian, far from evincing as much anger against them as he had manifested against the Alexandrians on the murder of George, did not even write to rebuke the people of Gaza. On the contrary, he deposed the governor of the province, and held him as a suspect, and represented that clemency alone prevented his being put to death. The crime imputed to him was, that of having arrested some of the inhabitants of Gaza, who were reported to have begun the sedition and murders, and of having imprisoned them until judgment could be passed upon them in accordance with the laws. "For what right had he," asked the emperor, "to arrest the citizens merely for retaliating on a few Galileans the injuries that had been inflicted on them and their gods?" This, it is said, was the fact in the case.


AT the same period the inhabitants of Gaza sought for the monk Hilarion; but he had fled to Sicily. Here he employed himself in collecting wood in the deserts and on the mountains, which he carried on his shoulders for sale in the cities, and, by these means, obtained sufficient food for the support of the body. But as he was at length recognized by a man of quality whom he had dispossessed of a demon, he retired to Dalmatia, where, by the power of God he performed numerous miracles, and through prayer, repressed an inundation of the sea and restored the waves to their proper bounds, and again departed, for it was no joy to him to live among those who praised him; but when he changed his place of abode, he was desirous of being unobserved and by frequent migrations to be rid of the fame which prevailed about him. Eventually he sailed for the island of Cyprus, but touched at Paphos, and, at the entreaty of the bishop of Cyprus, he loved the life there and practiced philosophy at a place called Charburis.

Here he only escaped martyrdom by flight; for he fled in compliance with the Divine precept which commands us not to expose ourselves to persecution; but that if we fall into the hands of persecutors, to overcome by our own fortitude the violence of our oppressors.

The inhabitants of Gaza and of Alexandria were not the only citizens who exercised such atrocities against the Christians as those I have described. The inhabitants of Heliopolis, near Mount Libanus, and of Arethusa in Syria, seem to have surpassed them in excess of cruelty? The former were guilty of an act of barbarity which could scarcely be credited, had it not been corroborated by the testimony of those who witnessed it. They stripped the holy virgins, who had never been looked upon by the multitude, of their garments, and exposed them in a state of nudity as a public spectacle and objects of insult. After numerous other inflictions they at last shaved them, ripped them open, and concealed in their viscera the food usually given to pigs; and since the swine could not distinguish, but were impelled by the need of their customary food, they also tore in pieces the human flesh.

I am convinced that the citizens of Heliopolis perpetrated this barbarity against the holy virgins on account of the prohibition of the ancient custom of yielding up virgins to prostitution with any chance comer before being united in marriage to their betrothed. This custom was prohibited by a law enacted by Constantine, after he had destroyed the temple of Venus at Heliopolis, and erected a church upon its ruins.

Mark, bishop of Arethusa, an old man and venerable for his gray hairs and life, was put to a very cruel death by the inhabitants of that city, who had long entertained inimical feelings against him, because, during the reign of Constantine, he had more spiritedly than persuasively elevated the pagans to Christianity, and had demolished a most sacred and magnificent temple. On the accession of Julian he saw that the people were excited against the bishop; an edict was issued commanding the bishop either to defray the expenses of its re-erection, or to rebuild the temple. Reflecting that the one was impossible and the other unlawful for a Christian and still less for a priest, he at first fled from the city. On hearing, however, that many were suffering on his account, that some were dragged before the tribunals and others tortured, he returned, and offered to suffer whatever the multitude might choose to inflict upon him. The entire people, instead of admiring him the more as having manifested a deed befitting a philosopher, conceived that he was actuated by contempt towards them, and rushed upon him, dragged him through the streets, pressing and plucking and beating whatever member each one happened upon. People of each sex and of all ages joined with alacrity and fury in this atrocious proceeding. His ears were severed by fine ropes; the boys who frequented the schools made game of him by tossing him aloft and rolling him over and over, sending him forward, catching him up, and unsparingly piercing him with their styles. When his whole body was covered with wounds, and he nevertheless was still breathing, they anointed him with honey and a certain mixture, and placing him in a fish-basket made of woven rushes, raised him up on an eminence. It is said that while he was in this position, and the wasps and bees lit upon him and consumed his flesh, he told the inhabitants of Arethusa that he was raised up above them, and could look down upon them below him, and that this reminded him of the difference that would exist between them in the life to come. It is also related that the prefect who, although a pagan, was of such noble conduct that his memory is still honored in that country, admired the self- control of Mark, and boldly uttered reproaches against the emperor for allowing himself to be vanquished by an old man, who was exposed to innumerable tortures; and he added that such proceedings reflected ridicule on the emperor, while the names of the persecuted were at the same time rendered illustrious. Thus did the blessed one endure all the torments inflicted upon him by the inhabitants of Arethusa with such unshaken fortitude that even the pagans praised him.


About the same period, Macedonius, Theodulus, and Tatian, who were Phrygians by birth, courageously endured martyrdom. A temple of Misos, a city of Phrygia, having been reopened by the governor of the province, after it had been closed many years, these martyrs entered therein by night, and destroyed the images. As other individuals were arrested, and were on the point of being punished for the deed, they avowed themselves the actors in the transaction. They might have escaped all further punishment by offering sacrifices to idols; but the governor could not persuade them to accept acquittal on these terms. His persuasions being ineffectual, he maltreated them in a variety of forms, and finally extended them on a gridiron, beneath which a fire had been lighted. While they were being consumed, they said to the governor, "Amachus (for that was his name), "if you desire cooked flesh, give orders that our bodies may be turned with the other side to the fire, in order that we may not seem, to your taste, half cooked." Thus did these men nobly endure and lay down their life amid the punishments.

It is said that Busiris also obtained renown at Ancyra, a city of Galatia, by his brilliant and most manly confession of religion. He belonged to the heresy denominated Eucratites; the governor of the province apprehended and designed to maltreat him for ridiculing the pagans. He led him forth publicly to the torture chamber and commanded that he should be elevated. Busiris raised both hands to his head so as to leave his sides exposed, and told the governor that it would be useless for the executioners to lift him up to the instrument of torture and afterwards to lower him, as he was ready without this to yield to the tortures as much as might be desired. The governor was surprised at this proposition; but his astonishment was increased by what followed, for Busiris remained firm, holding up both hands and receiving the blows while his sides were being torn with hooks, according to the governor's direction. Immediately afterwards, Busiris was consigned to prison, but was released not long subsequently, on the announcement of the death of Julian. He lived till the reign of Theodosius, renounced his former heresy, and joined the Catholic Church.

It is said that about this period, Basil, presbyter of the church of Ancyra, and Eupsychius, a noble of Caesarea in Cappadocia, who had but just taken to himself a wife and was still a bridegroom, terminated their lives by martyrdom. I believe that Eupsychius was condemned in consequence of the demolition of the temple of Fortune, which, as I have already stated, excited the anger of the emperor against all the inhabitants of Caesarea. Indeed, all the actors in this transaction were condemned, some to death, and others to banishment. Basil had long manifested great zeal in defense of the faith, and had opposed the Arians during the reign of Constantius; hence the partisans of Eudoxius had prohibited him from holding public assemblies. On the accession of Julian, however, he traveled hither and thither, publicly and openly exhorting the Christians to cleave to their own doctrines, and to refrain from defiling themselves with pagan sacrifices and libations. He urged them to account as nothing the honors which the emperor might bestow upon them, such honors being but of short duration, and leading to eternal infamy. His zeal had already rendered him an object of suspicion and of hatred to the pagans, when one day he chanced to pass by and see them offering sacrifice. He sighed deeply, and uttered a prayer to the effect that no Christian might be suffered to fall into similar delusion. He was seized on the spot, and conveyed to the governor of the province. Many tortures were inflicted on him; and in the manly endurance of this anguish he received the crown of martyrdom.

Even if these cruelties were perpetrated contrary to the will of the emperor, yet they serve to prove that his reign was signalized by martyrs neither ignoble nor few.

For the sake of clearness, I have related all these occurrences collectively, although the martyrdoms really occurred at different periods.


AFTER the return of Athanasius, Lucifer, bishop of Cagliari in Sardinia, and Eusebius, bishop of Vercelli, a city of Liguria in Italy, returned from the upper Thebais. They had been condemned by Constantius to perpetual exile in that country. For the regulation and general systematizing of ecclesiastical affairs, Eusebius came to Alexandria, and there, in concert with Athanasius, to hold a council for the purpose of confirming the Nicene doctrines.

Lucifer sent a deacon with Eusebius to take his place in the council, and went himself to Antioch, to visit the church there in its disturbances.

A schism had been excited by the Arians then under the guidance of Euzoius, and by the followers of Meletius, who, as I have above stated, were at variance even with those who held the same opinions as themselves. As Meletius had not then returned from exile, Lucifer ordained Paulinus bishop.

In the meantime, the bishops of many cities had assembled in Alexandria with Athanasius and Eusebius, and had confirmed the Nicene doctrines. They confessed that the Holy Ghost is of the same substance as the Father and the Son, and they made use of the term "Trinity."

They declared that the human nature assumed by God the Word is to be regarded as consisting of not a perfect body only, but also of a perfect soul, even as was taught by the ancient Church philosophers. As the Church had been agitated by questions concerning the terms "substance" and "hypostasis," and the contentions and disputes about these words had been frequent, they decreed, and, as I think, wisely, that these terms should not henceforth at the beginning be used in reference to God, except in refutation of the Sabellian tenet; lest from the paucity of terms, one and the same thing might appear to be called by three names; but that one might understand each by its peculiar term in a threefold way.

These were the decrees passed by the bishops convened at Alexandria. Athanasius read in the council the document about his flight which he had written in order to justify himself.


ON the termination of the council, Eusebius repaired to Antioch and found dissension prevailing among the people. Those who were attached to Meletius would not join Paulinus, but held their assemblies apart. Eusebius was much grieved at the state of affairs; for the ordination ought not to have taken place without the unanimous consent of the people; yet, from respect towards Lucifer, he did not openly express his dissatisfaction.

He refused to hold communion with either party, but promised to redress their respective grievances by means of a council. While he was thus striving to restore concord and unanimity, Meletius returned from exile, and, finding that those who held his sentiments had seceded from the other party, he held meetings with them beyond the walls of the city. Paulinus, in the meantime, assembled his own party within the city; for his mildness, his virtuous life, and his advanced age had so far won the respect of Euzoius, the Arian president, that, instead of being expelled from the city, a church had been assigned him for his own use. Eusebius, on finding all his endeavors for the restoration of concord frustrated, quitted Antioch. Lucifer fancied himself injured by him, because he had refused to approve the ordination of Paulinus; and, in displeasure, seceded from communion with him. As if purely from the desire of contention, Lucifer then began to cast aspersions on the enactments of the council of Alexandria; and in this way he seems to have originated the heresy which has been called after him, Luciferian.

Those who espoused his cause seceded from the church; but, although he was deeply chagrined at the aspect affairs had taken, yet, because he had deputed a deacon to accompany Eusebius in lien of himself, he yielded to the decrees of the council of Alexandria, and conformed to the doctrines of the Catholic Church. About this period he repaired to Sardinia.

In the meantime Eusebius traversed the Eastern provinces, restored those who had declined from the faith, and taught them what it was necessary to believe. After passing through Illyria, he went to Italy, and there he met with Hilarius, bishop of Poictiers in Aquitania. Hilarius had returned from exile before Eusebius, and had taught the Italians and the Gauls what doctrines they had to receive, and what to reject; he expressed himself with great eloquence in the Latin tongue, and wrote many admirable works, it is said, in refutation of the Arian dogmas. Thus did Hilarius and Eusebius maintain the doctrines of the Nicaean council in the regions of the West.


AT this period the adherents of Macedonius, among whom were Eleusius, Eustathius, and Sophronius, who now began openly to be called Macedonians, as constituting a distinct sect, adopted the bold measure on the death of Constantius, of calling together those of their own sentiments who had been convened at Seleucia, and of holding several councils. They condemned the partisans of Acacius and the faith which had been established at Ariminum, and confirmed the doctrines which had been set forth at Antioch, and afterwards approved at Seleucia.

When interrogated as to the cause of their dispute with the partisans of Acacius, with whom, as being of the same sentiments as themselves they had formerly held communion, they replied by the mouth of Sophronius, a bishop of Paphlagonia, that while the Christians in the West maintained the use of the term "consubstantial," the followers of Aetius in the East upheld the dogma of dissimilarity as to substance; and that the former party irregularly wove together into a unity the distinct persons of the Father and of the Son, by their use of the term "consubstantial,' and that the latter party represented too great a difference as existing in the relationship between the nature of the Father and of the Son; but that they themselves preserved the mean between the two extremes, and avoided both errors, by religiously maintaining that in hypostasis, the Son is like unto the Father. It was by such representations as these that the Macedonians vindicated themselves from blame.


The emperor, on being informed that Athanasius held meetings in the church of Alexandria, and taught the people boldly, and convened many pagans to Christianity, commanded him, under the severest penalties, to depart from Alexandria. The pretext made use of for enforcing this edict, was that Athanasius, after having been banished by Constantius, had reassumed his episcopal see without the sanction of the reigning emperor; for Julian declared that he had never contemplated restoring the bishops who had been exiled by Constantius to their ecclesiastical functions, but only to their native land. On the announcement of the command enjoining his immediate departure, Athanasius said to the Christian multitudes who stood weeping around him, "Be of good courage; it is but a cloud which will speedily be dispersed." After these words he bade farewell; he then committed the care of the church to the most zealous of his friends and quitted Alexandria.

About the same period, the inhabitants of Cyzicus sent an embassy to the emperor to lay before him some of their private affairs, and particularly to entreat the restoration of the pagan temples. He applauded their forethought, and promised to grant all their requests. He expelled Eleusius, the bishop of their city, because he had destroyed some temples, and desecrated the sacred areas with contumely, provided houses for the support of widows, erected buildings for holy virgins, and induced pagans to abandon their ancestral rites.

The emperor prohibited some foreign Christians, who had accompanied him, from entering the city of Cyzicus, from the apprehension, it appears, that they would, in conjunction with the Christians within the city, excite a sedition on account of religion. There were many persons gathered with them who also held like religious views with the Christians of the city, and who were engaged in woolen manufactures for the state, and were coiners of money. They were numerous, and were divided into two populous classes; they had received permission from preceding emperors to dwell, with their wives and possessions, in Cyzicus, provided that they annually handed over to the public treasury a supply of clothes for the soldiery and of newly coined money.

Although Julian was anxious to advance paganism by every means, yet he deemed it the height of imprudence to employ force or vengeance against those who refused to sacrifice. Besides, there were so many Christians in every city that it would have been no easy task for the rulers even to number them. He did not even forbid them to assemble together for worship, as he was aware that when freedom of the will is called into question, constraint is utterly useless. He expelled the clergy and presidents of the churches from all the cities, in order to put an end to these assemblies, saying truly that by their absence the gatherings of the people would be effectually dissolved, if indeed there were none to convene the churches, and none to teach or to dispense the mysteries, religion itself would, in the course of time, fall into oblivion. The pretext which he advanced for these proceedings was, that the clergy were the leaders of sedition among the people. Under this plea, he expelled Eleusius and his friends from Cyzicus, although there was not even a symptom nor expectation of sedition in that city. He also publicly called upon the citizens of Bostra to expel Titus, their bishop. It appears that the emperor had threatened to impeach Titus and the other clergy as the authors of any sedition that might arise among the people, and that Titus had thereupon written stating to him that although the Christians were near the pagans in number, yet that, in accordance with his exhortations, they were disposed to remain quiet, and were not likely to rise up in sedition. Julian, with the view of not exciting the enmity of the inhabitants of Bostra against Titus, represented, in a letter which he addressed to them, that their bishop had advanced a calumny against them, by stating that it was in accordance with his exhortations rather than with their own inclination that they refrained from sedition; and Julian exhorted them to expel him from their city as a public enemy.

It appears that the Christians were subjected to similar injustice in other places; sometimes by the command of the emperor, and sometimes by the wrath and impetuosity of the populace. The blame of these transactions may be justly imputed to the ruler; for he did not bring under the force of law the transgressors of law, but out of his hatred to the Christian religion, he only visited the perpetrators of such deeds with verbal rebukes, while, by his actions, he urged them on in the same course. Hence although not absolutely persecuted by the emperor, the Christians were obliged to flee from city to city and village to village. My grandfather and many of my ancestors were compelled to flee in this manner. My grandfather was of pagan parentage; and, with his own family and that of Alaphion, had been the first to embrace Christianity in Bethelia, a populous town near Gaza, in which there are temples highly reverenced by the people of the country, on account of their antiquity and structural excellence. The most celebrated of these temples is the Pantheon, built on an artificial eminence commanding a view of the whole town. The conjecture is that the place received its name from the temple, that the original name given to this temple was in the Syriac language, and that this name was afterwards rendered into Greek and expressed by a word which signifies that the temple is the residence of all the gods.

It is said that the above-mentioned families were converted through the instrumentality of the monk Hilarion. Alaphion, it appears, was possessed of a devil; and neither the pagans nor the Jews could, by any incantations and enchantments, deliver him from this affliction; but Hilarion, by simply calling on the name of Christ, expelled the demon, and Alaphion, with his whole family, immediately embraced Christianity.

My grandfather was endowed with great natural ability, which he applied with success to the explanation of the Sacred Scriptures; he had made some attainments in general knowledge, and was not ignorant of arithmetic. He was much beloved by the Christians of Ascalon, of Gaza, and of the surrounding country; and was regarded as necessary to religion, on account of his gift in expounding the doubtful points of Scripture. No one can speak in adequate terms of the virtues of the other family. The first churches and monasteries erected in that country were founded by members of this family and supported by their power and beneficence towards strangers and the needy. Some good men belonging to this family have flourished even in our own days; and in thy youth I saw some of them, but they were then very aged. I shall have occasion to say more concerning them in the course of my history.


THE emperor was deeply grieved at finding that all his efforts to secure the predominance of paganism were utterly ineffectual, and at seeing Christianity excelling in repute; for although the gates of the temples were kept open, although sacrifices were offered, and the observance of ancient festivals restored in all the cities, yet he was far from being satisfied; for he could plainly foresee that, on the withdrawal of his influence, a change in the whole aspect of affairs would speedily take place. He was particularly chagrined on discovering that the wives, children, and servants of many of the pagan priests had been converted to Christianity. On reflecting that one main support of the Christian religion was the life and behavior of its professors, he determined to introduce into the pagan temples the order and discipline of Christianity, to institute various orders and degrees of ministry, to appoint teachers and readers to give instruction in pagan doctrines and exhortations, and to command that prayers should be offered on certain days at stated hours. He moreover resolved to found monasteries for the accommodation of men and women who desired to live in philosophical retirement, as likewise hospitals for the relief of strangers and of the poor and for other philanthropical purposes. He wished to introduce among the pagans the Christian system of penance for voluntary and involuntary transgressions; but the point of ecclesiastical discipline which he chiefly admired, and desired to establish among the pagans, was the custom among the bishops to give letters of recommendation to those who traveled to foreign lands, wherein they commended them to the hospitality and kindness of other bishops, in all places, and under all contingencies. In this way did Julian strive to ingraft the customs of Christianity upon paganism. But if what I have stated appears to be incredible, I need not go far in search of proofs to corroborate my assertions; for I can produce a letter written by the emperor himself on the subject. He writes as follows: —

"To Arsacius, High-Priest of Galatia. Paganism has not yet reached the degree of prosperity that might be desired, owing to the conduct of its rotaries. The worship of the gods, however, is conducted on the grandest and most magnificent scale, so far exceeding our very prayer and hope; let our Adrastea be propitious to these words, for no one could have dared to look for so extensive and so surprising a change as that which we have witnessed within a very short space of time. But are we to rest satisfied with what has been already effected? Ought we not rather to consider that the progress of Atheism has been principally owing to the humanity evinced by Christians towards strangers, to the reverence they have manifested towards the dead, and to the delusive gravity which they have assumed in their life? It is requisite that each of us should be diligent in the discharge of duty: I do not refer to you alone, as that would not suffice, but to all the priests of Galatia.

"You must either put them to shame, or try the power of persuasion, or else deprive them of their sacerdotal offices, if they do not with their wives, their children, and their servants join in the service of the gods, or if they support the servants, sons, or wives of the Galileans in treating the gods impiously and in preferring Atheism to piety. Then exhort the priests not to frequent theaters, not to drink at taverns, and not to engage in any trade, or practice any nefarious art.

"Honor those who yield to your remonstrances, and expel those who disregard them. Establish hostelries in every city, so that strangers from neighboring and foreign countries may reap the benefit of our philanthropy, according to their respective need.

"I have provided means to meet the necessary expenditure, and have issued directions throughout the whole of Galatia, that you should be furnished annually with thirty thousand bushels of corn and sixty thousand measures of wine, of which the fifth part is to be devoted to the support of the poor who attend upon the priests; and the rest to be distributed among strangers and our own poor. For, while there are no persons in need among the Jews, and while even the impious Galileans provide not only for those of their own party who are in want, but also for those who hold with us, it would indeed be disgraceful if we were to allow our own people to suffer from poverty.

"Teach the pagans to co-operate in this work of benevolence, and let the first-fruits of the pagan towns be offered to the gods.

"Habituate the pagans to the exercise of this liberality, by showing them how such conduct is sanctioned by the practice of remote antiquity; for Homer represents Eumaeus as saying, —'My guest! I should offend, treating with scorn The stranger, though a poorer should arrive Than even thyself; for all the poor that are, And all the strangers are the care of Jove.'

"Let us not permit others to excel us in good deeds; let us not dishonor ourselves by violence, but rather let us be foremost in piety towards the gods. If I hear that you act according to my directions, I shall be full of joy. Do not often visit the governors at their own houses, but write to them frequently. When they enter the city, let no priest go to meet them; and let not the priest accompany them further than the vestibule when they repair to the temple of the gods; neither let any soldiers march before them on such occasions; but let those follow them who will. For as soon as they have entered within the sacred bounds, they are but private individuals; for there it is your duty, as you well know, to preside, according to the divine decree. Those who humbly conform to this law manifest that they possess true religion; whereas those who contemn it are proud and vainglorious.

"I am ready to render assistance to the inhabitants of Pessinus, provided that they will propitiate the mother of the gods; but if they neglect this duty, they will incur my utmost displeasure.

'I should myself transgress, Receiving here, and giving conduct hence To one detested by the gods as these.'

"Convince them, therefore, that if they desire my assistance, they must offer up supplications to the mother of the gods."


WHEN Julian acted and wrote in the manner aforesaid, he expected that he would by these means easily induce his subjects to change their religious opinions. Although he earnestly desired to abolish the Christian religion, yet he plainly was ashamed to employ violent measures, lest he should be accounted tyrannical. He used every means, however, that could possibly be devised to lead his subjects back to paganism; and he was more especially urgent with the soldiery, whom he sometimes addressed individually and sometimes through the medium of their officers. To habituate them in all things to the worship of the gods, he restored the ancient form of the standard of the Roman armies, which, as we have already stated, Constantine had, at the command of God, converted into the sign of the cross. Julian also caused to be painted, in juxtaposition with his own figure, on the public pictures, a representation either of Jupiter coming out of heaven and presenting to him the symbols of imperial power, a crown or a purple robe, or else of Mars, or of Mercury, with their eyes intently fixed upon him, as if to express their admiration of his eloquence and military skill. He placed the pictures of the gods in juxtaposition with his own, in order that the people might secretly be led to worship them under the pretext of rendering due honor to him; he abused ancient usages, and endeavored to conceal his purpose from his subjects. He considered that if they would yield obedience on this point, they would be the more ready to obey him on every other occasion; but that if they ventured to refuse obedience, he would have reason to punish them, as infringers of the Roman customs and offenders against the emperor and the state. There were but very few (and the law had its course against them) who, seeing through his designs, refused to render the customary homage to his pictures; but the multitude, through ignorance or simplicity, conformed as usual to the ancient regulation, and thoughtlessly paid homage to his image. The emperor derived but little advantage from this artifice; yet he did not cease from his efforts to effect a change in religion.

The next machination to which he had recourse was less subtle and more violent than the former one; and the fortitude of many soldiers attached to the court was thereby tested. When the stated day came round for giving money to the troops, which day generally fell upon the anniversary of some festival among the Romans, such as that of the birth of the emperor, or the foundation of some royal city, Julian reflected that soldiers are naturally thoughtless and simple, and disposed to be covetous of money, and therefore concluded that it would be a favorable opportunity to seduce them to the worship of the gods. Accordingly, as each soldier approached to receive the money, he was commanded to offer sacrifice, fire and incense having been previously placed for this purpose near the emperor, according to an ancient Roman custom. Some of the soldiers had the courage to refuse to offer sacrifice and receive the gold; others were so habituated to the observance of the law and custom that they conformed to it, without imagining that they were committing sin. Others, again, deluded by the luster of the gold, or compelled by fear and consideration on account of the test which was immediately in sight, complied with the pagan rite, and suffered themselves to fall into the temptation from which they ought to have fled.

It is related that, as some of them who had ignorantly fallen into this sin were seated at table, and drinking to each other, one among them happened to mention the name of Christ over the cups. Another of the guests immediately exclaimed: "It is extraordinary that you should call upon Christ, when, but a short time ago, you denied him for the sake of the emperor's gift, by throwing incense into the fire." On hearing this observation, they all became suddenly conscious of the sin they had committed; they rose from table and rushed into the public streets, where they screamed and wept and called upon all men to witness that they were and would remain Christians, and that they had offered incense unawares, and with the hand alone, and not with the assent of the judgment. They then presented themselves before the emperor, threw back his gold, and courageously asked him to take back his own gift, and besought him to put them to death, protesting that they would never renounce their sentiments, whatever torments might, in consequence of the sin committed by their hand, be inflicted on the other parts of their body for the sake of Christ.

Whatever displeasure the emperor might have felt against them, he refrained from slaying them, lest they should enjoy the honor of martyrdom; he therefore merely deprived them of their military commission and dismissed them from the palace.


JULIAN entertained the same sentiments as those above described towards all Christians, as he manifested whenever an opportunity was offered. Those who refused to sacrifice to the gods, although perfectly blameless in other respects, were deprived of the rights of citizenship, and of the privilege of participating in assemblies, and in the forum; and he would not allow them to be judges or magistrates, or to share in offices.

He forbade the children of Christians from frequenting the public schools, and from being instructed in the writings of the Greek poets and authors. He entertained great resentment against Apolinarius the Syrian, a man of manifold knowledge and philological attainments, against Basil and Gregory, natives of Cappadocia, the most celebrated orators of the time, and against other learned and eloquent men, of whom some were attached to the Nicene doctrines, and others to the dogmas of Arius. His sole motive for excluding the children of Christian parents from instruction in the learning of the Greeks, was because he considered such studies conducive to the acquisition of argumentative and persuasive power. Apolinarius, therefore, employed his great learning and ingenuity in the production of a heroic epic on the antiquities of the Hebrews to the reign of Saul, as a substitute for the poem of Homer. He divided this work into twenty-four parts, to each of which he appended the name of one of the letters of the Greek alphabet, according to their number and order. He also wrote come-dies in imitation of Menander, tragedies resembling those of Euripides, and odes on the model of Pindar. In short, taking themes of the entire circle of knowledge from the Scriptures, he produced within a very brief space of time, a set of works which in manner, expression, character, and arrangement are well approved as similar to the Greek literatures and which were equal in number and in force. Were it not for the extreme partiality with which the productions of antiquity are regarded, I doubt not but that the writings of Apolinarius would be held in as much estimation as those of the ancients.

The comprehensiveness of his intellect is more especially to be admired; for he excelled in every branch of literature, whereas ancient writers were proficient only in one. He wrote a very remarkable work entitled "The Truth" against the emperor and the pagan philosophers, in which he clearly proved, without any appeal to the authority of Scripture, that they were far from having attained right opinions of God. The emperor, for the purpose of casting ridicule on works of this nature, wrote to the bishops in the following words: "I have read, I have understood, and I have condemned." To this they sent the following reply, "You have read, but you have not understood; for, had you understood, you would not have condemned."

Some have attributed this letter to Basil, the president of the church in Cappadocia, and perhaps not without reason; but whether dictated by him or by another, it fully displays the magnanimity and learning of the writer.


JULIAN, having determined upon undertaking a war against Persia, repaired to Antioch in Syria. The people loudly complained, that, although provisions were very abundant the price affixed to them was very high. Accordingly, the emperor, from liberality, as I believe, towards the people, reduced the price of provisions to so low a scale that the vendors fled the city.

A scarcity in consequence ensued, for which the people blamed the emperor; and their resentment found vent in ridiculing the length of his beard, and the bulls which he had had stamped upon his coins; and they satirically remarked, that he upset the world in the same way that his priests, when offering sacrifice, threw down the victims.

At first his displeasure was excited, and he threatened to punish them and prepared to depart for Tarsus. Afterwards, however, he suppressed his feelings of indignation, and repaid their ridicule by words alone; he composed a very elegant work under the title of "Aversion to Beards," which he sent to them. He treated the Christians of the city precisely in the same manner as at other places, and endeavored, as far as possible, to promote the extension of paganism.

I shall here recount some of the details connected with the tomb of Babylas, the martyr, and certain occurrences which took place about this period in the temple of Apollo at Daphne.

Daphne is a suburb of Antioch, and is planted with cypresses and other trees, beneath which all kinds of flowers flourish in their season. The branches of these trees are so thick and interlaced that they may be said to form a roof rather than merely to afford shade, and the rays of the sun can never pierce through them to the soil beneath. It is made delicious and exceedingly lovely by the richness and beauty of the waters, the temperateness of the air, and the breath of friendly winds. The Greeks invent the myth that Daphne, the daughter of the river Ladon, was here changed into a tree which bears her name, while she was fleeing from Arcadia, to evade the love of Apollo. The passion of Apollo was not diminished, they say, by this transformation; he made a crown of the leaves of his beloved and embraced the tree. He afterwards often fixed his residence on this spot, as being dearer to him than any other place.

Men of grave temperament, however, considered it disgraceful to approach this suburb; for the position and nature of the place seemed to excite voluptuous feelings; and the substance of the fable itself being erotic, afforded a measurable impulse and redoubled the passions among corrupt youths. They, who furnished this myth as an excuse, were greatly inflamed and gave way without constraint to profligate deeds, incapable of being continent themselves, or of enduring the presence of those who were continent. Any one who dwelt at Daphne without a mistress was regarded as callous and ungracious, and was shunned as an abominable and abhorrent thing. The pagans likewise manifested great reverence for this place on account of a very beautiful statue of the Daphnic Apollo which stood here, as also a magnificent and costly temple, supposed to have been built by Seleucus, the father of Antiochus, who gave his name to the city of Antioch. Those who attach credit to fables of this kind believe that a stream flows from the fountain Castalia which confers the power of predicting the future, and which is similar in its name and powers to the fountain of Delphi. It is related that Adrian here received intimation of his future greatness, when he was but a private individual; and that he dipped a leaf of the laurel into the water and found written thereon an account of his destiny. When he became emperor, it is said, he commanded the fountain to be closed, in order that no one might be enabled to pry into the knowledge of the future. But I leave this subject to those who are more accurately acquainted with mythology than I am.

When Gallus, the brother of Julian, had been declared Caesar by Constantius, and had fixed his residence at Antioch, his zeal for the Christian religion and his veneration for the memory of the martyrs determined him to purge the place of the pagan superstition and the outrages of profligates. He considered that the readiest method of effecting this object would be to erect a house of prayer in the temple and to transfer thither the tomb of Babylas, the martyr, who had, with great reputation to himself, presided over the church of Antioch, and suffered martyrdom. It is said that from the time of this translation, the demon ceased to utter oracles. This silence was at first attributed to the neglect into which his service was allowed to fall and to the omission of the former cult; but results proved that it was occasioned solely by the presence of the holy martyr. The silence continued unbroken even when Julian was the sole ruler of the Roman Empire, although libations, incense, and victims were offered in abundance to the demon; for when eventually the oracle itself spoke and indicated the cause of its previous silence, the emperor himself entered the temple for the purpose of consulting the oracle, and offering up gifts and sacrifices with entreaties to grant a reply. The demon did not openly admit that the hindrance was occasioned by the tomb of Babylas, the martyr, but he stated that the place was filled with dead bodies, and that this prevented the oracle from speaking.

Although many interments had taken place at Daphne, the emperor perceived that it was the presence of Babylas, the martyr, alone which had silenced the oracle, and he commanded his tomb to be removed. The Christians, therefore, assembled together and conveyed the coffin to the city, about forty stadia distant, and deposited it in the place where it is still preserved, and to which the name of the martyr has been given. It is said that men and women, young men and maidens, old men and children drew the casket, and encouraged one another by singing psalms as they went along the road, apparently for the purpose of lightening their labor, but in truth because they were transported by zeal and spirit for their kindred religious belief, which the emperor had opposed. The best singers sang first, and the multitude replied in chorus, and the following was the burden of their song: "Confounded are all they who worship graven images, who boast themselves in idols."


THE transaction above related excited the indignation of the emperor as much as if an insult had been offered him, and he determined upon punishing the Christians; but Sallust, a praetorian prefect, although a pagan, tried to dissuade him from this measure. The emperor, however, could not be appeased, and Sallust was compelled to execute his mandate, and arrest and imprison many Christians. One of the first whom he arrested was a young man named Theodore, who was immediately stretched upon the rack; but although his flesh was lacerated by the application of the nails, he addressed no supplication to Sallust, nor did he implore a diminution of his torments; on the contrary, he seemed as insensible to pain as if he had been merely a spectator of the sufferings of another, and bravely received the wounds; and he sang the same psalm which he had joined in singing the day before, to show that he did not repent of the act for which he had been condemned. The prefect, struck with admiration at the fortitude of the young man, went to the emperor and told him that, unless he would desist speedily from the measure he had undertaken, he and his party would be exposed to ridicule while the Christians would acquire more glory. This representation produced its effect, and the Christians who had been arrested were set at liberty. It is said that Theodore was afterwards asked whether he had been sensible of any pain while on the rack; and that he replied that he had not been entirely free from suffering, but had his pains assuaged by the attentions of a young man who had stood by him, and who had wiped off the perspiration with the finest linen cloth, and supplied him with coolest water by which he eased the inflammation and refreshed his labors. I am convinced that no man, whatever magnanimity he may possess, is capable, without the special assistance of Divine Power, of manifesting such entire indifference about the body.

The body of the martyr Babylas was, for the reasons aforesaid, removed to Daphne, and was subsequently conveyed elsewhere. Soon after it had been taken away, fire suddenly fell upon the temple of the Daphnic Apollo, the roof and the very statue of the god were burned, and the naked walls, with the columns on which the portico and the back part of the edifice had rested, alone escaped the conflagration. The Christians believed that the prayers of the martyr had drawn down fire from heaven upon the demon; but the pagans reported the Christians as having set fire to the place. This suspicion gained ground; and the priest of Apollo was brought before the tribunal of justice to render up the names of those who had dared the incendiary act; but though bound and subjected to the most cruel tortures, he did not name any one.

Hence the Christians were more fully convinced than before, that it was not by the deed of man, but by the wrath of God, that fire was poured down from heaven upon the temple. Such were the occurrences which then took place. The emperor, as I conjecture, on hearing that the calamity at Daphne had been occasioned by the martyr Babylas, and on being further informed that the honored remains of the martyrs were preserved in several houses of prayer near the temple of the Apollo Didymus, which is situated close to the city of Miletus, wrote to the governor of Caria, commanding him to destroy with fire all such edifices as were furnished with a roof and an altar, and to throw down from their very foundations the houses of prayer which were incomplete in these respects.


AMONG so many remarkable events which occurred during the reign of Julian, I must not omit to mention one which affords a sign of the power of Christ, and proof of the Divine wrath against the emperor.

Having heard that at Caesarea Philippi, otherwise called Paneas, a city of Phoenicia, there was a celebrated statue of Christ which had been erected by a woman whom the Lord had cured of a flow of blood, Julian commanded it to be taken down and a statue of himself erected in its place; but a violent fire from heaven fell upon it and broke off the parts contiguous to the breast; the head and neck were thrown prostrate, and it was transfixed to the ground with the face downwards at the point where the fracture of the bust was; and it has stood in that fashion from that day until now, full of the rust of the lightning. The statue of Christ was dragged around the city and mutilated by the pagans; but the Christians recovered the fragments, and deposited the statue in the church in which it is still preserved. Eusebius relates, that at the base of this startle grew an herb which was unknown to the physicians and empirics, but was efficacious in the cure of all disorders. It does not appear a matter of astonishment to me, that, after God had vouchsafed to dwell with men, he should condescend to bestow benefits upon them.

It appears that innumerable other miracles were wrought in different cities and villages; accounts have been accurately preserved by the inhabitants of these places only, because they learned them from ancestral tradition; and how true this is, I will at once show. There is a city now called Nicopolis, in Palestine, which was formerly only a village, and which was mentioned by the divine book of the Gospel under the name of Emmaus. The name of Nicopolis was given to this place by the Romans after the conquest of Jerusalem and the victory over the Jews. Just beyond the city where three roads meet, is the spot where Christ, after His resurrection, said farewell to Cleopas and his companion, as if he were going to another village; and here is a healing fountain in which men and other living creatures afflicted with different diseases wash away their sufferings; for it is said that when Christ together with His disciples came from a journey to this fountain, they bathed their feet therein, and, from that time the water became a cure for disorders.

At Hermopolis, in the Thebais, is a tree called Persis, of which the branches, the leaves, and the least portion of the bark, are said to heal diseases, when touched by the sick; for it is related by the Egyptians that when Joseph fled with Christ and Mary, the holy mother of God, from the wrath of Herod, they went to Hermopolis; when entering at the gate, this largest tree, as if not enduring the advent of Christ, inclined to the ground and worshiped Him. I relate precisely what I have heard from many sources concerning this tree. I think that this phenomenon was a sign of the presence of God in the city; or perhaps, as seems most probable, the tree, which had been worshiped by the inhabitants, after the pagan custom, was shaken, because the demon, who had been an object of worship, started up at sight of Him who was manifested for purification from such agencies. It was moved of its own accord; for at the presence of Christ the idols of Egypt were shaken, even as Isaiah the prophet had foretold. On the expulsion of the demon, the tree was permitted to remain as a monument of what had occurred, and was endued with the property of healing those who believed.

The inhabitants of Egypt and of Palestine testify to the truth of these events, which took place among themselves.


THOUGH the emperor hated and opressed the Christians, he manifested benevolence and humanity towards the Jews. He wrote to the Jewish patriarchs and leaders, as well as to the people, requesting them to pray for him, and for the prosperity of the empire. In taking this step he was not actuated, I am convinced, by any respect for their religion; for he was aware that it is, so to speak, the mother of the Christian religion, and he knew that both religions rest upon the authority of the patriarchs and the prophets; but he thought to grieve the Christians by favoring the Jews, who are their most inveterate enemies. But perhaps he also calculated upon persuading the Jews to embrace paganism and sacrifices; for they were only acquainted with the mere letter of Scripture, and could not, like the Christians and a few of the wisest among the Hebrews, discern the hidden meaning.

Events proved that this was his real motive; for he sent for some of the chiefs of the race and exhorted them to return to the observance of the laws of Moses and the customs of their fathers. On their replying that because the temple in Jerusalem was overturned, it was neither lawful nor ancestral to do this in another place than the metropolis out of which they had been cast, he gave them public money, commanded them to rebuild the temple, and to practice the cult similar to that of their ancestors, by sacrificing after the ancient way. The Jews entered upon the undertaking, without reflecting that, according to the prediction of the holy prophets, it could not be accomplished. They sought for the most skillful artisans, collected materials, cleared the ground, and entered so earnestly upon the task, that even the women carried heaps of earth, and brought their necklaces and other female ornaments towards defraying the expense. The emperor, the other pagans, and all the Jews, regarded every other undertaking as secondary in importance to this. Although the pagans were not well-disposed towards the Jews, yet they assisted them in this enterprise, because they reckoned upon its ultimate success, and hoped by this means to falsify the prophecies of Christ. Besides this motive, the Jews themselves were impelled by the consideration that the time had arrived for rebuilding their temple. When they had removed the ruins of the former building, they dug up the ground and cleared away its foundation; it is said that on the following day when they were about to lay the first foundation, a great earthquake occurred, and by the violent agitation of the earth, stones were thrown up from the depths, by which those of the Jews who were engaged in the work were wounded, as likewise those who were merely looking on. The houses and public porticos, near the site of the temple, in which they had diverted themselves, were suddenly thrown down; many were caught thereby, some perished immediately, others were found half dead and mutilated of hands or legs, others were injured in other parts of the body. When God caused the earthquake to cease, the workmen who survived again returned to their task, partly because such was the edict of the emperor, and partly because they were themselves interested in the undertaking. Men often, in endeavoring to gratify their own passions, seek what is injurious to them, reject what would be truly advantageous, and are deluded-by the idea that nothing is really useful except what is agreeable to them. When once led astray by this error, they are no longer able to act in a manner conducive to their own interests, or to take warning by the calamities which are visited upon them.

The Jews, I believe, were just in this state; for, instead of regarding this unexpected earthquake as a manifest indication that God was opposed to the re-erection of their temple, they proceeded to recommence the work. But all parties relate, that they had scarcely returned to the undertaking, when fire burst suddenly from the foundations of the temple, and consumed several of the workmen.

This fact is fearlessly stated, and believed by all; the only discrepancy in the narrative is that some maintain that flame burst from the interior of the temple, as the workmen were striving to force an entrance, while others say that the fire proceeded directly from the earth. In whichever way the phenomenon might have occurred, it is equally wonderful. A more tangible and still more extraordinary prodigy ensued; suddenly the sign of the cross appeared spontaneously on the garments of the persons engaged in the undertaking. These crosses were disposed like stars, and appeared the work of art. Many were hence led to confess that Christ is God, and that the rebuilding of the temple was not pleasing to Him; others presented themselves in the church, were initiated, and besought Christ, with hymns and supplications, to pardon their transgression. If any one does not feel disposed to believe my narrative, let him go and be convinced by those who heard the facts I have related from the eyewitnesses of them, for they are still alive. Let him inquire, also, of the Jews and pagans who left the work in an incomplete state, or who, to speak more accurately, were able to commence it.



I HAVE narrated in the preceding book the occurrences which took place in the Church, during the reign of Julian. This emperor, having determined to carry on the war with Persia, made a rapid transit across the Euphrates in the beginning of spring, and, passing by Edessa from hatred to the inhabitants, who had long professed Christianity, he went on to Carrae, where there was a temple of Jupiter, in which he offered up sacrifice and prayer. He then selected twenty thousand armed men from among his troops, and sent them towards the Tigris, in order that they might guard those regions, and also be ready to join him, in case he should require their assistance. He then wrote to Arsacius, king of Armenia, one of the Roman allies, to bespeak his aid in the war. In this letter Julian manifested the most unbounded arrogance; he boasted of the high qualities which had, he said, rendered him worthy of the empire, and acceptable to the gods for whom he cared; he reviled Constantius, his predecessor, as an effeminate and impious emperor, and threatened Arsacius in a grossly insulting way; and since he understood that he was a Christian, he intensified his in- suits, or eagerly and largely uttered unlawful blasphemies against Christ, for he was wont to dare this in every case. He told Arsacius that unless he acted according to his directions, the God in whom he trusted would not be able to defend him from his vengeance. When he considered that all his arrangements had been duly made, he led his army through Assyria.

He took a great many towns and fortresses, either through treachery or by battle, and thoughtlessly proceeded onwards, without re-fleeting that he would have to return by the same route. He pillaged every place he approached, and pulled down or burnt the granaries and storehouses. As he was journeying up the Euphrates, he arrived at Ctesiphon, a very large city, whither the Persian monarchs have now transferred their residence from Babylon. The Tigris flows near this spot. As he was prevented from reaching the city with his ships, by a part of the land which separated it from the river, he judged that either he must pursue his journey by water, or quit his ships and go to Ctesiphon by land; and he interrogated the prisoners on the subject. Having ascertained from them that there was a canal which had been blocked up in the course of time, he caused it to be cleared out, and, having thus effected a communication between the Euphrates and the Tigris, he proceeded towards the city, his ships floating along by the side of his army. But the Persians appeared on the banks of the Tigris with a formidable display of horse and many armed troops, of elephants, and of horses; and Julian became conscious that his army was besieged between two great rivers, and was in danger of perishing, either by remaining in its present position, or by retreating through the cities and villages which he had so utterly devastated that no provisions were attainable; therefore he summoned the soldiers to see horse-races, and proposed rewards to the fleetest racers. In the meantime he commanded the officers of the ships to throw over the provisions and baggage of the army, so that the soldiers, seeing themselves in danger by the want of necessaries, might turn about boldly and fight their enemies more desperately. After supper he sent for the generals and tribunes and commanded the embarkation of the troops. They sailed along the Tigris during the night and came at once to the opposite banks and disembarked; but their departure was perceived by some of the Persians, who exhorted one another to oppose them, but those still asleep the Romans readily overcame.

At daybreak, the two armies engaged in battle; and after much bloodshed on both sides, the Romans returned by the river, and encamped near Ctesiphon. The emperor, being no longer desirous of proceeding further, burnt his vessels, as he considered that they required too many soldiers to guard them; and he then commenced his retreat along the Tigris, which was to his left. The prisoners, who acted as guides to the Romans, led them to a fertile country where they found abundance of provisions. Soon after, an old man who had resolved to die for the liberty of Persia, allowed himself to be taken prisoner, and was brought before the emperor. On being questioned as to the route, and seeming to speak the truth, he persuaded them to follow him as capable of transporting the army very speedily to the Roman frontiers. He observed that for the space of three or four days' journey this road would be difficult, and that it would be necessary to carry provisions during that time, as the surrounding country was sterile. The emperor was deceived by the discourse of this wise old man, and approved the march by this route. On advancing further, after the lapse of three days, they were cast upon an uncultivated region. The old prisoner was put to torture. He confessed that he had exposed himself voluntarily to death for the sake of his country, and was therefore prepared to endure any sufferings that could be inflicted on him.

The Roman troops were now worn out by the length of the journey and the scarcity of provisions, and the Persians chose this moment to attack them.

In the heat of the conflict which ensued, a violent wind arose; and the sky and the sun were totally concealed by the clouds, while the air was at the same time mixed with dust. During the darkness which was thus produced, a horseman, riding at full gallop, directed his lance against the emperor, and wounded him mortally. After throwing Julian from his horse, the unknown assailant secretly went away. Some conjectured that he was a Persian; others, that he was a Saracen. There are those who insist that he who struck the blow was a Roman soldier, who was indignant at the imprudence and temerity which the emperor had manifested in exposing his army to such peril. Libanius, the sophist, a native of Syria, the most intimate friend of Julian, expressed himself in the following terms concerning the person who had committed the deed: "You desire to know by whom the emperor was slain. I know not his name. We have a proof, however, that the murderer was not one of the enemies; for no one came forward to claim the reward, although the king of Persia caused proclamation to be made, by a herald, of the honors to be awarded to him who had performed the deed. We are surely beholden to the enemy for not arrogating to themselves the glory of the action, but for leaving it to us to seek the slayer among ourselves.

"Those who sought his death were those who lived in habitual transgression of the laws, and who had formerly conspired against him, and who therefore perpetrated the deed as soon as they could find an opportunity. They were impelled by the desire of obtaining a greater degree of freedom from all control than they could enjoy under his government; and they were, perhaps, mainly stimulated by their indignation at the attachment of the emperor to the service of the gods, to which they were averse."


IN the document above quoted, Libanius clearly states that the emperor fell by the hand of a Christian; and this, probably, was the truth. It is not unlikely that some of the soldiers who then served in the Roman army might have conceived the idea, since Greeks and all men until this day have praised tyrannicides for exposing themselves to death in the cause of liberty, and spiritedly standing by their country, their families, and their friends. Still less is he deserving of blame, who, for the sake of God and of religion, performed so bold a deed. Beyond this I know nothing accurately concerning the men who committed this murder besides what I have narrated. All men, however, concur in receiving the account which has been handed down to us, and which evidences his death to have been the result of Divine wrath. A proof of this is the Divine vision which one of his friends had, which I will now proceed to describe. He had, it is related, traveled into Persia, with the intention of joining the emperor. While on the road, he found himself so far from any habitation that he was obliged, on one night, to sleep in a church. He saw, during that night, either in a dream or a vision, all the apostles and prophets assembled together, and complaining of the injuries which the emperor had inflicted on the Church, and consulting concerning the best measures to be adopted. After much deliberation and embarrassment two individuals arose in the midst of the assembly, desired the others to be of good cheer, and left the company hastily, as if to deprive Julian of the imperial power. He who was the spectator of this marvel did not attempt to pursue his journey, but awaited, in horrible suspense, the conclusion of this revelation. He laid himself down to sleep again, in the same place, and again, he saw the same assembly; the two individuals who had appeared to depart the preceding night to effect their purpose against Julian, suddenly returned and announced his death to the others.

On the same day a vision was sent to Didymus, an ecclesiastical philosopher, who dwelt at Alexandria; and, who, being deeply grieved at the errors of Julian and his persecution of the churches, fasted and offered up supplications to God continually on this account. From the effects of anxiety and want of food during the previous night, he fell asleep while sitting in his chair. Then being, as it were, in an ecstasy, he beheld white horses traversing the air, and heard a voice saying to those who were riding thereon, "Go and tell Didymus that Julian has been slain just at this hour; let him communicate this intelligence to Athanasius, the bishop, and let him arise and eat." I have been credibly informed that the friend of Julian and the philosopher beheld those things. Results proved that neither of them were far from having witnessed the truth. But if these instances do not suffice to prove that the death of Julian was the effect of Divine wrath on account of his persecution of the Church, let the prediction of one of the ecclesiastics be called to mind. When Julian was preparing to enter upon the war against the Persians, he threatened that on the termination of the war he would treat the Christians with severity, and boasted that the Son of the Carpenter would be unable to aid them; the ecclesiastic above mentioned thereupon rejoined, that the Son of the Carpenter was then preparing him a wooden coffin in view of his death.

Julian himself was well aware whence the mortal stroke proceeded, and what was the cause of its infliction; for, it is said, when he was wounded, he took some of the blood that flowed from the wound, and threw it up into the air, as if he had seen Jesus Christ appearing, and intended to throw it at him, in order to reproach him with his slaughter. Others say that he was angry with the sun because it had favored the Persians, and had not rescued him, although, according to the doctrine of the astronomers, it had presided at his birth; and that it was to express his indignation against this luminary that he took blood in his hand and flung it upwards in the air.

I know not whether, on the approach of death, as is wont to be the case when the soul is in the act of being separated from the body and when it is enabled to behold diviner spectacles than are allotted to men, and so Julian might have beheld Christ. Few allusions have been made to this subject, and yet I dare not reject this hypothesis as absolutely false; for God often suffers still more improbable and astonishing events to take place in order to prove that the religion named after Christ is not sustained by human energy. It is, however, very obvious that, throughout the reign of this emperor, God gave manifest tokens of His displeasure, and permitted many calamities to befall several of the provinces of the Roman Empire. He visited the earth with such fearful earthquakes, that the buildings were shaken, and no more safety could be found within the houses than in the open air. From what I have heard, I conjecture that it was during the reign of this emperor, or, at least, when he occupied the second place in the government, that a great calamity occurred near Alexandria in Egypt, when the sea receded and again passed beyond its boundaries from the re-flux waves, and deluged a great deal of the land, so that on the retreat of the waters, the sea-skiffs were found lodged on the roofs of the houses. The anniversary of this inundation, which they call the birthday of an earthquake, is still commemorated at Alexandria by a yearly festival; a general illumination is made throughout the city; they offer thankful prayers to God, and celebrate the day very brilliantly and piously. An excessive drought also occurred during this reign; the plants perished and the air was corrupted; and for want of proper sustenance, men were obliged to have recourse to the food usually eaten by other animals.

The famine introduced peculiar diseases, by which many lives were lost. Such was the state of the empire during the administration of Julian.


AFTER the decease of Julian, the government of the empire was, by the unanimous consent of the troops, tendered to Jovian. When the army was about to proclaim him emperor, he announced himself to be a Christian and refused the sovereignty, nor would he receive the symbols of empire; but when the soldiers discovered the cause of his refusal, they loudly proclaimed that they were themselves Christians.

The dangerous and disturbed condition in which affairs had been left by Julian's strategy, and the sufferings of the army from famine in an enemy's country, compelled Jovian to conclude a peace with the Persians, and to cede to them some territories which had been formerly tributary to the Romans. Having learned from experience that the impiety of his predecessor had excited the wrath of God, and given rise to public calamities, he wrote without delay to the governors of the provinces, directing that the people should assemble together without fear in the churches, that they should serve God with reverence, and that they should receive the Christian faith as the only true religion. He restored to the churches and the clergy, to the widows and the virgins, the same immunities and every former dotation for the advantage and honor of religion, which had been granted by Constantine and his sons, and afterwards withdrawn by Julian. He commanded Secundus, who was then a praetorian prefect, to constitute it a capital crime to marry any of the holy virgins, or even to regard them with unchaste desires and to carry them off.

He enacted this law on account of the wickedness which had prevailed during the reign of Julian; for many had taken wives from among the holy virgins, and, either by force or guile, had completely corrupted them; and thence had proceeded that indulgence of disgraceful lusts with impunity, which always occur when religion is abused.


THE presidents of the churches now resumed the agitation of doctrinal questions and discussions. They had remained quiet during the reign of Julian when Christianity itself was endangered, and had unanimously offered up their supplications for the mercy of God. It is thus that men, when attacked by foreign enemies, remain in accord among themselves; but, when external troubles are removed, then internal dissensions creep in; this, however, is not a proper place for the citation of the numerous examples in governments and nations which history affords of this fact.

At this period Basil, bishop of Ancyra, Silvanus, bishop of Tarsus, Sophronius, bishop of Pompeiopolis, and others of their party who regarded the heresy of the Anomians, so-called, with the utmost aversion, and received the term "similar as to substance," instead of the term "consubstantial," wrote a treatise to the emperor; and after expressing their thankfulness to God for his accession to the empire, besought him to confirm the decrees issued at Ariminum and Seleucia, and to annul what had been established merely by the zeal and power of certain individuals.

They also entreated that, if division, which existed on account of the Synods, should still prevail in the churches, the bishops from every region might be convened alone in some place indicated by the emperor, and not be permitted to assemble elsewhere and issue decrees at variance with each other, as had been done during the reign of Constantius. They added that they had not gone to visit him at his camp, because they were fearful of being burdensome to him; but that if he desired to see them, they would gladly repair to him, and defray all the expenses attendant on the journey themselves. Such was the document written to the Emperor Jovian.

At this juncture a council was convened at Antioch in Syria; the form of belief established by the council of Nicaea was confirmed; and it was decided that the Son is incontrovertibly of the same substance as the Father. Meletius, who then governed the church of Antioch; Eusebius, bishop of Samosata; Pelagius, bishop of Laodicea in Syria; Acacius, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine; Irenius, bishop of Gaza; and Athanasius, bishop of Ancyra, took part in this council.

On the termination of the council they acquainted the emperor with the transactions that had taken place, by dispatching the following letter: —

"To the most religious and God-beloved Augustus, our Sovereign Jovian, the Conqueror, from the bishops assembled from divers regions, at Antioch.

"We know, O emperor, well-beloved of God, that your piety is fully intent upon maintaining peace and concord in the Church; neither are we ignorant that you have well received the impress of the chief point of such unity, viz., the true and orthodox faith.

"Lest, therefore, we should be reckoned among those who assail these doctrines of truth, we attest to your piety that we receive and maintain the form of belief which was anciently set forth by the holy council of Nicaea. Now, although the term 'consubstantial' appears strange to some persons, yet it was safely interpreted by the Fathers, and signifies that the Son was begotten of the substance of the Father. This term does not convey the idea of unbroken generation; neither does it coincide with the use which the Greeks make of the word 'substance,' but it is calculated to withstand the impious and rash allegation of Arius, that the Son proceeded from what had had no previous existence. The Anomians who have just sprung up have the shameless boldness to maintain this word to the grief of the concord of the Church. We subjoin to this letter a copy of the formulary of faith adopted by the bishops assembled at Nicaea, which we also cherish."

Such were the decisions formed by the priests convened at Antioch; and they appended to their letter a copy of the Nicene formulary of faith.


AT this period, Athanasius, who governed the see of Alexandria, and some of his friends, deemed it requisite, as the emperor was a Christian, to repair to his court. Accordingly Athanasius went to Antioch, and laid such matters before the emperor as he deemed expedient. Others, however, say that the emperor sent for him in order to consult him concerning the affairs relative to religion and the right tenet. When the business of the Church had as far as possible been transacted, Athanasius began to think of returning.

Euzoius, bishop of the Arian heresy in Antioch, endeavored to install Probatius, a eunuch who held the same sentiments as himself, in Alexandria. The whole party of Euzoius conspired with him to effect this design; and Lucius, a citizen of Alexandria, who had been ordained presbyter by George, endeavored to prejudice the emperor against Athanasius, by representing that he had been accused of divers crimes and had been condemned to perpetual banishment by preceding emperors, as the author of the dissensions and troubles of the Church concerning the Divine Being. Lucius likewise besought Jovian to appoint another bishop over the church of Alexandria. The emperor, since he knew the plots which had happened against Athanasius, attached no credit to the calumny, and with threatening, commanded Lucius to retire quietly; he also ordered Probatius and the other eunuchs belonging to his palace, whom he regarded as the originators of these troubles, to act more advisedly. From that period Jovian manifested the greatest friendship towards Athanasius, and sent him back to Egypt, with directions to govern the churches and people of that country as he might think fit. It is also said that he passed commendations on the virtue of the bishop, on his life, his intellectual endowments, and his eloquence.

Thus, after having been exposed to opposition for a long while, as has been narrated in the former books, was the Nicene faith fully re- established under the present government; but further embarrassment awaited it within a very short period. For, as it appeared afterwards, the whole of the prediction of Antony the Monk was not fulfilled by the occurrences which befell the Church during the reign of Constantius; part thereof was not accomplished until the reign of Valens. It is said that before the Arians got control of the churches during the reign of Constantius, Antony had a dream in which he saw mules kicking the altar with their hoofs and overturning the holy table. On awakening, he immediately predicted that the Church would be troubled by the introduction of spurious and mixed doctrines, and by the rebellion of the heterodox. The truth of this prediction was evidenced by the events which occurred before and after the period now under review.


AFTER Jovian had reigned about eight months, he died suddenly at Dadastana, a town of Bithynia, while on his road to Constantinople. Some say that his death was occasioned by eating too plentiful a supper; others attribute it to the dampness of the chamber in which he slept; for it had been recently plastered with unslaked lime, and quantities of coals had been burnt in it during the winter for a preventive; the walls had become damp and were exceedingly moist.

On the arrival of the troops at Nicaea in Bithynia, they proclaimed Valentinian emperor. He was a good man and capable of holding the reins of the empire. He had not long returned from banishment; for it is said that Julian, immediately on his accession to the empire, erased the name of Valentinian from the Jovian legions, as they were called, and condemned him to perpetual banishment, under the pretext that he had failed in his duty of leading out the soldiers under his command against the enemy. The true reason of his condemnation, however, was the following: When Julian was in Gaul, he went one day to a temple to offer incense. Valentinian accompanied him, according to an ancient Roman law, which still prevails, and which enacted that the leader of the Jovians and the Herculeans (that is to say, the legions of soldiers who have received this appellation in honor of Jupiter and of Hercules) should always attend the emperor as his body-guard. When they were about to enter the temple, the priest, in accordance with the pagan custom, sprinkled water upon them with the branch of a tree. A drop fell upon the robe of Valentinian; he scarcely could restrain himself, for he was a Christian, and he rebuked his asperser; it is even said that he cut off, in view of the emperor, the portion of the garment on which the water had fallen, and flung it from him. From that moment Julian entertained inimical feelings against him, and soon after banished him to Melitine in Armenia, under the plea of misconduct in military affairs; for he would not have religion regarded as the cause of the decree, lest Valentinian should be accounted a martyr or a confessor. Julian treated other Christians, as we have already stated, in the same manner; for, as was said before, he perceived that to subject them to hazards only added to their reputation, and tended to the consolidation of their religion. As soon as Jovian succeeded to the throne, Valentinian was recalled from banishment to Nicaea; but the death of the emperor in the meantime took place, and Valentinian, by the unanimous consent of the troops and those who held the chief positions in the government, was appointed his successor. When he was invested with the symbols of imperial power, the soldiers cried out that it was necessary to elect some one to share the burden of government. To this proposition, Valentinian made the following reply: "It depended on you alone, O soldiers to proclaim me emperor; but now that you have elected me, it depends not upon you, but upon me, to perform what you demand. Remain quiet, as subjects ought to do, and leave me to act as an emperor in attending to the public affairs."

Not long after this refusal to comply with the demand of the soldiery, he repaired to Constantinople, and proclaimed his brother emperor. He gave him the East as his share of the empire, and reserved to himself the regions along the Western Ocean, from Illyria to the furthest coasts of Libya. Both the brothers were Christians, but they differed in opinion and disposition. For Valens, when he was baptized, employed Eudoxius as his initiator, and was zealously attached to the doctrines of Arius, and would readily have compelled all mankind by force to yield to them. Valentinian, on the other hand, maintained the faith of the council of Nicaea, and favored those who upheld the same sentiments, without molesting those who entertained other opinions.


When Valentinian was journeying from Constantinople to Rome, he had to pass through Thrace; and the bishops of Hellespontus and of Bithynia, with others, who maintained that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, dispatched Hypatian, bishop of Heraclea in Perinthus, to meet him, and to request permission to assemble themselves together for deliberation on questions of doctrine.

When Hypatian had delivered the message with which he was intrusted, Valentinian made the following reply: "I am but one of the laity, and have therefore no right to interfere in these transactions; let the priests, to whom such matters appertain, assemble where they please." On receiving this answer through Hypatian, their deputy, the bishops assembled at Lampsacus.

After having conferred together for the space of two months, they annulled all that had been decreed at Constantinople, through the machinations of the partisans of Eudoxius and Acacius. They likewise declared null and void the formulary of faith which had been circulated under the false assertion that it was the compilation of the Western bishops, and to which the signatures of many bishops had been obtained, by the promise that the dogma of dissimilarity as to substance should be condemned, — a promise which had never been performed.

They decreed that the doctrine of the Son being in substance like unto the Father, should have the ascendancy; for they said that it was necessary to resort to the use of the term "like" as indicative of the hypostases of the Godhead. They agreed that the form of belief which had been confessed at Seleucia, and set forth at the dedication of the church of Antioch, should be maintained by all the churches.

They directed that all the bishops who had been deposed by those who hold that the Son is dissimilar from the Father, should forthwith be reinstated in their sees, as having been unjustly ejected from their churches. They declared that if any wished to bring accusations against them, they would be permitted to do so, but under the penalty of incurring the same punishment as that due to the alleged crime, should the accusation prove to be false. The orthodox bishops of the province and of the neighboring countries were to preside as judges, and to assemble in the church, with the witnesses who were to make the depositions. After making these decisions, the bishops summoned the partisans of Eudoxius, and exhorted them to repentance; but as they would give no heed to these remonstrances, the decrees enacted by the council were sent to all the churches. Judging that Eudoxius would be likely to endeavor to persuade the emperor to side with him, and would calumniate them, they determined to be beforehand with him, and to send an account of their proceedings in Lampsacus to the court.

Their deputies met the Emperor Valens as he was returning from Heraclea to Thrace, where he had been traveling in company with his brother, who had gone on to Old Rome.

Eudoxius, however, had previously gained over the emperor and his courtiers to his own sentiments; so that when the deputies of the council of Lampsacus presented themselves before Valens, he merely exhorted them not to be at variance with Eudoxius. The deputies replied by reminding him of the artifices to which Eudoxius had resorted at Constantinople, and of his machinations to annul the decrees of the council of Seleucia; and these representations kindled the wrath of Valens to such a pitch, that he condemned the deputies to banishment, and made over the churches to the partisans of Eudoxius. He then passed over into Syria, for he feared lest the Persians should break the truce which they had concluded with Jovian for thirty years. On finding, however, that the Persians were not disposed to insurrection, he fixed his residence at Antioch. He sent Meletius, the bishop, into banishment, but spared Paul, because he admired the sanctity of his life. Those who were not in communion with Euzoius were either ejected from the churches, or maltreated and harassed in some other form.


IT is probable that a severe persecution might have ensued at this juncture, had not Procopius commenced a civil war. As he began to play the tyrant at Constantinople, he soon collected a large army, and marched against Valens.

The latter quitted Syria, and met Procopius near Nacolia, a city of Phrygia, and captured him alive through the treachery of Agelon and Gomarius, two of his generals.

Valens put him and his betrayers to a cruel death; and although it is said that he had sworn to show favor to the two generals, he caused them to be sawn asunder.

He commanded Procopius to be fastened by the legs to two trees which had been bent to the ground, and he allowed these to spring up; when the trees were left to resume their natural position, the victim was torn in twain.

On the termination of this war, Valens retired to Nicaea, and finding himself in possession of profound tranquillity, he again began to molest those who differed from him in opinion concerning the Divine nature.

His anger was unbounded against the bishops of the council of Lampsacus, because they had condemned the Arian bishops and the formulary of faith set forth at Ariminum.

While under the influence of these resentful feelings, he summoned Eleusius from Syria, and having called together a Synod of bishops who held his own sentiments, he endeavored to compel him to assent to their doctrines. Eleusius at first manfully refused compliance. But afterwards, from the dread of exile and deprivation of his property, as was threatened by the emperor, he yielded to the mandate. He soon repented of his weakness, and on his return to Cyzicus he made a public confession of his fault in the church, and urged the people to choose another bishop, for he said that he could not discharge the duties of a priesthood after having been a traitor to his own doctrine. The citizens respected his conduct and were especially well-disposed to him, so that they did not choose to have another bishop. Eudoxius, president of the Arians in Constantinople, however, ordained Eunomius as bishop of Cyzicus; for he expected that by his great powers of eloquence Eunomius would easily draw the people of Cyzicus over to his own sentiments. On his arrival at that city he expelled Eleusius, for he was furnished with an imperial edict to that effect, and took possession of the churches himself.

The followers of Eleusius built a house of prayer without the walls of the city, and here they held their assemblies. I shall soon again have occasion to revert to Eunomius and the heresy which bears his name.


The Christians who represented the Nicene doctrines and the followers of the Novatian views were treated with equal severity in the city of Constantinople.

They were all ultimately expelled from the city; and the churches of the Novatians were closed by order of the emperor. The other party had no churches to be closed, having been deprived of them all during the reign of Constantius.

At this period, Agelius who, from the time of Constantius, had governed the church of the Novatians at Constantinople, was condemned to banishment. It is said that he was especially remarkable for his course of life according to the ecclesiastical laws. With respect to his mode of life, he had attained to the highest degree of philosophy, namely, freedom from worldly possessions; this was evidenced by his daily conduct; he had but one tunic, and always walked barefooted. Not long after his banishment, he was recalled, received the churches under him, and boldly convened churches through the influence of Marcian, a man of extraordinary virtue and eloquence, who had formerly been enrolled among the troops of the palace, but at this period was a presbyter of the Novatian heresy, and the teacher of grammar to Anastasia and Carosa, the daughters of the emperor. There are still baths at Constantinople which bear the names of these princesses. It was for the sake of Marcian alone that the privilege above-mentioned was conceded to the Novatians.


ABOUT this period, a son was born to Valentinian in the West, to whom the emperor gave his own name. Not long after, he proclaimed his son Gratian emperor; this prince was born before his father held the government.

In the meantime, although hailstones of extraordinary magnitude fell in various places, and although many cities, particularly Nicaea in Bithynia, were shaken by earthquakes, yet Valens, the emperor, and Eudoxius, the bishop, paused not in their career, but continued to persecute all Christians who differed from them in opinion. They succeeded to the utmost of their expectations in their machinations against those who adhered to the Nicene doctrines; for throughout the greater time of Valens' rule, particularly in Thrace, Bithynia, and the Hellespont, and still further beyond, these Christians had neither churches nor priests. Valens and Eudoxius then directed their resentment against the Macedonians, who were more in number than the Christians above mentioned in that region, and persecuted them without measure.

The Macedonians, in, apprehension of further sufferings, sent deputies to various cities, and finally agreed to have recourse to Valentinian and to the bishop of Rome rather than share in the faith of Eudoxius and Valens and their followers; and when this seemed favorable for execution, they selected three of their own number, — Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste; Silvanus, bishop of Tarsus; and Theophilus, bishop of Castabalis, — and sent them to the Emperor Valentinian; they likewise intrusted them with a letter, addressed to Liberius, bishop of Rome, and to the other priests of the West, in which they entreated them as prelates who had adhered to the faith approved and confirmed by the apostles, and who before others ought to watch over religion, to receive their deputies with all confirmation, and to confer with them about what should be done in the interval until the affairs of the Church could be approvedly set in order.

When the deputies arrived in Italy, they found that the emperor was in Gaul, engaged in war against the barbarians. As they considered that it would be perilous to visit the seat of war in Gaul, they delivered their letter to Liberius. After having conferred with him concerning the objects of their embassy, they condemned Arius and those who held and taught his doctrines; they renounced all heresies opposed to the faith established at Nicaea; and received the term "consubstantial," as being a word that conveys the same signification as the expression "like in substance." When they had presented a confession of faith, analogous to the above, to Liberius, he received them into communion with himself, and wrote to the bishops of the East, commending the orthodoxy of their faith, and detailing what had passed in the conference he had held with them. The confession of faith made by Eustathius and his companions was as follows: - -


"To Liberius, our Lord and Brother, and Fellow-minister—Eustathius, Silvanus, and Theophilus send greeting in the Lord.

"On account of the mad opinions of the heretics who do not cease to keep on sowing scandals for the Catholic churches, we who nullify their every attack confess the Synod which was held at Lampsacus, the one at Smyrna and the councils held in other places, by the orthodox bishops. We have furnished letters and sent on an embassy to your Goodness, as likewise to all the other bishops of Italy and of the West, to confirm and preserve the Catholic faith, which was established at the holy council of Nicaea, by the blessed Constantine and three hundred and eighteen God-fearing fathers.

"This remains, by an unmixed and immovable settlement, until now, and will remain perpetually in which the term 'consubstantial' is fixed in all holiness and piety in testimony against the perverseness of Arius. We confess, each with his own hand, that we with the aforesaid have always held this same faith, that we still hold it, and that we shall adhere to it to the last. We condemn Arius, his impious dogmas, and his disciples. We also condemn the heresies of Patropasianus, of Photinus, of Marcellus, of Paul of Samosata, and all who maintain such doctrines themselves. We anathematize all heresies opposed to the aforesaid faith established by the saintly fathers at Nicaea. We anathematize Arius especially, and condemn all such decrees as were enacted at Ariminum, in opposition to the aforesaid faith established by the holy council of Nicaea. We were formerly deluded by the guile and perjury of certain parties, and subscribed to these decrees when they were transmitted to Constantinople from Nicaea, a city of Thrace."

After this confession they subjoined a copy of the entire formulary of Nicaea to their own creed, and, having received from Liberius a written account of all that they had transacted, they sailed to Sicily.


A Council was convened at Sicily; and after the same doctrines had been confirmed as those set forth in the confession of the deputies, the assembly was dissolved.

At the same time, a council was held at Tyana; and Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, Athanasius, bishop of Ancyra, Pelagius, bishop of Laodicea, Zeno, bishop of Tyre, Paul, bishop of Emesa, Otreus, bishop of Melitene, and Gregory, bishop of Nazianzen, were present with many others, who, during the reign of Jovian, had assembled at Antioch, and determined to maintain the doctrine of the Son being consubstantial with the Father. The letters of Liberius and the Western bishops were read at this council. These letters afforded high satisfiction to the members of the council; and they wrote to all the churches, desiring them to peruse the decrees of the bishops in Asia, and the documents written by Liberius and the bishops of Italy, of Africa, of Gaul, and of Sicily, which had been intrusted to the deputies of the council of Lampsacus. They urged them to reflect on the great number of persons by whom these documents had been drawn up, and who were far more in number than the members of the council of Ariminum, and exhorted them to be of one mind, and to enter into communion with them, to signify the same by writing, and finally to assemble together at Tarsus in Cilicia before the end of the spring. On a fixed date which they prescribed, they urged one another to convene. On the approach of the appointed day, when the Synod was on the point of assembling at Tarsus, about thirty-four of the Asiatic bishops came together in Curia, in the province of Asia, commended the design of establishing uniformity of belief in the Church, but objected to the term "consubstantial," and insisted that the formularies of faith set forth by the councils of Antioch and Seleucia, and maintained by Lucian, the martyr, and by many of their predecessors, with dangers and tensions, ought to obtain the ascendancy over all others.

The emperor, at the instigation of Eudoxius, prevented by letter the council from being convened in Cilicia, and even prohibited it under severe penalties. He also wrote to the governors of the provinces, commanding them to eject all bishops from their churches who had been banished by Constantine and who had again taken up their priesthood under the Emperor Julian. On account of this order, those who were at the head of the government of Egypt were anxious to deprive Athanasius of his bishopric and expel him from the city; for no light punishment was inserted in the imperial letters; for unless the injunctions were fulfilled, all the magistrates equally, and the soldiers under them, and counselors were condemned to the payment of much money and also threatened with bodily maltreatment.

The majority of Christians of the city, however, assembled and besought the governor not to banish Athanasius without further consideration of the terms of the imperial letter, which merely specified all bishops who had been banished by Constantius and recalled by Julian and it was manifest that Athanasius was not of this number, inasmuch as he had been recalled by Constantius and had resumed his bishopric; but Julian, at the very time that all the other bishops had been recalled, persecuted him, and finally Jovian recalled him. The governor was by no means convinced by these arguments; nevertheless, he restrained himself and did not give way to the use of force. The people ran together from every quarter; there was much commotion and perturbation throughout the city; an insurrection was expected; he therefore advised the emperor of the facts and allowed the bishop to remain in the city. Some days afterwards, when the popular excitement had seemingly abated, Athanasius secretly quitted the city at dusk, and concealed himself somewhere. The very same night, the governor of Egypt and the military chief took possession of the church in which Athanasius generally dwelt, and sought him in every part of the edifice, and even on the roof, but in vain; for they had calculated upon seizing the moment when the popular commotion had partially subsided and when the whole city was wrapt in sleep, to execute the mandate of the emperor, and to transport Athanasius quietly from the city.

Not to have found Athanasius naturally excited universal astonishment. Some attributed his escape to a special revelation from above; others to the advice of some of his followers; both had the same result; but more than human prudence seems to have been requisite to foresee and to avoid such a plot. Some say, that as soon as the people gave indications of being disposed to sedition, he concealed himself among the tombs of his ancestors, being apprehensive lest he should be regarded as the cause of any disturbances that might ensue; and that he afterwards retreated to some other place of concealment.

The Emperor Valens, soon after, wrote to grant permission for him to return and hold his church. It is very doubtful, whether, in making this concession, Valens acted according to his own inclination. I rather imagine that, on reflecting on the esteem in which Athanasius was universally held, he feared to excite the displeasure of the Emperor Valentinian, who was well-known to be attached to the Nicene doctrines; or perhaps he was apprehensive of a commotion on the part of the many admirers of the bishop, lest some innovation might injure the public affairs.

I also believe that the Arian presidents did not, on this occasion, plead very vehemently against Athanasius; for they considered that, if he were ejected from the city, he would probably traduce them to the emperors and then would have an occasion for conference with respect to them, and might possibly succeed in persuading Valens to adopt his own sentiments, and in arousing the anger of the like-minded Valentinian against themselves.

They were greatly troubled by the evidences of the virtue and courage of Athanasius, which had been afforded by the events which had transpired during the reign of Constantius. He had, in fact, so skilfully evaded the plots of his enemies, that they had been constrained to consent to his reinstallation in the government of the churches of Egypt; and yet he could scarcely be induced to return from Italy, although letters had been dispatched by Constantius to that effect.

I am convinced that it was solely from these reasons that Athanasius was not expelled from his church like the other bishops, who were subjected to as cruel a persecution as ever was inflicted by pagans.

Those who would not change their doctrinal tenets were banished; their houses of prayer were taken from them, and placed in the possession of those who held opposite sentiments. Egypt alone was, during the life of Athanasius, exempted from this persecution.


ABOUT this time the Emperor Valens went to Antioch on the Orontes; while he was on his journey Eudoxius died, after having governed the churches of Constantinople during the space of eleven years. Demophilus was immediately ordained as his successor by the Arian bishops. The followers of the Nicene doctrines, believing that the course of events was in their power, elected Evagrius as their bishop. He had been ordained by Eustathius, who had formerly governed the church of Antioch in Syria, and who having been recalled from banishment by Jovian, lived in a private manner at Constantinople, and devoted himself to the instruction of those who held his sentiments, exhorting them to perseverance in their view of the Divine Being. The Arian heretics were stirred to revolt, and commenced a violent persecution against those who had participated in the ordination of Evagrius. The Emperor Valens, who was then at Nicomedia, on being apprised of the occurrences that had taken place in Constantinople since the death of Eudoxius, was fearful lest any interest of the city should suffer by sedition, and therefore sent thither as many troops as he thought requisite to preserve tranquillity.

Eustathius was arrested by his command and banished to Bizya, a city of Thrace, and Evagrius was exiled to some other region. And such was the manner of this event.


THE Arians, as is customary with the prosperous, because more insolent, persecuted unmercifully all Christians whose religious sentiments were opposed to their own.

These Christians being exposed to bodily injuries, and betrayed to magistrates and prisons, and finding themselves moreover gradually impoverished by the frequent fines, were at length compelled to appeal for redress to the emperor. Although exceedingly angry, the emperor did not openly manifest any wrath, but secretly commanded the prefect to seize and slay the whole deputation. But the prefect, being apprehensive that a whole popular insurrection would be excited if he were to put so many good and religious men to death without any of the forms of justice, pretended that they were to be sent into exile, and under this pretext compelled them to embark on board a ship, to which they assented with the most perfect resignation. When they had sailed to about the center of the bay, which was called Astacius, the sailors, according to the orders they had received, set fire to the vessel and leaped into the tender. A wind arising, the ship was blown along to Dacibiza, a place on the sea-coast of Bithynia; but no sooner had it neared the shore, than it was utterly consumed with all the men on board.


WHEN Valens quitted Nicomedia, he went on to Antioch; and in passing through Cappadocia he did all in his power, according to custom, to injure the orthodox and to deliver up the churches to the Arians. He thought to accomplish his designs the more easily on account of a dispute which was then pending between Basil and Eusebius, who then governed the church of Caesarea. This dissension had been the cause of Basil's departing from Pontus, where he lived conjointly with some monks who pursued the philosophy. The people and some of the most powerful and the wisest men in the city began to regard Eusebius with suspicion, particularly as they considered him the cause of the withdrawal of one who was equally celebrated for his piety and his eloquence; and they accordingly began to plan a secession and the holding of separate church. In the meantime Basil, fearing to be a source of further trouble to the Church, which was already rent by the dissensions of heretics, remained in retirement in the monasteries at Pontus. The emperor and the bishops of the Arian heresy, who were always attached to his suite, were more inspirited in their designs by the absence of Basil and the hatred of the people towards Eusebius. But the event was contrary to their judgment. On the first intelligence of the intention of the emperor to pass through Cappadocia, Basil quitted Pontus and returned to Caesarea, where he effected a reconciliation with Eusebius, and by his eloquence he opportunely aided the Church. The projects of Valens were thus defeated, and he returned with his bishops without having accomplished any of his designs.


SOME time after, the emperor again visited Cappadocia, and found that Basil was administering the churches there after the death of Eusebius. He thought of expelling him, but was unwillingly restrained from his intention. It is said that the night after he had formed his plans his wife was disturbed by a frightful dream, and that his only son Galates was cut off by a rapid disease. The death of this son was universally attributed to the vengeance of God as a punishment of his parents for the machinations that had been carried on against Basil. Valens himself was of this opinion, and, after the death of his son, offered no further molestation to the bishop.

When the prince was sinking under the disease, and at the point of death, the emperor sent for Basil and requested him to pray to God for his son's recovery. For as soon as Valens had arrived at Caesarea, the prefect had sent for Basil and commanded him to embrace the religious sentiments of the emperor, menacing him with death in case of non-compliance. Basil replied that it would be great gain to him and the grant of the highest favor to be delivered as quickly as possible from the bondage of the body. The prefect gave him the rest of the day and the approaching night for deliberation, and advised him not to rush imprudently into obvious danger, but that he should come on the day after and declare his opinion. "I do not require to deliberate," replied Basil. "My determination will be the same to-morrow as it is to-day; for since I am a creature I can never be induced to worship that which is similar to myself and worship it as God; neither will I conform to your religion, nor to that of the emperor. Although your distinction may be great, and although you have the honor of ruling no inconsiderable portion of the empire, yet I ought not on these accounts to seek to please men, and, at the same time, belittle that Divine faith which neither loss of goods, nor exile, nor condemnation to death would ever impel me to betray. Inflictions of this nature have never excited in my mind one pang of sorrow. I possess nothing but a cloak and a few books. I dwell on the earth as a traveler. The body through its weakness would have the better of all sensation and torture after the first blow."

The prefect admired the courage evinced in this bold reply, and communicated the circumstance to the emperor. On the festival of the Epiphany, the emperor repaired to the church with the rulers and his guards, presented gifts at the holy table, and held a conference with Basil, whose wisdom and whose order and arrangement in the conduct of the priesthood and the church elicited his praise.

Not long after, however, the calumny of his enemies prevailed, and Basil was condemned to banishment. The night for the execution of the edict was at hand; the son of the emperor suddenly fell ill with a pressing and dangerous fever. The father prostrated himself on the earth and wept over the son who was still alive, and not knowing what other measures to take towards effecting the recovery of his son, he dispatched some of his attendants to Basil to come and visit the prostrate child; because he himself feared to summon the bishop, on account of the injury just inflicted upon him. Immediately on the arrival of Basil, the boy began to rally; so that many maintain that his recovery would have been complete, had not some heretics been summoned to pray with Basil for the restoration of the boy. It is said that the prefect, likewise, fell ill; but that on his repentance, and on prayer being offered to God, he was restored to health. The instances above adduced are quite inadequate to convey an idea of the wonderful endowments of Basil; his extreme addiction to the philosophic life and astonishing powers of eloquence attracted great celebrity.


BASIL and Gregory were contemporaries, and they were recognized to be equally intent, so to speak, upon the cultivation of the virtues. They had both studied in their youth at Athens, under Himerius and Proaeresius, the most approved sophists of the age; and afterwards at Antioch, under Libanius, the Syrian. But as they subsequently conceived a contempt for sophistry and the study of the law, they determined to study philosophy according to the law of the Church. After having spent some time in the pursuit of the sciences, taught by pagan philosophers, they entered upon the study of the commentaries which Origen and the best approved authors who lived before and after his time, have written in explanation of the Sacred Scriptures.

They rendered great assistance to those who, like themselves, maintained the Nicene doctrines, for they manfully opposed the dogmas of the Arians, proving that these heretics did not rightly understand either the data upon which they proceeded, nor the opinions of Origen, upon which they mainly depended. These two holy men divided the perils of their undertaking, either by mutual agreement, or, as I have been informed, by lot. The cities in the neighborhood of Pontus fell to the lot of Basil; and here he founded numerous monasteries, and, by teaching the people, he persuaded them to hold like views with himself. After the death of his father, Gregory acted as bishop of the small city of Nazianzus, but resided on that account in a variety of places, and especially at Constantinople. Not long after he was appointed by the vote of many priests to act as president of the people there; for there was then neither bishop nor church in Constantinople, and the doctrines of the council of Nicaea were almost extinct.


THE emperor went to Antioch, and entirely ejected from the churches of that city and of the neighboring cities all those who adhered to the Nicene doctrines; moreover, he oppressed them with manifold punishments; as some affirm, he commanded many to be put to death in various ways, and caused others to be cast into the river Orontes. Having heard that there was a magnificent oratory at Edessa, named after the Apostle Thomas, he went to see it. He beheld the members of the Catholic Church assembled for worship in the plain before the walls of the city; for there, too, they had been deprived of their houses of prayer. It is said that the emperor reproached the prefect thoroughly and struck him on the jaw with his fist for having permitted these congregations contrary to his edict. Modestus (for this was the name of the prefect), although he was himself a heretic, secretly warned the people of Edessa not to meet for prayer on the accustomed spot the next day; for he had received orders from the emperor to punish all who should be seized. He uttered such threats with the forethought that none, or at least but a few, would incur danger, and with the desire to appease the wrath of the monarch. But the people of Edessa, totally disregarding the threat, ran together with more than their customary zeal, and filled the usual place of meeting.

Modestus, on being apprised of their proceedings, was undecided as to what measures ought to be adopted, and repaired in embarrassment to the plain with the throng. A woman, leading a child by the hand, and trailing her mantle in a way unbefitting the decency of women, forced her way through the files of the soldiers who were conducted by the prefect, as if bent upon some affair of importance. Modestus remarked her conduct, ordered her to be arrested, and summoned her into his presence, to inquire the cause of her running. She replied that she was hastening to the plain where the members of the Catholic Church were assembled. "Know you not," replied Modestus, "that the prefect is on his way thither for the purpose of condemning to death all who are found on the spot?" "I have heard so," replied she, "and this is the very reason of my haste; for I am fearful of arriving too late, and thus losing the honor of martyrdom for God." The governor having asked her why she took her child with her, she replied, "In order that he may share in the common suffering, and participate in the same reward." Modestus, struck with astonishment at the courage of this woman, went to the emperor, and, acquainting him with what had occurred, persuaded him not to carry out a design which he showed to be disgraceful and disastrous. Thus was the Christian faith confessed by the whole city of Edessa.


ATHANASIUS, bishop of the church of Alexandria, died about this period, after having completed his high-priesthood in about forty-six years. The Arians having received early intelligence of his death, Euzoius, president of the Arians at Antioch, and Magnus, the chief treasurer, were sent by the emperor, and lost no time in seizing and imprisoning Peter, whom Athanasius had appointed to succeed him in the bishopric; and they forthwith transferred the government of the church to Lucius.

Hence those in Egypt suffered more grievously than those in other places, and misfortunes piled upon misfortunes oppressed the members of the Catholic Church; for as soon as Lucius settled in Alexandria, he attempted to take possession of the churches; he met with opposition from the people, and the clergy and holy virgins were accused as originators of the sedition. Some made their escape as if the city had fallen into the hands of an enemy; others were seized and imprisoned. Some of the prisoners were afterwards dragged from the dungeons to be torn with hooks and thongs, while others were burned by means of flaming torches. It seemed wonderful how they could possibly survive the tortures to which they were subjected. Banishment or even death itself would have been preferable to such sufferings. Peter, the bishop, made his escape from prison; and embarking on board a ship, proceeded to Rome, the bishop of which church held the same sentiments as himself. Thus the Arians, although not many in number, remained in possession of the churches. At the same time, an edict was issued by the emperor, enacting that as many of the followers of the Nicene doctrines should be ejected from Alexandria and the rest of Egypt, as might be directed by Lucius. Euzoius, having thus accomplished all his designs, returned to Antioch.


Lucius went with the general of the soldiers in Egypt, against the monks in the desert; for he imagined that if he could overcome their opposition by interrupting the tranquillity which they loved, he would meet with fewer obstacles in drawing over to his party the Christians who inhabited the cities. The monasteries of this country were governed by several individuals of eminent sanctity, who were strenuously opposed to the heresy of Arius. The people, who were neither willing nor competent to enter upon the investigation of doctrinal questions, received their opinions from them, and thought with them; for they were persuaded that men whose virtue was manifested by their deeds were in possession of truth. We have heard that the leaders of these Egyptian ascetics were two men of the name of Macarius, of whom mention has already been made, Pambo and Heraclides, and other disciples of Antony.

On reflecting that the Arians could never succeed in establishing an ascendency over the Catholic Church, unless the monks could be drawn over to their party, Lucius determined to have recourse to force to compel the monks to side with him, since he was unable to persuade them. But here again his scheme failed; for the monks were prepared to subject their necks to the sword rather than to swerve from the Nicene doctrines. It is related that, at the very time that the soldiers were about to attack them a man whose limbs were withered and who was unable to stand on his feet was carried to them; and that when they had anointed him with oil, and commanded him in the name of Christ, whom Lucius persecuted, to arise and go to his house, he suddenly became whole. This miraculous cure openly manifested the necessity of adopting the sentiments of those to whom God himself had testified as possessing the truth, while Lucius was condemned, in that God heard their prayers and had healed the sick.

But the plotters against the monks were not led to repentance by this miracle; on the contrary, they arrested these holy men by night, and conveyed them to an island of Egypt, concealed in the swamps. The inhabitants of this island had never heard of the Christian faith, and were devoted to the service of demons: the island contained a temple of great antiquity which was held in great reverence. It is said that when the monks landed on the island, the daughter of the priest, who was possessed of a devil, went to them. The girl ran screaming towards them; and the people of the island, astonished at her sudden and strange conduct, followed. When she drew near the ship in which were the holy messengers, she flung herself pleadingly upon the ground, and exclaimed supplicatingly in a loud voice, "Wherefore are you come to us, O servants of the great God? for we have long dwelt in this island as our residence; we have troubled no one. Unknown to men, we have concealed ourselves here, and are everywhere surrounded by these marshes. If, however, it please you, accept our possessions, and fix your abode here; we will quit the island."

Such were her utterances. Macarius and his companions rebuked the demon, and the girl became sane. Her father and all her house, with the inhabitants of the island, immediately embraced Christianity, and after demolishing their temple, they transformed it into a church. On these occurrences being reported at Alexandria, Lucius was overcome with immoderate grief; and, fearing lest he should incur the hatred of his own partisans, and be accused of warring against God, and not against man, he sent secret orders for Macarius and his companions to be re-conveyed to their own dwellings in the wilderness. Thus did Lucius occasion troubles and commotions in Egypt.

About the same period, Didymus the philosopher and several other illustrious men acquired great renown. Struck by their virtue, and by that of the monks, the people followed their doctrines and opposed those of the partisans of Lucius.

The Arians, though not so strong in point of numbers as the other party, grievously persecuted the church of Egypt.


ARIANISM met with similar opposition at the same period in Osroene; but in the Cappadocias, Providence allotted such a divine and most educated pair of men, — Basil, the bishop of Caesarea in that country, and Gregory, bishop of Nazianzen. Syria and the neighboring provinces, and more especially the city of Antioch, were plunged into confusion and disorder; for the Arians were very numerous in these parts, and had possession of the churches. The members of the Catholic Church were not, however, few in number. They were called Eustathians and Paulinists, and were under the guidance of Paulinus and Meletius, as has been before stated. It was through their instrumentality that the church of Antioch was preserved from the encroach-merits of the Arians, and enabled to resist the zeal of the emperor and of those in power about him. Indeed, it appears that in all the churches which were governed by brave men, the people did not deviate from their former opinions.

It is said that this was the cause of the firmness with which the Scythians adhered to their faith. There are in this country a great number of cities, villages, and fortresses. The metropolis is called Tomi; it is a large and populous city, and lies on the sea-shore to the left of one sailing to the sea, called the Euxine.

According to an ancient custom which still prevails, all the churches of the whole country are under the sway of one bishop.

Vetranio ruled over these churches at the period that the emperor visited Tomi. Valens repaired to the church, and strove, according to his usual custom, to gain over the bishop to the heresy of Arius; but this latter manfully opposed his arguments, and after a courageous defense of the Nicene doctrines, quitted the emperor and proceeded to another church, whither he was followed by the people. Almost the entire city bad crowded to see the emperor, for they expected that something extraordinary would result from this interview with the bishop.

Valens was extremely offended at being left alone in the church with his attendants, and in resentment, condemned Vetranio to banishment. Not long after, however, he recalled him, because, I believe, he apprehended an insurrection; for the Scythians were offended at the absence of their bishop.

He well knew that the Scythians were a courageous nation, and that their country, by the position of its places, possessed many natural advantages which rendered it necessary to the Roman Empire, for it served as a barrier to ward off the barbarians.

Thus was the intention of the ruler openly frustrated by Vetranio. The Scythians themselves testify that he was good in all other respects and eminent for the virtue of his life.

The resentment of the emperor was visited upon all the clergy except those of the Western churches; for Valentinian, who reigned over the Western regions, was an admirer of the Nicene doctrines, and was imbued with so much reverence for religion, that he never imposed any commands upon the priests, nor ever attempted to introduce any alteration for better or for worse in ecclesiastical regulations. Although he had become one of the best of emperors, and had shown his capacity to rule affairs, he considered that ecclesiastical matters were beyond the range of his jurisdiction.


A QUESTION was renewed at this juncture which had previously excited much inquiry and now more; namely, whether the Holy Ghost is or is not to be considered consubstantial with the Father and the Son?

Many contentions and debates ensued on this subject, similar to those which had been held concerning the nature of God the Word. Those who asserted that the Son is dissimilar from the Father, and those who insisted that He is similar in substance to the Father, came to one common opinion concerning the Holy Ghost; for both parties maintained that the Holy Ghost differs in substance, and that He is but the Minister and the third in point of order, honor, and substance. Those, on the contrary, who believed that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, held also the same view about the Spirit. This doctrine was nobly maintained in Syria by Apolinarius, bishop of Laodicea; in Egypt by Athanasius, the bishop; and in Cappadocia and in the churches of Pontus by Basil and Gregory. The bishop of Rome, on learning that this question was agitated with great acrimony, and that it of course was augmented daily by controversies, wrote to the churches of the East and urged them to receive the doctrine upheld by the Western clergy; namely, that the three Persons of the Trinity are of the same substance and of equal dignity. The question having been thus decided by the Roman churches, peace was restored, and the inquiry appeared to have an end.


ABOUT this period Liberius died, and Damasus succeeded to the see of Rome. A deacon named Ursicius, who had obtained some votes in his favor, but could not endure the defeat, therefore caused himself to be clandestinely ordained by some bishops of little note, and endeavored to create a division among the people and to hold a separate church. He succeeded in effecting this division, and some of the people respected him as bishop, while the rest adhered to Damasus. This gave rise to much contention and revolt among the people, which at length proceeded to the evil of wounds and murder. The prefect of Rome was obliged to interfere, and to punish many of the people and of the clergy; and he put an end to the attempt of Ursicius.

With respect to doctrine, however, no dissension arose either at Rome or in any other of the Western churches. The people unanimously adhered to the form of belief established at Nicaea, and regarded the three persons of the Trinity as equal in dignity and in power.

Auxentius and his followers differed from the others in opinion; he was then president of the church in Milan, and, in conjunction with a few partisans, was intent upon the introduction of innovations, and the maintenance of the Arian dogma of the dissimilarity of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, according to the inquiry which had last sprung up, in opposition to the unanimous agreement of the Western priests. The bishops of Gaul and of Venetia having reported that similar attempts to disturb the peace of the Church were being made by others among them, the bishops of several provinces assembled not long after at Rome, and decreed that Auxentius and those who held his sentiments should be aliens from their communion. They confirmed the traditional faith established by the council of Nicaea, and annulled all the decrees that had been issued at Ariminum contrary to that faith, under the plea that these decrees had not received the assent of the bishop of Rome, nor of other bishops who agreed with them, and that many who had been present at the Synod, had disapproved of the enactments there made by them. That such was the decision really formed by the Synod is testified by the epistle addressed by Damasus, the Roman bishop, and the rest of the assembly, to the bishops of Illyria. It is as follows: —

"Damasus, Valerius, and the other bishops of the holy assembly convened at Rome to the dearly beloved brethren settled in IIlyria, greeting in the Lord.

"We believe that you uphold and teach to the people our holy faith, which is rounded on the doctrine of the apostles. This faith differs in no respect from that defined by the Fathers; neither is it allowable for the priests of God, whose right it is to instruct the wise, to have any other thought. We have, however, been informed by some of our brethren of Gaul and of Venice, that certain individuals are bent upon the introduction of heresy.

"All bishops should diligently guard against this evil, lest some of their flock should be led by inexperience, and others by simplicity, to oppose the proper interpretations.

"Those who devise strange doctrines ought not to be followed; but the opinions of our fathers ought to be retained, whatever may be the diversity of judgment around us.

"Hence Auxentius, bishop of Milan, has been publicly declared to be condemned pre-eminently in this matter. It is right, therefore, that all the teachers of the Roman world should be of one mind, and not pollute the faith by divers conflicting doctrines.

"For when the malice of the heretics first began to mature itself, as the blasphemy of the Arians has even now done, — may it be far from us, — our fathers to the number of three hundred and eighteen elect, after making an investigation in Nicaea, erected the wall against the weapons of the devil, and repelled the deadly poison by this antidote.

"This antidote consists in the belief, that the Father and the Son have one Godhead, one virtue, and one substance (chrh^ma). It is also requisite to believe that the Holy Ghost is of the same hypostasis. We have decreed that those who hold any other doctrines are to be aliens from our communion.

"Some have decreed to discolor this saving definition and adorable view; but in the very beginning, some of the persons who made the innovation at the council of Ariminum, or who were compelled to vote for the change, have since, in some measure, made amends by confessing that they were deceived by certain specious arguments, which did not appear to them to be contrary to the principles laid down by our fathers at Nicaea. The number of individuals congregated at the council of Ariminum proves nothing in prejudice of orthodox doctrines; for the council was held without the sanction of the bishops at Rome, whose opinion, before that of all others, ought to have been received, and without the assent either of Vincentius, who during a very long series of years guarded the episcopate without spot, or of many other bishops who agreed with those last mentioned.

"Besides, as has been before stated, those very persons who seemed inclined to something illusory, testified their disapprobation of their own proceedings as soon as they made use of a better judgment. Therefore your purity must see that this alone is the faith which was established at Nicaea upon the authority of the apostles, and which must ever be retained inviolate, and that all bishops, whether of the East, or of the West, who profess the Catholic religion, ought to consider it an honor to be in communion with us. We believe that it will not be long before those who maintain other sentiments will be excluded from communion, and deprived of the name and dignity of bishop; so that the people who are now oppressed by the yoke of those pernicious and deceitful principles, may have liberty to breathe. For it is not in the power of these bishops to rectify the error of the people, inasmuch as they are themselves held by error. Let, therefore, the opinion of your honor also be in accord with all the priests of God, in which we believe you to be holy and firm. That we ought so to believe along with you will be proved by the exchange of letters with your love."


The clergy of the West having thus anticipated the designs of those who sought to introduce innovations among them, carefully continued to preserve the inviolability of the faith which had from the beginning been handed down to them. With the solitary exception of Auxentius and his partisans, there were no individuals among them who entertained heterodox opinions. Auxentius, however, did not live long after this period. At his death a sedition arose among the people concerning the choice of a bishop for the church of Milan, and the city was in danger. Those who had aspired to the bishopric, and been defeated in their expectations, were loud in their menaces, as is usual in such commotions.

Ambrosius, who was then the governor of the province, being fearful of the movement of the people, went to the church, and exhorted the people to cease from contention, to remember the laws, and to re-establish concord and the prosperity which springs from peace. Before he had ceased speaking, all his auditors at once suppressed the angry feelings by which they had been mutually agitated against each other, and directed the vote of the bishopric upon him, as a fulfillment of his counsel to harmony. They exhorted him to be baptized, for he was still uninitiated, and begged him to receive the priesthood. After he had refused and declined, and unfeignedly fled the business, the people still insisted, and declared that the contention would never be appeased unless he would accede to their wishes; and at length intelligence of these transactions was conveyed to the court. It is said that the Emperor Valentinian prayed, and returned thanks to God that the very man whom he had appointed governor had been chosen to fill a priestly office. When he was informed of the earnest desires of the people and the refusal of Ambrosius, he inferred that events had been so ordered by God for the purpose of restoring peace to the church of Milan, and commanded that Ambrosius should be or-dained as quickly as possible. He was initiated and ordained at the same time, and forthwith proceeded to bring the church under his sway to unanimity of opinion concerning the Divine nature; for, while under the guidance of Auxentius, it had long been rent by dissensions on this subject. We shall hereafter have occasion to speak of the conduct of Ambrosius after his ordination, and of the courageous and holy manner in which he discharged the functions of the priesthood.

About this period, the Novatians of Phrygia, contrary to their ancient custom, began to celebrate the festival of the Passover on the same day as the Jews. Novatius, the originator of their heresy, refused to receive those who repented of their sins into communion, and it was in this respect alone that he innovated upon the established doctrine. But he and those who succeeded him celebrated the feast of the Passover after the vernal equinox, according to the custom of the Roman church. Some Novatian bishops, however, assembled about this time at Pazi, a town of Phrygia, near the source of the river Sangarus, and agreeing not to follow, in this point of discipline, the practice of those who differed in doctrine from them, established a new law; they determined upon keeping the feast of unleavened bread, and upon celebrating the Passover on the same days as the Jews. Agelius, the bishop of the Novatians at Constantinople, and the bishops of the Novatians at Nicaea, Nicomedia, and Cotyaeum, a noted city of Phrygia, did not take part in this Synod, although the Novatians consider them to be lords and colophons, so to speak, of the transactions affecting their heresy and their churches. How for this reason, these innovators advanced into divergence, and having cut themselves off, formed a separate church, I will speak of at the fight time.


ABOUT this period, Apolinarius openly devised a heresy, to which his name has since been given. He induced many persons to secede from the Church, and formed separate assemblies. Vitalius, a presbyter of Antioch and one of the priests of Meletius, concurred with him in the confirmation of his peculiar opinion. In other respects, Vitalius was conspicuous in life and conduct, and was zealous in watching over those committed to his pastoral superintendence; hence he was greatly revered by the people. He seceded from communion with Meletius, joined Apolinarius and presided over those at Antioch who had embraced the same opinions; by the sanctity of his life he attracted a great number of followers, who are still called Vitalians by the citizens of Antioch It is said he was led to secede from the Church from resentment at the contempt that was manifested towards him by Flavian, then one of his fellow-presbyters, but who was afterwards raised to the bishopric of Antioch. Flavian having prevented him from holding his customary interview with the bishop, he fancied himself despised and entered into communion with Apolinarius, and held him as his friend. From that period the members of this sect have formed separate churches in various cities, under their own bishops, and have established laws differing from those of the Catholic Church. Besides the customary sacred order, they sang some metrical songs composed by Apolinarius; for, in addition to his other learning he was a poet, and skilled in a great variety of meters, and by their sweetness he induced many to cleave to him. Men sang his strains at convivial meetings and at their daily labor, and women sang them while engaged at the loom. But, whether his tender poems were adapted for holidays, festivals, or other occasions, they were all alike to the praise and glory of God. Damasus, bishop of Rome, and Peter, bishop of Alexandria, were the firsts to learn that the heresy was creeping among the people, and at a council held at Rome they voted it to be foreign to the Catholic Church. It is said that it was as much from narrowness of mind as from any other cause that Apolinarius made an innovation in doctrine. For when Athanasius, who administered the church of Alexandria, was on his road back to Egypt from the place whither he had been banished by Constantine, he had to pass through Laodicea, and that while in that city he formed an intimacy with Apolinarius, which terminated in the strictest friendship. As, however, the heterodox considered it disgraceful to hold communion with Athanasius, George, the bishop of the Arians in that city, ejected Apolinarius in a very insulting manner from the church, under the plea that he had received Athanasius contrary to the canons and holy laws. The bishop did not rest here, but reproached him with crimes which he had committed and repented of at a remote period. For when Theodotus, the predecessor of George, regulated the church of Laodicea, Epiphanius, the sophist, recited a hymn which he had composed in honor of Dionysus. Apolinarius, who was then a youth and a pupil of Epiphanius, went to hear the recitation, accompanied by his father, whose name also was Apolinarius, and who was a noted grammarian. After the exordium, Epiphanius, according to the custom always observed at the public recitation of hymns, directed the uninitiated and the profane to go out of doors. But neither Apolinarius the younger nor the eider, nor, indeed, any of the Christians who were present, left the audience. When Theodotus, the bishop, heard that they had been present during the recitation, he was exceedingly displeased; he, however, pardoned the laymen who had committed this error, after they had received a moderate reproof. With respect to Apolinarius, father and son, he convicted them both publicly of their sin, and ejected them from the church; for they both belonged to the clergy, the father being a presbyter, and the son a reader of the Holy Scriptures. After some time had elapsed, and when-the father and son had evinced by tears and fasting a degree of repentance adequate to their transgression, Theodotus restored them to their offices in the church. When George received the same bishopric, he excommunicated Apolinarius, and treated him as alien to the Church on account of his having, as before stated, received Athanasius into communion. It is said that Apolinarius besought him repeatedly to restore him to communion, but that he was inexorable. Apolinarius, overcome with grief, disturbed the Church, and by innovations in doctrines introduced the aforesaid heresy; and he thought by means of his eloquence to revenge himself on his enemy by proving that George had deposed one who was more deeply acquainted with the Sacred Scriptures than himself. Thus do the private animosities of the clergy from time to time greatly injure the Church, and divide religion into many heresies. And this is a proof; for had George, like Theodotus, received Apolinarius on his repentance into communion, I believe that we should never have heard of the heresy that bears his name. Men are prone, when loaded with opprobrium and contempt, to resort to rivalries and innovations; whereas when treated with justice, they become moderate, and remain in the same position.


About this time, Eunomius, who had held the church in Cyzicus in place of Eleusius, and who presided over the Arian heresy, devised another heresy besides this, which some have called by his name, but which is sometimes denominated the Anomian heresy. Some assert that Eunomius was the first who ventured to maintain that divine baptism ought to be performed by one immersion, and to corrupt, in this manner, the apos-tolical tradition which has been carefully handed down to the present day. He invented, it is said, a mode of discipline contrary to that of the Church, and disguised the innovation under gravity and greater severity. He was an artist in words and contentions, and delighted in arguments. The generality of those who entertain his sentiments have the same predilections. They do not applaud a good course of life or manner or mercy towards the needy, unless exhibited by persons of their own sect, so much as skill in disputation and the power of triumphing in debates. Persons possessed of these accomplishments are accounted pious above all others among them. Others assert, I believe more truthfully, that Theophronius, a native of Cap- padocia, and Eutychius, both zealous propagators of this heresy, seceded from communion with Eunomius during the succeeding reign, and innovated about the other doctrines of Eunomius and about the divine baptism. They asserted that baptism ought not to be administered in the name of the Trinity, but in the name of the death of Christ. It appears that Eunomius broached no new opinion on the subject, but was from the beginning firmly attached to the sentiments of Arius, and remained so. After his elevation to the bishopric of Cyzicus, he was accused by his own clergy of introducing innovations in doctrine. Eudoxius, ruler of the Arian heresy at Constantinople, summoned him and obliged him to give an account of his doctrines to the people; finding, however, no fault in him, Eudoxius exhorted him to return to Cyzicus. Eunomius, however, replied, that he could not remain with people who regarded him with suspicion; and, it is said, seized the opportunity for secession, although it seems that, in taking this step he was really actuated by the resentment he felt at the refusal which Aetius, his teacher, had met with, of being received into communion. Eunomius, it is added, dwelt with Aetius, and never deviated from his original sentiments. Such are the conflicting accounts of various individuals; some narrate the circumstances in one way, and some in another. But whether it was Eunomius, or any other person, who first made these innovations upon the tradition of baptism, it seems to me that such innovators, whoever they may have been, were alone in danger, according to their own representation, of quitting this life without having received the divine baptism; for if, after they had been baptized according to the mode recommended from the beginning, they found it impossible to rebaptize themselves, it must be admitted that they introduced a practice to which they had not themselves submitted, and thus undertook to administer to others what had never been administered to them by themselves nor by others. Thus, after having laid down the dogma by some non-existent principle and private assumption, they proceeded to bestow upon others what they had not themselves received. The absurdity of this assumption is manifest from their own confession; for they admit that the uninitiated have not the power to baptize others. Now, according to their opinion, he who has not been baptized in conformity with their tradition is unbaptized as one not properly initiated, and they confirm this opinion by their practice, inasmuch as they rebaptize all those who join their sect, although previously initiated according to the tradition of the Catholic Church. These varying dogmas are the sources of innumerable troubles to religion; and many are deterred from embracing Christianity by the diversity of opinion which prevails in matters of doctrine.

The disputes daily became stronger, and, as in the beginning of heresies, they grew; for they had leaders who were not deficient in zeal or power of words; indeed, it appears that the greater part of the Catholic Church would have been subverted by this heresy, had it not found opponents in Basil and Gregory, the Cappadocians. The reign of Theodosius began a little while after; he banished the founders of heretical sects from the populous parts of the empire to the more desert regions.

But, lest those who read my history should be ignorant of the precise nature of the two heresies to which I have more especially alluded, I think it necessary to state that Aetius, the Syrian, was the originator of the heresy usually attributed to Eunomius; and that, like Arius, he maintained that the Son is dissimilar from the Father, that He is a created being, and was created out of what had no previous existence. Those who held these views were formerly called Aetians; but afterwards, during the reign of Constantius, when, as we have stated, some parties maintained that the Son is consubstantial with the Father, and others that He is like in substance to the Father, and when the council of Ariminum had decreed that the Son is only to be considered like unto the Father, Actius was condemned to banishment, as guilty of impiety and blasphemy against God. For some time subsequently his heresy seemed to have been suppressed; for neither any other man of note, nor even Eunomius, ventured openly upon undertaking its defense. But when Eunomius was raised to the church of Cyzicus in place of Eleusius, he could no longer quietly restrain himself, and in open debate he brought forward again the tenets of Aetius. Hence, as it often happens that the names of the original founders of heretical sects pass into oblivion, the followers of Eunomius were designated by his own name, although he merely renewed the heresy of Aetius, and promulgated it with greater boldness than was done by him who first handed it down.


IT is obvious that Eunomius and Aetius held the same opinions. In several passages of his writings, Eunomius boasts and frequently testifies that Aetius was his instructor. Gregory, bishop of Nazianzen, speaks in the following terms of Apolinarius in a letter addressed to Nectarius, the leader of the church in Constantinople: "Eunomius, who is a constant source of trouble among us, is not content with being a burden to us himself, but would consider himself to blame if he did not strive to drag every one with him to the destruction whither he is hastening. Such conduct, however, may be tolerated in some degree. The most grievous calamity against which the Church has now to struggle arises from the audacity of the Apolinarians. I know not how your Holiness could have agreed that they should be as free to hold meetings as we ourselves. You have been fully instructed by the grace of God, in the Divine mysteries, and not only understand the defense of the Word of God, but also whatever innovations have been made by heretics against the sound faith; yet it may not be amiss for your revered Excellency to hear from our narrowness, that a book written by Apolinarius has fallen into my hands, in which the proposition surpasses all forms of heretical pravity. He affirms that the flesh assumed for the transformation of our nature, under the dispensation of the only begotten Son of God was not acquired for this end; but that this carnal nature existed in the Son from the beginning. He substantiates this evil hypothesis by a misapplication of the following words of Scripture: 'No man hath ascended up into heaven.' He alleges from this text, that Christ was the Son of man before He descended from heaven, and that when He did descend, He brought with Him His own flesh which He had already possessed in heaven which was before the ages and essentially united. He also states another apostolic saying: 'The second man is from heaven.' He, moreover, maintains that the man who came down from heaven was destitute of intellect (nou^s), but that the Deity of the only begotten Son fulfilled the nature of intellect, and constituted the third part of the human compound. The body and soul (psuchh`) formed two parts, as in other men, but there was no intellect, but the Word of God filled the place of intellect. Nor does this end the awful spectacle; for the most grievous point of the heresy is, that he asserts that the only-begotten God, the Judge of all men, the Giver of life, and the Destroyer of death, is Himself subject to death; that He suffered in His own Godhead, and that in the resurrection of the body in the third day, the Godhead also was raised from the dead with the body; and that it was raised again from the dead by the Father. It would take too long to recount all the other extravagant doctrines propounded by these heretics." What I have said may, I think, suffice to show the nature of the sentiments maintained by Apolinarius and Eunomius. If any one desire more detailed information, I can only refer him to the works on the subject written either by them or by others concerning these men. I do not profess easily to understand or to expound these matters, as it seems to me the fact that these dogmas did not prevail and make further advance is to be attributed, in addition to the causes mentioned, especially to the monks of that period; for all those philosophers in Syria, Cappadocia, and the neighboring provinces, were sincerely attached to the Nicene faith. The eastern regions, however, from Cili-cia to Phoenicia, were endangered by the heresy of Apolinarius. The heresy of Eunomius was spread from Cilicia and the mountains of Taurus as far as the Hellespont and Constantinople. These two heretics found it easy to attract to their respective parties the persons among whom they dwelt, and those of the neighborhood. But the same fate awaited them that had been experienced by the Arians; for the people admired the monks who manifested their virtue by works and believed that they held right opinions, while they turned away from those who held other opinions, as impious and as holding spurious doctrines. In the same way the Egyptians were led by the monks to oppose the Arians.


As this period was distinguished by many holy men, who devoted themselves to a life of philosophy, it seems requisite to give some account of them, for in that time there flourished a very great abundance of men beloved of God. There was not, it appears, a more celebrated man in Egypt than John. He had received from God the power of discerning the future and the most hidden things as clearly as the ancient prophets, and he had, moreover, the gift of healing those who suffered with incurable afflictions and diseases. Or was another eminent man of this period; he had lived in solitude from his earliest youth, occupying himself continually in singing the praises of God. He subsisted on herbs and roots, and his drink was water, when he could find it. In his old age he went, by the command of God, to Thebaeus, where he presided over several monasteries, nor was he without part in divine works. By means of prayer alone he expelled diseases and devils. He knew nothing of letters, nor did he need books to support his memory; for whatever he received into his mind was never afterwards forgotten.

Ammon, the leader of the monks called Tabennesiotians, dwelt in the same region, and was followed by about three thousand disciples. genus and Theonas likewise presided over monastic orders, and possessed the gift of foreknowledge and of prophecy. It is said that though Theonas was versed in all the learning of the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Romans, he practiced silence for the space of thirty years. Benus was never seen to manifest any signs of anger, and never heard to swear, or to utter a false, a vain, a rash, or a useless word.

Copres, Helles, and Elias also flourished at this period. It is said that Copres had received from God the power of healing sickness and divers diseases, and of overcoming demons. Helles had from his youth upwards been trained in the monastic life, and he wrought many wonderful works. He could carry fire in his bosom without burning his clothes. He excited his fellow- monks to the practice of virtue by representing that with a good conduct, the display of miracles would follow. Elias, who practiced philosophy near the city of Antinouos, was at this period about a hundred and ten years of age; before this he said he had passed seventy years alone in the desert. Notwithstanding his advanced age, he was unremitting in the practice of fasting and courageous discipline. Apelles flourished at the same period, and performed numerous miracles in the Egyptian monasteries, near the city of Acoris. He at one time worked as a smith, for this was his trade; and one night the devil undertook to tempt him to incontinence, by appearing before him in the form of a beautiful woman; Apelles, however, seized the iron which was heating in the furnace, and burnt the face of the devil, who screamed like a wild bird and ran away.

Isidore, Scrapion, and Dioscorus, at this period, were among the most celebrated fathers of the monks. Isidore caused his monastery to be closed, so that no one could obtain egress or ingress, and supplied the wants of those within the walls. Serapion lived in the neighborhood of Arsenoites, and had about a thousand monks under his guidance. He taught all to earn their provisions by their labors and to provide for others who were poor. During harvest-time they busied themselves in reaping for pay; they set aside sufficient corn for their own use, and shared it with the rest of the monks. Dioscorus had not more than a hundred disciples; he was a presbyter, and applied himself with great exactness to the duties of his priesthood; he examined and carefully questioned those who presented themselves as candidates for participation in the holy mysteries, so that they might purify their minds and not be without a consciousness of any evil they might have committed. The presbyter Eulogius was still more scrupulous in the dispensation of the Divine mysteries. It is said that, when he was officiating in the priestly office, he could discern what was in the minds of those who came to him, so that he could clearly detect sin, and the secret thoughts of each one of his audience. He excluded from the altar all who had perpetrated crime or formed evil resolutions, and publicly convicted them of sin; but, on their purifying themselves by repentance, he again received them into communion.


APOLLOS flourished about the same period in Thebais. He early devoted himself to a life of philosophy; and after having passed forty years in the desert, he shut himself up, by the command of God, in a cave formed at the foot of a mountain, near a very populous district. By the multitude of his miracles, he soon became distinguished, and was the head of many monks for he directed them profitably by his instructions. Timothy, who conducted the church of Alexandria, has given us a history of his method of discipline and of what divine and marvelous deeds he was a worker; he also narrates the lives of other approved monks, many of whom I have mentioned.

In that time many good monks, to the number of about two thousand, preached philosophy in the neighborhood of Alexandria; some in a district called the Hermitage, and others more towards Mareotis and Libya. Dorotheus, a native of Thebes, was among the most celebrated of these monks. He spent the day in collecting stones upon the seashore, which he used in erecting cells to be given to those who were unable to build them. During the night, he employed himself in weaving baskets of palm leaves; and these he sold, to obtain the means of subsistence. He ate six ounces of bread with a few vegetables daily, and drank nothing but water. Having accustomed himself to this extreme abstinence from his youth, he continued to observe it in old age. He was never seen to recline on a mat or a bed, nor even to place his limbs in an easy attitude, or willingly to surrender himself to sleep. Sometimes, from natural lassitude, his eyes would involuntarily close when he was at his daily labor or his meals; and when nodding during his eating, the food would fall from his mouth. One day, being utterly overcome by drowsiness, he fell down on the mat; he was displeased at finding himself in this position, and said, in an undertone of voice, "If angels are persuaded to sleep, you will persuade also the zealous." Perhaps he might have said this to himself, or perhaps to the demon who had become an impediment to his zealous exercises. He was once asked by a person who came to him while he was exhausting himself, why he destroyed his body. "Because it destroys me," was his reply.

Piammon and John presided over two celebrated Egyptian monasteries near Diolcus. They were presbyters who discharged their priesthood very carefully and reverently. It is said that one day, when Piammon was officiating as priest, he beheld an angel standing near the holy table and writing down in a book the names of the monks who were present, while he erased the names of those who were absent. John had received from God such power over sufferings and diseases, that he healed the gouty and restored the paralytic.

A very old man, named Benjamin, was practicing philosophy very brilliantly about this period, in the desert near Scetis. God had bestowed upon him the power of relieving the sick of every disease without medicine, by the touch only of his hand, or by means of a little oil consecrated by prayer. The story is, that he was attacked by a dropsy, and his body was swollen to such a size that it became necessary, in order to carry him from his cell, to enlarge the door. As his malady would not admit of his lying in a recumbent posture, he remained, during eight months, seated on a very large skin, and continued to heal the sick, without regretting that his own recovery was not effected. He comforted those who came to visit him, and requested them to pray for his soul; adding that he cared little for his body, for it had been of no service to him when in health, and could not, now that it was diseased, be of any injury to him.

About the same time the celebrated Mark, Marcarius the younger, Apollonius, and Moses, an Egyptian, dwelt at Scetis. It is said that Mark was, from his youth upwards, distinguished by extreme mildness and prudence; he committed the Sacred Scriptures to memory, and manifested such eminent piety that Macarius himself, the presbyter of Celliae, declared that he had never given to him what priests present to the initiated at the holy table, but that an angel administered it to him whose hand up to the forearm he declares himself to have seen.

Macarius had received from God the power of dispelling demons. A murder which be had unintentionally committed was the original cause of his embracing a life of philosophy. He was a shepherd, and led his flock to graze on the banks of Lake Mareotis, when in sport he slew one of his companions. Fearful of being delivered up to justice, he fled to the desert. Here he concealed himself during three years, and afterwards erected a small dwelling on the spot, in which he dwelt twenty-five years. He was accustomed to say that he owed much to the calamity that had befallen him in early life, and even called the unintentional murder he had committed a salutary deed, inasmuch as it had been the cause of his embracing philosophy and a blessed mode of life.

Apollonius, after passing his life in the pursuits of commerce, retired in his old age to. Scetis. On reflecting that he was too old to learn writing or any other art, he purchased with his own money a supply of every kind of drug, and of food suited for the sick, some of which he carried until the ninth hour to the door of every monastery, for the relief of those who were suffering from disease. Finding this practice advantageous to himself, he adopted this mode of life; and when he felt death approaching he delivered his drugs to one whom he exhorted to go and do as he had done.

Moses was originally a slave, but was driven from his master's house on account of his immorality. He joined some robbers, and became leader of the band. After having perpetrated many evil deeds and dared some murders, by some sudden conversion he embraced the monastic life, and attained the highest point of philosophy. As the healthful and vigorous habit of body which had been induced by his former avocations acted as a stimulus to his imagination and excited a desire for pleasure, he resorted to every possible means of macerating his body; thus, he subsisted on a little bread without cooked food, subjected himself to severe labor, and prayed fifty times daily; he prayed standing, without bending his knees or closing his eyes in sleep. He sometimes went during the night to the cells of the monks and secretly filled their pitchers with water, and this was very laborious, for he had sometimes to go ten, sometimes twenty, and sometimes thirty and more, stadia in quest of water. Notwithstanding all his efforts to macerate his body, it was long before he could subdue his natural vigor of constitution. It is reported that robbers once broke into the dwelling where he was practicing philosophy; he seized and bound them, threw the four men across his shoulders, and bore them to the church, that the monks who were there assembled might deal with them as they thought fit, for he did not consider himself authorized to punish any one. For they say so sudden a conversion from vice to virtue was never before witnessed, nor such rapid attainments in monastical philosophy. Hence God rendered him an object of dread to the demons, and he was ordained presbyter over the monks at Scetis. After a life spent in this manner, he died at the age of seventy-five, leaving behind him numerous eminent disciples.

Paul, Pachon, Stephen, and Moses, of whom the two latter were Libyans, and Pior, who was an Egyptian, flourished during this reign. Paul dwelt at Ferme, a mountain of Scetis, and presided over five hundred ascetics. He did not labor with his hands, neither did he receive alms of any one, except such food as was necessary for his subsistence. He did nothing but pray, and daily offered up to God three hundred prayers. He placed three hundred pebbles in his bosom, for fear of omitting any of these prayers; and, at the conclusion of each, he took away one of the pebbles. When there were no pebbles remaining, he knew that he had gone through the whole course of his prescribed prayers.

Pachon also flourished during this period at Scetis. He followed this career from youth to extreme old age, without ever being found unmanly in self-control by the appetites of the body, the passions of the soul, or a demon,-in short, in all those things which the philosopher should conquer.

Stephen dwelt at Mareotis near Marmarica. During sixty years, through exactness, he attained the perfection of asceticism, became very noted as a monk, and was intimate with Antony the Great. He was very mild and prudent, and his usual style of conversation was sweet and profitable, and well calculated to comfort the souls of the afflicted, to transform them into good spirits, if even they had previously been depressed by griefs which seemed necessary. He behaved similarly about his own afflictions. He was troubled with a severe and incurable ulcer, and surgeons were employed to operate upon the diseased members. During the operation Stephen employed himself in weaving palm leaves, and exhorted those who were around him not to concern themselves about his sufferings. He told them to have no other thought than that God does nothing but for our good, and that his affliction would tend to his real welfare, inasmuch as it would perhaps atone for his sins, it being better to be judged in this life than in the life to come.

Moses was celebrated for his meekness, his love, and his power of healing of sufferings by prayer. Pior determined, from his youth, to devote himself to a life of philosophy; and, with this view, quitted his father's house after having made a vow that he would never again look upon any of his relations. After fifty years had expired, one of his sisters heard that he was still alive, and she was so transported with joy at this unexpected intelligence, that she could not rest till she had seen him. The bishop of the place where she resided was so affected by the groans and tears of the aged woman, that he wrote to the leaders of the monks in the desert of Scetis, desiring them to send Pior to him. The superiors accordingly directed him to repair to the city of his birth, and he could not say nay, for disobedience was regarded as unlawful by the monks of Egypt, and I think also by other monks. He went with another monk to the door of his father's house, and caused himself to be announced. When he heard the door being opened, he closed his eyes, and calling his sister by name, he said to her, "I am Pior, your brother; look at me as much as you please." His sister was delighted beyond measure at again beholding him, and returned thanks to God. He prayed at the door where he stood, and then returned to the place where he lived; there he dug a well, and found that the water was bitter, but he persevered in the use of it till his death. Then the height to which he had carried his self-denial was known; for after he died, several attempted to practice philosophy in the place where he had dwelt, but found it impossible to remain there. I am convinced that, had it not been for the principles of philosophy which he had espoused, he could easily have changed the water to a sweet taste by prayer; for he caused water to flow in a spot where none had existed previously. It is said that some monks, under the guidance of Moses undertook to dig a well, but the expected vein did not appear, nor did any depth yield the water, and they were about to abandon the task, when, about midday, Pior joined them; he first embraced them, and then rebuked their want of faith and littleness of soul; he then descended into the pit they had excavated; and, after engaging in prayer, struck the ground thrice with a rod. A spring of water soon after rose to the surface, and filled the whole excavation. After prayer, Pior departed; and though the monks urged him to break his fast with them, he refused, alleging that he had not been sent to them for that purpose, but merely in order to perform the act he had effected.


AT this period, Origen, one of the disciples of Antony the Great, was still living at a great age, in the monasteries of Scetis. Also, Didymus, and Cronion, who was about one hundred and ten years of age, Arsisius the Great, Putubatus, Arsion, and Serapion, all of whom had been contemporary with Antony the Great. They had grown old in the exercise of philosophy, and were at this period presiding over the monasteries. There were some holy men among them who were young and middle aged, but who were celebrated for their excellent and good qualities. Among these were Ammonius, Eusebias, and Dioscorus. They were brothers, but on account of their height of stature were called the "Long Brothers." It is said that Ammon attained the summit of philosophy, and consequently overcame the love of ease and pleasure. He was very studious, and had read the works of Origen, of Didymus, and of other ecclesiastical writers. From his youth to the day of his death he never tasted anything, with the exception of bread, that had been prepared by means of fire. He was once chosen to be ordained bishop; and after urging every argument that could be devised in rejection of the honor, but in vain, he cut off one of his ears, and said to those who had come for him, "Go away. Hence-forward the priestly law forbids my ordination, for the person of a priest should be perfect." Those who had been sent for him accordingly departed; but, on ascertaining that the Church does not observe the Jewish law in requiring a priest to be perfect in all his members, but merely requires him to be irreprehensible in point of morals, they returned to Ammon, and endeavored to take him by force. He protested to them that, if they attempted any violence against him, he would cut out his tongue; and, terrified at this menace, they immediately took their departure. Ammon was ever after surnamed Parotes. Some time afterwards, during the ensuing reign, the wise Evagrius formed an intimacy with him. Evagrius was a wise man, powerful in thought and in word, and skillful in discerning the arguments which led to virtue and to vice, and capable in urging others to imitate the one, and to eschew the other. His eloquence is fully attested by the works he has left behind him. With respect to his moral character, it is said that he was totally free from all pride or superciliousness, so that he was not elated when just commendations were awarded him, nor displeased when unjust reproaches were brought against him. He was a citizen of Iberia, near the Euxine. He had philosophized and studied the Sacred Scriptures under Gregory, bishop of Nazianzen, and had filled the office of archdeacon when Gregory administered the church in Constantinople. He was handsome m person, and careful in his mode of attire; and hence an acquaintanceship he had formed with a certain lady excited the jealousy of her husband, who plotted his death. While the plot was about being carried forward into deed, God sent him while sleeping, a fearful and saving vision in a dream. It appeared to him that he had been arrested in the act of committing some crime, and that he was bound hand and foot in irons. As he was being led before the magistrates to receive the sentence of condemnation, a man who held in his hand the book of the Holy Gospels addressed him, and promised to deliver him from his bonds, and confirmed this with an oath, provided he would quit the city. Evagrius touched the book, and made oath that he would do so. Immediately his chains appeared to fall off, and he awoke. He was convinced by this divine dream, and fled the danger. He resolved upon devoting himself to a life of asceticism, and proceeded from Constantinople to Jerusalem. Some time after he went to visit the philosophers of Scetis, and gladly determined to live there.


THEY call this place Nitria. It is inhabited by a great number of persons devoted to a life of philosophy, and derives its name from its vicinity to a village in which nitre is gathered. It contains about fifty monasteries, built tolerably near to each other, some of which are inhabited by monks who live together in society, and others by monks who have adopted a solitary mode of existence. More in the interior of the desert, about seventy stadia from this locality, is another place called Cellia, throughout which numerous little dwellings are dispersed hither and thither, and hence its name; but at such a distance that those who dwell in them can neither see nor hear each other. They assemble together on the first and last days of each week; and if any monk happen to be absent, it is evident that he has been left behind involuntarily, having been hindered by suffering some disease; they do not all go immediately to see and nurse him, but each one in turn at different times, and bearing whatever each has suitable for disease. Except for such a cause, they seldom converse together, unless, indeed, there be one among them capable of communicating further knowledge concerning God and the salvation of the soul. Those who dwell in the cells are those who have attained the summit of philosophy, and who are therefore able to regulate their own conduct, to live alone, and are separated from the others for the sake of quietude. This is what I had briefly to state concerning Scetis and its philosophers. Some one would probably censure my writing as prolix, were I to enter into further details concerning their mode of life; for they have established individual courses of life, labors, customs, exercises, abstinence, and time, divided naturally according to the age of the individual.

Rhinocorura was also celebrated at this period, an account of the holy men, not from abroad, but who were natives of the place. I have heard that the most eminent philosophers among them were Melas, who then administered the church of the country; Dionysius, who presided over a monastery situated to the north of the city; and Solon, the brother and successor to the bishopric of Melas. It is said that when the decree for the ejection of all priests opposed to Arianism was issued, the officers appointed to apprehend Melas found him engaged as the lowest servant, in trimming the lights of the church, with a girdle soiled with oil on his cloak, and carrying the wicks. When they asked him for the bishop, he replied that he was within, and that he would conduct them to him. As they were fatigued with their journey, he led them to the episcopal dwelling, made them sit down at table, and gave them to eat of such things as he had. After the repast, he supplied them with water to wash their hands; for he served the guests, and then told them who he was. Amazed at his conduct, they confessed the mission on which they had arrived; but from respect to him, gave him full liberty to go where-ever he would. He, however, replied that he would not shrink from the sufferings to which the other bishops who maintained the same sentiments as himself were exposed, and that he was willing to go into exile. Having philosophized from his youth, he had exercised himself in all the monastic virtues.

Solon quitted the pursuits of commerce to embrace a monastic life, a measure which tended greatly to his welfare; for under the instruction of his brother and other ascetics, he progressed rapidly in piety towards God, and in goodness towards his neighbor. The church of Rhinocorura having been thus, from the beginning, under the guidance of such exemplary bishops, never afterwards swerved from their precepts, and produced good men. The clergy of this church dwell in one house, sit at the same table, and have everything in common.


MANY monastical institutions flourished in Palestine, Many of those whom I enumerated under the reign of Constantius were still cultivating the science. They and their associates attained the summit of philosophical perfection, and added still greater reputation to their monasteries; and among them Hesycas, a companion of Hilarion, and Epiphanius, afterwards bishop of Salamis in Cyprus, deserve to be particularly noticed. Hesycas devoted himself to a life of philosophy in the same locality where his master had formerly resided; and Epiphanius fixed his abode near the village of Besauduc, which was his birthplace, in the government of Eleutheropolis. Having been instructed from his youth by the most celebrated ascetics, and having on this account passed the most of his time in Egypt, Epiphanius became most celebrated in Egypt and Palestine by his attainments in monastic philosophy, and was chosen by the inhabitants of Cyprus to act as bishop of the metropolis of their island. Hence he is, I think, the most revered man under the whole heaven, so to speak; for he fulfilled his priesthood in the concourse of a large city and in a seaport; and when he threw himself into civil affairs, he conducted them with so much virtue that he became known in a little while to all citizens and every variety of foreigner; to some, because they had seen the man himself, and had experience of his manner of living; and to others, who had learned it from these spectators. Before he went to Cyprus, he resided for some time, during the present reign, in Palestine.

At the same period in the monasteries, Salamines, Phuscon, Malachion, and Crispion, four brethren, were highly distinguished: they practiced philosophy near Bethelia, a village of Gaza; they were of a resident noble family, and had been instructed in philosophy by Hilarion. It is related that the brothers were once journeying homewards, when Malachion was suddenly snatched away and became invisible; soon afterwards, however, he reappeared and continued the journey with his brothers. He did not long survive this occurrence, but died in the flower of his youth. He was not behind men of advanced age in the philosophy of virtuous life and of piety.

Ammonius lived at a distance of ten stadia from those last mentioned; he dwelt near Capharcobra, the place of his birth, a town of Gaza. He was very exact and courageous in carrying through asceticism. I think that Silvanus, a native of Palestine, to whom, on account of his high virtue, an angel was once seen to minister, practiced philosophy about the same time in Egypt. Then he lived at Mount Sinai, and afterwards founded at Gerari, in the wady, a very extensive and most noted coenobium for many good men, over which the excellent Zacharias subsequently presided.


LET US pass thence to Syria and Persia, the parts adjacent to Syria. We shall find that the monks of these countries emulated those of Egypt in the practice of philosophy. Battheus, Eusebius, Barges, Halas, Abbos, Lazarus, who attained the episcopal dignity, Abdaleus, Zeno, and Heliodorus, flourished in Nisibis, near the mountain called Sigoron. When they first entered upon the philosophic career, they were denominated shepherds, because they had no houses, ate neither bread nor meat, and drank no wine; but dwelt constantly on the mountains, and passed their time in praising God by prayers and hymns, according to the law of the Church. At the usual hours of meals, they each took a sickle, and went to the mountain to cut some grass on the mountains, as though they were flocks in pasture; and this served for their-repast. Such was their course of philosophy. Eusebius voluntarily shut himself up in a cell to philosophize, near Carrae. Protogenes dwelt in the same locality, and ruled the church there after Vitus who was then bishop. This is the celebrated Vitus of whom they say that when the Emperor Constantine first saw him, he confessed that God had frequently shown this man in appearances to him and enjoined him to obey implicitly what he should say. Aones had a monastery in Phadana; this was the spot where Jacob, the grandson of Abraham, on his journey from Palestine, met the damsel whom he afterwards married, and where he rolled away the stone, that her flock might drink of the water of the well. It is said that Aones was the first who introduced the life apart from all men, and the severe philosophy into Syria, just as it was first introduced by Antony into Egypt.


GADDANAS and Azizus dwelt with Aones, and emulated his virtues. Ephraim the Syrian, who was an historian, and has been noticed in our own recital of events under the reign of Constantius, was the most renowned philosopher in this time, together with Julian, in the neighborhood of Edessa and its adjacent regions. Barses and Eulogius were both, at a later period than that to which we are referring, ordained bishops, but not of any city; for the title was merely an honorary one, conferred on them as a compensation for their excellent conduct; and they were ordained in their own monasteries. Lazarus, to whom we have already alluded, was ordained bishop in the same manner. Such were the most celebrated philosophers of asceticism who flourished in Syria, Persia, and the neighboring countries, so far, at least, as I have been able to ascertain. The course common to all, so to speak, consisted in diligent attention to the state of the soul, which by means of fasting, prayer, and hymns to God, they kept in constant preparation to quit the things of this world. They devoted the greater part of their time to these holy exercises, and they wholly despised worldly possessions, temporal affairs, and the ease and adornment of the body. Some of the monks carried their self-denial to an extraordinary height. Battheus, for instance, by excessive abstinence and fasting, had worms crawl from his teeth; Halas, again, had not tasted bread for eighty years; and Heliodorus passed many nights without yielding to sleep, and added thereto seven days of fasting.

Although Coele-Syria and Upper Syria, with the exception of the city of Antioch, was slowly converted to Christianity, it was not lacking in ecclesiastical philosophers, whose conduct appeared the more heroic from their having to encounter the enmity and hatred of the inhabitants of the place. And they nobly refrained from resistance, or resorting to the law, but spiritedly endured the insults and blows inflicted by the pagans. Such, I found, was the course pursued by Valentian, who, according to some accounts, was born at Emesa, but according to others, at Arethusa. Another individual of the same name distinguished himself by similar conduct, as likewise Theodore. Both were from Titti, which is of the home of the Apameans; not less distinguished were Marosas, a native of Nechilis, Bassus, Bassones, and Paul. This latter was from the village of Telmison. He rounded many communities in many places, and introduced the method essential to the knowledge of philosophy, and finally established the greatest and most distinguished community of monks in a place called Jugatum. Here, after a long and honorable life, he died, and was interred. Some of the monks who have practiced philosophy in a distinguished and divine way have survived to our own days; indeed, most of those to whom allusion has been made enjoyed a very long term of existence; and I am convinced that God added to the length of their days for the express purpose of further-ins the interests of religion. They were instrumental in leading nearly the whole Syrian nation, and most of the Persians and Saracens, to the proper religion, and caused them to cease from paganism. After beginning the monastic philosophy there, they brought forward many like themselves.

I suppose that Galatia, Cappadocia, and the neighboring provinces contained many other ecclesiastical philosophers at that time, for these regions formerly had zealously embraced our doctrine. These monks, for the most part, dwelt in communities in cities and villages, for they did not habituate themselves to the tradition of their predecessors. The severity of the winter, which is always a natural feature of that country, would probably make a hermit life impracticable. Leontius and Prapidius were, I understand, the most celebrated of these monks. The former afterwards administered the church of Ancyra, and the latter, a man of very advanced age, performed the episcopal functions in several villages. He also presided over the Basileias, the most celebrated hospice for the poor. It was established by Basil, bishop of Caesarea, from whom it received its name in the beginning, and retains it until to-day.


Such is the information which I have been enabled to collect concerning the ecclesiastical philosophers of that time. As to the pagans, they were nearly all exterminated about the period to which we have been referring. Some among them, who were reputed to excel in philosophy, and who viewed with extreme displeasure the progress of the Christian religion, were devising who would be the successor of Valens on the throne of the Roman Empire, and resorted to every variety of mantic art for the purpose of attaining this insight into futurity. After various incantations, they constructed a tripod of laurel wood, and they wound up with the invocations and words to which they are accustomed; so that the name of the emperor might be shown by the collection of letters which were indicated, letter by letter, through the machinery of the tripod and the prophecy. They were gaping with open mouth for Theodore, a man who held a distinguished military appointment in the palace. He was a pagan and a learned man. The disposition of the letters, coming as far as the delta of his name, deceived the philosophers. They hence expected that Theodore would very soon be the emperor. When their undertaking was informed upon, Valens was as unbearably incensed, as if a conspiracy had been formed against his safety. Therefore all were arrested; Theodore and the constructors of the tripod were commanded to be put to death, some with fire, others with the sword. Likewise for the same reason the most brilliant philosophers of the empire were slain; since the wrath of the emperor was unchecked, the death penalty advanced even to those who were not philosophers, but who wore garments similar to theirs; hence those who applied themselves to other pursuits would not clothe themselves with the crocotium or tribonium, on account of the suspicion and fear of danger, so that they might not seem to be pursuing magic and sorcery. I do not in the least think that the emperor will be more blamed by right-thinking people for such wrath and cruelty than the philosophers, for their rashness and their unphilosophical undertaking. The emperor, absurdly supposing that he could put his successor to death, spared neither those who had prophesied nor the subject of their prophecy, as they say he did not spare those who bore the same name Theodore, — and some were men of distinction, —whether they were precisely the same or similar in beginning with (?) and ending with (?). The philosophers, on the other hand, acted as if the deposition and restoration of emperors had depended solely on them; for if the imperial succession was to be considered dependent on the arrangement of the stars, what was requisite but to await the accession of the future emperor, whoever he might be? or if the succession was regarded as dependent on the will of God, what right had man to meddle? For it is not the function of human foreknowledge or zeal to understand God's thought; nor if it were right, would it be well for men, even if they be the wisest of all, to think that they can plan better than God. If it were merely from rash curiosity to discern the things of futurity that they showed such lack of judgment as to be ready to be caught in danger, and to despise the laws anciently established among the Romans, and at a time when it was not dangerous to conduct pagan worship and to sacrifice; in this they thought differently from Socrates; for when unjustly condemned to drink poison, he refused to save himself by violating the laws in which he had been born and educated, nor would he escape from prison, although it was in his power to do so.


Such subjects as the above, however, are best left to the examination and decision of individual judgment.

The Sarmatians having invaded the western parts of the empire, Valentinian levied an army to oppose them. As soon, however, as they heard of the number and strength of the troops raised against them, they sent an embassy to solicit peace. When the ambassadors were ushered into the presence of Valentinian, he asked them whether all the Sarmatians were similar to them. On their replying that the principal men of the nation had been selected to form the embassy, the emperor exclaimed, in great fury, "A terrible thing do our subjects endure, and a calamity is surrounding the Roman government, if the Sarmatians, a barbarous race, of whom these are your best men, do not love to abide by themselves, but are emboldened to invade my government, and presume to make war at all against the Romans." He spoke in this strain for some time in a very high pitch of voice, and his rage was so violent and so unbounded, that at length he burst simultaneously a blood-vessel and an artery. He lost, in consequence, a great quantity of blood, and expired soon after in a fortress of Gaul. He was about fifty-four years of age, and had, during thirteen years, guided the reins of government with good results and much distinction. Six days after his death his youngest son, who bore the same name as himself, was proclaimed emperor by the soldiers; and soon afterwards Valens and Gratian, his brother, formally assented to this election, although they were at first irritated at the soldiers having transferred the symbols of government to him without their previous consent.

During this period Valens had fixed his residence at Antioch in Syria, and became more hostile to those who differed from him in opinion concerning the divine nature, and he vexed them more severely and persecuted them. The philosopher Themistius pronounced an oration in his presence, in which he admonished him that he ought not to wonder at the dissension concerning ecclesiastical doctrines, for it was more moderate and less than among the pagans, for the opinions among them are multiform; and that, in the number of dogmas leading to perpetual disputes, necessarily the difference about them makes more contentions and discussions; and accordingly it might probably be pleasing to God not to be so easily known, and to have a divergence of opinion, so that each might fear Him the rather, since an accurate knowledge of Him is so unattainable. And in the attempt to summarize this vastness, one would tend to conclude how great He is and how good He is.


This remarkable oration of Themistius disposed the emperor to be somewhat more humane, and the punishments became in consequence less severe than before. He would not have wholly withdrawn his wrath from the priests unless the anxieties of public affairs had supervened, and not permitted him to pursue them further. For the Goths, who inhabited the regions beyond the Ister, and had conquered other barbarians, having been vanquished and driven from their country by the-Huns, had passed over into the Roman boundaries. The Huns, it is said, were unknown to the Thracians of the Ister and the Goths before this period; for though they were dwelling secretly near to one another, a lake of vast extent was between them, and the inhabitants on each side of the lake respectively imagined that their own country was situated at the extremity of the earth, and that there was nothing beyond them but the sea and water. It so happened, however, that an ox, tormented by insects, plunged into the lake, and was pursued by the herdsman; who, perceiving for the first time that the opposite bank was inhabited, made known the circumstance to his fellow- tribesmen. Some, however, relate that a stag was fleeing, and showed some of the hunters who were of the race of the Hurts the way which was concealed superficially by the water. On arriving at the opposite bank, the hunters were struck with the beauty of the country, the serenity of the air, and the adaptedness for cultivation; and they reported what they had seen to their king. The Hurts then made an attempt to attack the Goths with a few soldiers; but they afterwards raised a powerful army, conquered the Goths in battle, and took possession of their whole country. The vanquished nation, being pursued by their enemies, crossed over into the Roman territories. They passed over the river, and dispatched an embassy to the emperor, assuring him of their co-operation in any warfare in which he might engage, provided that he would assign a portion of land for them to inhabit. Ulphilas, the bishop of the nation, was the chief of the embassy. The object of his embassy was fully accomplished, and the Goths were permitted to take up their abode in Thrace. Soon after contentions broke out among them, which led to their division into two parts, one of which was headed by Athanaric, and the other by Phritigernes. They took up arms against each other, and Phritigernes was vanquished, and implored the assistance of the Romans. The emperor having commanded the troops in Thrace to assist and to ally with him, a second battle was fought, and Athanaric and his party were put to flight. In acknowledgment of the timely succor afforded by Valens, and in proof of his fidelity to the Romans, Phritigernes embraced the religion of the emperor, and persuaded the barbarians over whom he ruled to follow his example. It does not, however, appear to me that this is the only reason that can be advanced to account for the Goths having retained, even to the present day, the tenets of Arianism. For Ulphilas, their bishop, originally held no opinions at variance with those of the Catholic Church; for during the reign of Constantius, though he took part, as I am convinced, from thoughtlessness, at the council of Constantinople, in conjunction with Eudoxius and Acacius, yet he did not swerve from the doctrines of the Nicaean council. He afterwards, it appears, returned to Constantinople, and, it is said, entered into disputations on doctrinal topics with the chiefs of the Arian faction; and they promised to lay his requests before the emperor, and forward the object of his embassy, if he would conform to their opinions. Compelled by the urgency of the occasion, or, possibly, thinking that it was better to hold such views concerning the Divine nature, Ulphilas entered into communion with the Arians, and separated himself and his whole nation from all connection with the Catholic Church. For as he had instructed the Goths in the elements of religion, and through him they shared in a gentler mode of life, they placed the most implicit confidence in his directions, and were firmly convinced that he could neither do nor say anything that was evil. He had, in fact, given many signal proofs of the greatness of his virtue. He had exposed himself to innumerable perils in defense of the faith, during the period that the aforesaid barbarians were given to pagan worship. He taught them the use of letters, and translated the Sacred Scriptures into their own language. It was on this account, that the barbarians on the banks of the Ister followed the tenets of Arius. At the same period, there were many of the subjects of Phritigernes who testified to Christ, and were martyred. Athanaric resented that his subjects had become Christian under the persuasion of Ulphilas; and because they had abandoned the cult of their fathers, he subjected many individuals to many punishments; some he put to death after they had been dragged before tribunals and had nobly confessed the doctrine, and others were slain without being permitted to utter a single word in their own defense. It is said that the officers appointed by Athanaric to execute his cruel mandates, caused a statute to be constructed, which they placed chariot, and had it conveyed to the tents of those who were suspected of having embraced Christianity, and who were therefore commanded to worship the statue and offer sacrifice; if they refused to do so, the men and the tents were burnt together. But I have heard that an outrage of still greater atrocity was perpetrated at this period. Many refused to obey those who were compelling them by force to sacrifice. Among them were men and women; of the latter some were leading their little children, others were nourishing their new-born infants at the breast; they fled to their church, which was a tent. The pagans set fire to it, and all were destroyed.

The Goths were not long in making peace among themselves; and in unreasonable excitement, they then began to ravage Thrace and to pillage the cities and villages. Valens, on inquiry, learned by experiment how great a mistake he had made; for he had calculated that the Goths would always be useful to the empire and formidable to its enemies, and had therefore neglected the reinforcement of the Roman ranks. He had taken gold from the cities and villages under the Romans, instead of the usual complement of men for the military service. On his expectation being thus frustrated, he quilted Antioch and hastened to Constantinople. Hence the persecution which he had been carrying on against Christians differing in opinion from himself, had a truce. Euzoius, president of the Arians, died, and Dorotheus was proposed for his government.


About this period the king of the Saracens died, and the peace which had previously existed between that nation and the Romans was dissolved. Mania, the widow of the late monarch, after attaining to the government of her race, led her troops into Phoenicia and Palestine, as far as the regions of Egypt lying to the left of those who sail towards the source of the Nile, and which are generally denominated Arabia. This war was by no means a contemptible one, although conducted by a woman. The Romans, it is said, considered it so arduous and so perilous, that the general of the Phoenician troops applied for assistance to the general of the entire cavalry and infantry of the East. This latter ridiculed the summons, and undertook to give battle alone. He accordingly attacked Mania, who commanded her own troops in person; and he was rescued with difficulty by the general of the troops of Palestine and Phoenicia. Perceiving the extremity of the danger, this general deemed it unnecessary to obey the orders he had received to keep aloof from the combat; he therefore rushed upon the barbarians, and furnished his superior an opportunity for safe retreat, while he himself yielded ground and shot at those who fled, and beat off with his arrows the enemies who were pressing upon him. This occurrence is still held in remembrance among the people of the country, and is celebrated in songs by the Saracens.

As the war was still pursued with vigor, the Romans found it necessary to send an embassy to Mania to solicit peace. It is said that she refused to comply with the request of the embassy, unless consent were given for the ordination of a certain man named Moses, who practiced philosophy in a neighboring desert, as bishop over her subjects. This Moses was a man of virtuous life, and noted for performing the divine and miraculous signs. On these conditions being announced to the emperor, the chiefs of the army were commanded to seize Moses, and conduct him to Lucius. The monk exclaimed, in the presence of the rulers and the assembled people, "I am not worthy of the honor of bearing the name and dignity of chief priest; but if, notwithstanding my unworthiness God destines me to this office, I take Him to witness who created the heavens and the earth, that I will not be ordained by the imposition of the hands of Lucius, which are defiled with the blood of holy men." Lucius immediately rejoined, "If you are unacquainted with the nature of my creed, you do wrong in judging me before you are in possession of all the circumstances of the case. If you have been prejudiced by the calumnies that have been circulated against me, at least allow me to declare to you what are my sentiments; and do you be the judge of them." "Your creed is already well known to me," replied Moses; "and its nature is testified by bishops, presbyters, and deacons, who are suffering grievously in exile, and the mines. It is clear that your sentiments are opposed to the faith of Christ, and to all orthodox doctrines concerning the Godhead." Having again protested, upon oath, that he would not receive ordination from them, he went to the Saracens. He reconciled them to the Romans, and converted many to Christianity, and passed his life among them as a priest, although he found few who shared in his belief.

This is the tribe which took its origin and had its name from Ishmael, the son of Abraham; and the ancients called them Ishmaelites after their progenitor. As their mother Hagar was a slave, they afterwards, to conceal the opprobrium of their origin, assumed the name of Saracens, as if they were descended from Sara, the wife of Abraham. Such being their origin, they practice circumcision like the Jews, refrain from the use of pork, and observe many other Jewish rites and customs. If, indeed, they deviate in any respect from the observances of that nation, it must be ascribed to the lapse of time, and to their intercourse with the neighboring nations. Moses, who lived many centuries after Abraham, only legislated for those whom he led out of Egypt. The inhabitants of the neighboring countries, being strongly addicted to superstition, probably soon corrupted the laws imposed upon them by their forefather Ishmael. The ancient Hebrews had their community life under this law only, using therefore unwritten customs, before the Mosaic legislation. These people certainly served the same gods as the neighboring nations, honoring and naming them similarly, so that by this likeness with their forefathers in religion, there is evidenced their departure from the laws of their forefathers. As is usual, in the lapse of time, their ancient customs fell into oblivion, and other practices gradually got the precedence among them. Some of their tribe afterwards happening to come in contact with the Jews, gathered from them the facts of their true origin, returned to their kinsmen, and inclined to the Hebrew customs and laws. From that time on, until now, many of them regulate their lives according to the Jewish precepts. Some of the Saracens were converted to Christianity not long before the present reign. They shared in the faith of Christ by intercourse with the priests and monks who dwelt near them, and practiced philosophy in t the neighboring deserts, and who were distinguished by the excellence of their life, and by their miraculous works. It is said that a whole tribe, and Zocomus, their chief, were converted to Christianity and baptized about this period, under the following circumstances: Zocomus was childless, and went to a certain monk of great celebrity to complain to him of this calamity; for among the Saracens, and I believe other barbarian nations, it was accounted of great importance to have children. The monk desired Zocomus to be of good cheer, engaged in prayer on his behalf, and sent him away with the promise that if he would believe in Christ, he would have a son. When this promise was confirmed by God, and when a son was born to him, Zocomus was initiated, and all his subjects with him. From that period this tribe was peculiarly fortunate, and became strong in point of number, and formidable to the Persians as well as to the other Saracens. Such are the details that I have been enabled to collect concerning the conversion of the Saracens and their first bishop.


THOSE in every city who maintained the Nicene doctrine now began to take courage, and more particularly the inhabitants of Alexandria in Egypt. Peter had returned thither from Rome with a letter from Damasus, confirmatory of the tenets of Nicaea and of his own ordination; and he was installed in the government of the churches in the place of Lucius, who sailed away to Constantinople after his eviction. The Emperor Valens very naturally was so distracted by other affairs, that he had no leisure to attend to these transactions. He had no sooner arrived at Constantinople than he incurred the suspicion and hatred of the people. The barbarians were pillaging Thrace, and were even advancing to the very suburbs, and attempted to make an assault on the very walls, with no one to hinder them. The city was indignant at this inertness; and the people even charged the emperor with being a party to their attack, because he did not sally forth, but delayed offering battle. At length, when he was present at the sports of the Hippodrome, the people openly and loudly accused him of neglecting the affairs of the state, and demanded arms that they might fight in their own defense. Valens, offended at these reproaches, immediately undertook an expedition against the barbarians; but he threatened to punish the insolence of the people on his return, and also to take vengeance on them for having formerly supported the tyrant Procopius.


WHEN Valens was on the point of departing from Constantinople, Isaac, a monk of great virtue, who feared no danger in the cause of God, presented himself before him, and addressed him in the following words: "Give back, O emperor, to the orthodox, and to those who maintain the Nicene doctrines, the churches of which you have deprived them, and the victory will be yours." The emperor was offended at this act of boldness, and commanded that Isaac should be arrested and kept in chains until his return, when he meant to bring him to justice for his temerity. Isaac, however, replied, "You will not return unless you restore the churches." And so in fact it came to pass. For when Valens marched out with his army, the Goths retreated while pursued. In his advances he passed by Thrace, and came to Adrianople. When at not great distance from the barbarians, he found them encamped in a secure position; and yet he had the rashness to attack them before he had arranged his own legions in proper order. His cavalry was dispersed, his infantry compelled to retreat; and, pursued by the enemy, he dismounted from his horse, and with a few attendants entered into a small house or tower, where he secreted himself. The barbarians were in full pursuit, and went beyond the tower, not suspecting that he had selected it for his place of concealment. As the last detachment of the barbarians was passing by the tower, the attendants of the emperor let fly a volley of arrows from their covert, which immediately led to the exclamation that Valens was concealed within the building. Those who were a little in advance heard this exclamation, and made known the news with a shout to those companions who were in advance of them; and thus the news was conveyed till it reached the detachments which were foremost in the pursuit. They returned, and encompassed the tower. They collected vast quantities of wood from the country around, which they piled up against the tower, and finally set fire to the mass. A wind which had happened to arise favored the progress of the conflagration; and in a short period the tower, with all that it contained, including the emperor and his attendants, was utterly destroyed. Valens was fifty years of age. He had reigned thirteen years conjointly with his brother, and three by himself.



SUCH was the fate of Valens. The barbarians, flushed with victory, overran Thrace, and advanced to the gates of Constantinople. In this emergency, a few of the confederate Saracens sent by Maria, together with many of the populace, were of great service. It is reported that Dominica, wife of Valens, furnished money out of the public treasury, and some of the people, after hastily arming themselves, attacked the barbarians, and drove them from the city.

Gratian, who at this period reigned conjointly with his brother over the whole Roman Empire, disapproved of the late persecution that had been carried on to check the diversity in religious creeds, and recalled all those who had been banished on account of their religion. He also enacted a law by which it was decreed that every individual should be freely permitted the exercise of his own religion, and should be allowed to hold assemblies, with the exception of the Manichaeans and the followers of Photinus and Eunomius.


ON reflecting that, while it was indispensably requisite to check the incursions of the barbarians of the Ister in Illyria and Thrace, his presence was equally necessary in Gaul to repel the inroads of the Alemanni, Gratian associated Theodosius with himself at Sirmich, in the government of the empire. Theodosius belonged to an illustrious family of the Pyrenees in Iberia, and had acquired so much renown in war, that before he was raised to the imperial power, he was universally considered capable of guiding the reins of the empire.

At this period all the churches of the East, with the exception of that of Jerusalem, were in the hands of the Arians. The Macedonians differed but little in opinion from those who maintained the doctrine of Nicaea, and held intercourse and communion with them in all the cities; and this had been more especially the case with the Macedonians of Constantinople, ever since their reconciliation with Liberius. But after the enactment of Gratian's law, some bishops of the Macedonian heresy took courage and repossessed the churches from which they had been ejected by Valens. They assembled together at Antioch in Caria, and protested that the Son is not to be declared "consubstantial" with the Father, but only like unto Him in substance. From that period, many of the Macedonians seceded from the others, and held separate churches; while others, condemning this opposition and contentiousness of those who had made these decisions, united themselves still more firmly with the followers of the Nicene doctrines.

Many of the bishops who had been banished by Valens, and who were recalled about this period in consequence of the law of Gratian, manifested no ambition to be restored to the highest offices of the Church; but they preferred the unity of the people, and therefore begged the Arian bishops to retain the posts they occupied, and not to rend by dissension the Church, which had been transmitted by God and the apostles as one, but which contentiousness and ambition for precedence had divided into many parts. Eulalius, bishop of Amasia in Pontus, was one of those who pursued this course of conduct. It is said that when he returned from exile, he found that his church was presided over by an Arian bishop, and that scarcely fifty inhabitants of the city had submitted to the control of this new bishop. Eulalius, desiring unity above all other considerations, offered to take part with the Arian bishop in the government of the church, and expressly agreed to allow him the precedence. But as the Arian would not comply with this proposition, it was not long before he found himself deserted by the few who had followed him, and who went over to the other party.


In consequence of this law, Meletius returned about this period to Antioch in Syria; and his presence gave rise to great contention among the people. Paulinus, whom Valens, from veneration for his piety, had not ventured to banish, was still alive. The partisans of Meletius, therefore, proposed his association with Paulinus, who condemned the ordination of Meletius, because it had been conferred by Arian bishops; and yet the supporters of Meletius went forward by force into the work they had devised; for they were not few in number, and so placed Meletius on the episcopal throne in one of the suburban churches. The mutual animosity of the two parties increased, and sedition was expected, had not a remarkable plan for the restoration of concord prevailed. For it seemed best, to take oaths from those who were considered elegible, or who were expected to occupy the episcopal see of that place. Of these there were five besides Flavian. These promised that they would neither strive for, nor accept the episcopate should an ordination take place among them during the life of Paulinus and Meletius, and that in the event of the decease of either of these great men, the other alone should succeed to the bishopric. On their ratifying this promise with oaths, unanimity was restored among almost all the people; a few of the Luciferites still diverged because Meletius had been ordained by heretics. On the termination of this contest, Meletius proceeded to Constantinople, where many other bishops had assembled together to deliberate on the necessity of translating Gregory from the bishopric of Nazianzen to that of this city.


As Gaul was about this period infested by, the incursions of the Alemanni, Gratian returned to his paternal dominions, which he had reserved for himself and his brother, when he bestowed the government of Illyria and of the Eastern provinces upon Theodosius. He effected his purpose with regard to the barbarians; and Theodosius was equally successful against the tribes from the banks of the Ister; he defeated them, compelled them to sue for peace, and, after accepting hostages from them, proceeded to Thessalonica. He fell ill while in this city, and after receiving instruction from Ascholius, the bishop, he was initiated, and was soon after restored to health. The parents of Theodosius were Christians, and were attached to the Nicene doctrines; he was pleased with Ascholius, who maintained the same doctrines, and was, in a word, endowed with every virtue of the priesthood. He also rejoiced at finding that the Arian heresy had not been participated in by Illyria. He inquired concerning the religious sentiments which were prevalent in the other provinces, and ascertained that, as far as Macedonia, all the churches were like minded, and all held that equal homage ought to be rendered to God the Word, and to the Holy Ghost, as to God the Father; but that towards the East, and particularly at Constantinople, the people were divided into many different heresies. Reflecting that it would be better to propound his own religious views to his subjects, so as not to appear to be using force by commanding the unwilling subject to worship contrary to his judgment, Theodosius enacted a law at Thessalonica, which he caused to be published at Constantinople, well knowing that the rescript would speedily become public to all the other cities, if issued from that city, which is as a citadel of the whole empire. He made known by this law his intention of leading all his subjects to the reception of that faith which Peter, the chief of the apostles, had, from the beginning, preached to the Romans, and which was professed by Damasus, bishop of Rome, and by Peter, bishop of Alexandria. He enacted that the title of "Catholic Church" should be exclusively confined to those who rendered equal homage to the Three Persons of the Trinity, and that those individuals who entertained opposite opinions should be treated as heretics, regarded with contempt, and delivered over to punishment.


SOON after the enactment of this law, Theodosius went to Constantinople. The Arians, under the guidance of Demophilus, still retained possession of the churches. Gregory of Nazianzen presided over those who maintain the "consubstantiality" of the Holy Trinity, and assembled them together in a little dwelling, which had been altered into the form of a house of prayer, by those who held the same opinions and had a like form of worship. It subsequently became one of the most conspicuous in the city, and is so now, not only for the beauty and number of its structures, but also for the advantages accruing to it from the visible manifestations of God. For the power of God was there manifested, and was helpful both in waking visions and in dreams, often for the relief of many diseases and for those afflicted by some sudden transmutation in their affairs. The power was accredited to Mary, the Mother of God, the holy virgin, for she does manifest herself in this way. The name of Anastasia was given to this church, because, as I believe, the Nicene doctrines which were fallen into disuse in Constantinople, and, so to speak, buried by reason of the power of the heterodox, arose from the dead and were again quickened through the discourses of Gregory; or, as I have heard, some affirm with assurance that one day, when the people were met together for worship in this edifice, a pregnant woman fell from the highest gallery, and was found dead on the spot; but that, at the prayer of the whole congregation, she was restored to life, and she and the infant were saved. On account of the occurrence of this divine marvel, the place, as some assert, obtained its name.

The emperor sent to command Demophilus to conform to the doctrines of Nicaea, and to lead the people to embrace the same sentiments or else to vacate the churches. Demophilus assembled the people, acquainted them with the imperial edict, and informed them that it was his intention to hold a church the next day without the walls of the city, in accordance, he said, with the Divine law, which commands us when we are persecuted in one city to "flee unto another.' From that day he always held church without the city with Lucius, who was formerly the bishop of the Arians at Alexandria; and who, after having been expelled, as above related, from that city, fled to Constantinople and fixed his residence there. When Demophilus and his followers had quitted the church, the emperor entered therein and engaged in prayer; and from that period those who maintained the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity held possession of the houses of prayer. These events occurred in the fifth year of the consulate of Gratian, and in the first of that of Theodosius, and after the churches had been during forty years in the hands of the Arians.


THE Arians, who were still very strong in point of numbers, and who, through the protection formerly granted by Constantius and Valens, were still convening without fear, and discoursing publicly concerning God and the Divine nature, now determined upon making an attempt to gain over the emperor to their party, through the intervention of individuals of their sect who held appointments at court; and they entertained hopes of succeeding in this project, as well as they had succeeded in the case of Constantius. These machinations excited great anxiety and fear among the members of the Catholic Church; but the chief cause of their apprehension was the reasoning power of Eunomius. It appears that, during the reign of Valens, Eunomius had some dispute with his own clergy at Cyzicus, and had in consequence seceded from the Arians, and retired to Bithynia, near Constantinople. Here multitudes resorted to him; some also gathered from different quarters, a few with the design of testing his principles, and others merely from the desire of listening to his discourses. His reputation reached the ears of the emperor, who would gladly have held a conference with him. But the Empress Flacilla studiously prevented an interview from taking place between them; for she was the most faithful guard of the Nicene doctrines, and feared least Eunomius might, by his powers of disputation, induce a change in the sentiments of the emperor.

In the meantime, while these intrigues were being carried on by each party, it is said that the bishops then residing in Constantinople went to the emperor, to render him the customary salutations. An old priest from a city of little note, and who was simple and unworldly, yet well instructed in Divine subjects, formed one of this party. The rest saluted the emperor with uncovered head and very reverently. The aged priest greeted him in the same form; but, instead of rendering equal honor to the prince, who was seated beside his father, the old priest approached him, patted him familiarly, and called him his dear child. The emperor was incensed and enraged at the indignity offered to his son, in that he had not been accorded like honor; and commanded that the old man should be thrust from his presence with violence. While being pushed away, hither and thither, however, the old priest turned around and exclaimed, "Reflect, O emperor, on the wrath of the Heavenly Father against those who do not honor His Son as Himself, and who have the audacity to assert that the Son is inferior to the Father." The emperor felt the force of this observation, recalled the priest, apologized to him for what had occurred, and confessed that he had spoken the truth. The emperor was henceforward less disposed to hold intercourse with heretics, and he prohibited contests and assemblies in the markets. He made it dangerous to hold discussions of this kind about the substance and nature of God, by enacting a law, and defining the punishments in this matter.


THE emperor soon after convened a council of orthodox bishops, for the purpose of confirming the decrees of Nicaea, and of electing a bishop to the vacant see of Constantinople. He likewise summoned the Macedonians to this assembly; for as their doctrines differed but little from those of the Catholic Church, he judged that it would be easy to effect a reunion with them. About a hundred and fifty bishops who maintained the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity, were present at this council, as likewise thirty-six of the Macedonian bishops, chiefly from the cities of the Hellespont; of whom the principal were Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus, and Marcian, bishop of Lampsacus. The other party was under the guidance of Timothy, who had succeeded his brother Peter in the see of Alexandria; of Meletius, bishop of Antioch, who had repaired to Constantinople a short time previously, on account of the election of Gregory, and of Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, who had at this period renounced the tenets of the Macedonians which he previously held. Ascholius, bishop of Thessalonica, Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus, and Acacius, bishop of Berea, were also present at the council. These latter unanimously maintained the decrees of Nicaea, and urged Eleusius and his partisans to conform to these sentiments, reminding them, at the same time, of the embassy they had formerly deputed to Liberius, and of the confession they conveyed to him through the medium of Eustathius, Silvanus, and Theophilus, as has been narrated. The Macedonians, however, declared openly that they would never admit the Son to be of the same substance as the Father, whatever confession they might formerly have made to Liberius, and immediately withdrew. They then wrote to those of their adherents in every city, exhorting them not to conform to the doctrines of Nicaea.

The bishops who remained at Constantinople now turned their attention to the election of a prelate to the see of that city. It is said that the emperor, from profound admiration of the sanctity and eloquence of Gregory, judged that he was worthy of this bishopric, and that, from reverence of his virtue, the greater number of the Synod was of the same opinion. Gregory at first consented to accept the presidency of the church of Constantinople; but afterwards, on ascertaining that some of the bishops, particularly those of Egpyt, objected to the election, he withdrew his consent. For my part, this wisest of men is worthy of admiration, not only for universal qualifications, but not the least for his conduct under the present circumstances. His eloquence did not inspire him with pride, nor did vainglory lead him to desire the control of a church, which he had received when it was no longer in danger. He surrendered his appointment to the bishops when it was required of him, and never complained of his many labors, or of the dangers he had incurred in the suppression of heresies. Had he retained possession of the bishopric of Constantinople, it would have been no detriment to the interests of any individual, as another bishop had been appointed in his stead at Nazianzen. But the council, in strict obedience to the laws of the fathers and ecclesiastical order, withdrew from him, with his own acquiescence, the deposit which had been confided to him, without making an exception in favor of so eminent a man. The emperor and the priests therefore proceeded to the election of another bishop, which they regarded as the most important affair then requiring attention; and the emperor was urgent that diligent investigations might be instituted, so that the most excellent and best individual might be intrusted with the high-priesthood of the great and royal city. The council, however, was divided in sentiment; for each of the members desired to see one of his own friends ordained over the church.


A CERTAIN man of Tarsus in Cilicia, of the illustrious order of senator, was at this period residing at Constantinople. Being about to return to his own country, he called upon Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus, to inquire whether he had any letters to send by him. Diodorus was fully intent upon the ordination, which was the subject then engrossing universal attention of the men. He had no sooner seen Nectarius than he considered him worthy of the bishopric, and straightway determined this in his own mind as he reflected on the venerable age of the man, his form so befitting a priest, and the suavity of his manners. He conducted him, as if upon some other business, to the bishop of Antioch, and requested him to use his influence to procure this election. The bishop of Antioch derided this request, for the names of the most eminent men had already been proposed for consideration. He, however, called Nectarius to him, and desired him to remain for a short time with him. Some time after, the emperor commanded the priests to draw up a list of the names of those whom they thought worthy of the ordination, reserving to himself the right of choosing any one of those whose names were thus submitted to him. All the bishops complied with this mandate; and, among the others, the bishop of Antioch wrote down the names of those whom he proposed as candidates for the bishopric, and, at the end of his list, from consideration for Diodorus, he inserted the name of Nectarius. The emperor read the list of those inscribed and stopped at the name of Nectarius at the end of the document, on which he placed his finger, and seemed for some time lost in reflection; ran it up to the beginning, and again went through the whole, and chose Nectarius. This nomination excited great astonishment and all the people were anxious to ascertain who Nectarius was, his manner of life, and birthplace. When they heard that he had not been initiated their amazement was increased at the decision of the emperor. I believe that Diodorus himself was not aware that Nectarius had not been baptized; for, had he been acquainted with this fact, he would not have ventured to give his vote for the priesthood to one uninitiated. It appears reasonable to suppose, that on perceiving that Nectarius was of advanced age, he took it for granted that he had been initiated long previously. But these events did not take place without the interposition of God. For when the emperor was informed that Nectarius had not been initiated, he remained of the same opinion, although opposed by many priests. When at last, consent had been given to the imperial mandate, Nectarius was initiated, and while yet clad in his initiatory robes, was proclaimed bishop of Constantinople by the unanimous voice of the Synod. Many have conjectured that the emperor was led to make this election by a Divine revelation. I shall not decide whether this conjecture be true or false; but I feel convinced, when I reflect on the extraordinary circumstances attending this ordination, that the events were not brought about without the Divine strength; and that God led this mild and virtuous and excellent man into the priesthood. Such are the details which I have been able to ascertain concerning the ordination of Nectarius.


AFTER these transactions, Nectarius and the other priests assembled together, and decreed that the faith established by the council of Nicaea should remain dominant, and that all heresies should be condemned; that the churches everywhere should be governed according to the ancient canons; that each bishop should remain in his own church, and not go elsewhere under any light pretext; or, without invitation, perform ordinations in which he had no right to interfere, as had frequently been the case in the Catholic Church during the times of persecution. They likewise decreed that the affairs of each church should be subjected to the investigation and control of a council of the province; and that the bishop of Constantinople should rank next in point of precedence to the bishop of Rome, as occupying the see of New Rome; for Constantinople was not only already favored with this appellation, but was also in the enjoyment of many privileges, — such as a senate of its own, and the division of the citizens into ranks and orders; it was also governed by its own magistrates, and possessed contracts, laws, and immunities in equal degree with those of Rome in Italy.

The council also decreed that Maximus had not been nor was now a bishop; and that those individuals whom he had ordained were not of the clergy; and that all that had been done by him, or in his name, was null and void. Maximus was a native of Alexandria, and, by profession, a cynical philosopher. He was zealously attached to the Nicene doctrines, and had been secretly ordained bishop of Constantinople by bishops who had assembled in that city from Egypt.

Such were the decrees of the council. They were confirmed by the emperor, who enacted that the faith established at Nicaea should be dominant, and that the churches everywhere should be placed in the hands of those who acknowledged one and the same Godhead in the hypostasis of three Persons of equal honor and of equal power; namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. To designate them still more precisely, the emperor declared that he referred to those who held communion with Nectarius, at Constantinople, and with Timothy, bishop of Alexandria, in Egypt; in the churches of the East with Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus, and in Syria with Pelagius, bishop of Laodicea and in Asia with Amphilochius, president of the churches in Iconium; to those in the cities by the Pontus, from Bithynia to Armenia, who held communion with Helladius, bishop of the church of Caesarea in Cappadocia; with Gregory, bishop of Nyssa; and with Otreinus, bishop of Melitine; and to the cities of Thrace and Scythia, who held communion with Terentius, bishop of Tomi, and with Martyrius, bishop of Marcianopolis. The emperor was personally acquainted with all these bishops, and had ascertained that they governed their respective churches wisely and piously. After these transactions, the council was dissolved, and each of the bishops returned homewards.


Nectarius made himself acquainted with the routine of sacerdotal ceremonies under the instruction of Cyriacus, bishop of Adana, whom he had requested Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus, to leave with him for a short period. Nectarius also retained several other Cilicians with him, amongst whom was Martyrius, his physician, who had been a witness of the irregularities of his youth. Nectarius was desirous of ordaining him deacon; but Martyrius refused the honor under the plea of his own unworthiness of such a divine service, and called upon Nectarius himself to witness as to the course of his past life. To this Nectarius replied as follows: "Although I am now a priest, do you not know that my past career was a more guilty one than yours, inasmuch as you were but an instrument in my numerous profligacies?" "But you, O blessed one," replied Martyrius, "were cleansed by baptism, and were then accounted worthy of the priesthood. Both these ordinances are appointed by the Divine law for purification from sin, and it seems to me that you now differ in no respect from a new-born infant; but I long ago received holy baptism, and have since continued in the same abusive course." It was under this plea that he excused himself from receiving ordination; and I commend the man for his refusal, and therefore would give him a part in my history.

The Emperor Theodosius, on being informed of various events connected with Paul, formerly bishop of Constantinople, caused his body to be removed to the church erected by Macedonius, his enemy, and buried there. This temple is a spacious and most distinguished edifice, and is still named after Paul. Hence many persons who are ignorant of the facts of the case, particularly women and the mass of the people, imagine that Paul, the apostle, is interred therein. The remains of Meletius were at the same time conveyed to Antioch, and deposited near the tomb of Babylas the martyr. It is said that through every public way, by the command of the emperor, the relics were received within the walls in every city, contrary to Roman custom, and were honored with singing of psalms antiphonally in such places, until they were transferred to Antioch.


AFTER the pompous interment of the remains of Meletius, Flavian was ordained in his stead, and that, too, in direct violation of the oath he had taken; for Paulinus was still alive. This gave rise to fresh troubles in the church of Antioch. Many persons refused to maintain communion with Flavian, and held their church apart with Paulinus. Even the priests differed among themselves on this subject. The Egyptians, Arabians, and Cypriots were indignant at the injustice that had been manifested towards Paulinus. On the other hand, the Syrians, the Palestinians, the Phoenicians, and the greater part of Armenia, Cappadocia, Galatia, and Pontus, sided with Flavian. The bishop of Rome, and all the Western priests, regarded the conduct of Flavian with the utmost displeasure. They addressed the customary epistles, called synodical, to Paulinus as bishop of Antioch, and took no notice of Flavian. They also withdrew from communion with Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus, and Acacius, bishop of Berea, because they had ordained Flavian. To take further cognizance of the affair, the Western bishops and the Emperor Gratian wrote to the bishops of the East, and summoned them to attend a council in the West.


ALTHOUGH all the houses of prayer were at this period in the possession of the Catholic Church, many troubles occurred in various parts of the empire, instigated by the Arians. The Emperor Theodosius, therefore, soon after the council above mentioned, again summoned together the presidents of the sects which were flourishing, in order that they might either bring others to their own state of conviction on disputed topics, or be convinced themselves; for he imagined that all would be brought to oneness of opinion, if a free discussion were entered into, concerning ambiguous points of doctrine. The council, therefore, was convened. This occurred in the year of the second consulate of Merobaudes, and the first of Saturninus, and at the same period that Arcadius was associated with his father in the government of the empire. Theodosius sent for Nectarius, consulted with him concerning the coming Synod, and commanded him to introduce the discussion of all questions which had given rise to heresies, so that the church of the believers in Christ might be one, and might agree on the doctrine according to which piety ought to be observed. When Nectarius returned home, feeling anxious about the affair confided to him, he made known the mandate of the emperor to Agelius, the president of the church of the Novatians, who held the same religious sentiments as himself. Agelius proved the virtue of his life by works, but was unaccustomed to the finesse and deception of words; he therefore proposed as a substitute, one of his readers, by name Sisinius, who afterwards succeeded him as bishop, a man who could see what was practical, and could debate, if that were necessary. Sisinius possessed powers of intellect and of expression; he had an accurate knowledge of the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, and was well acquainted with profane and with ecclesiastical literature. He proposed that all disputation with the heterodox, as being a fruitful source of contention and war, should be avoided; but recommended that inquiries should rather be instituted, as to whether the heretics admitted the testimony of the expositors and teachers of the sacred words, who lived before the Church was rent in division. "If they reject the testimony of these great men," said he, "they will be condemned by their own followers; but if they admit their authority as being adequate to resolve ambiguous points of doctrine, we will produce their books." For Sisinius was well aware that, as the ancients recognized the Son to be eternal like the Father, they had never presumed to assert that He had had an origin from some beginning. This suggestion received the approbation of Nectarius, and afterwards of the emperor; and investigations were set on foot as to the opinions entertained by heretics concerning the ancient interpreters of Scripture. As it was found that the heretics professed to hold these early writers in great admiration, the emperor asked them openly whether they would defer to the authority of the aforesaid on controverted topics, and test their own doctrines by the sentiments propounded in those works. This proposition excited great contention among the leaders of the various heretical sects, for they did not all hold the same view about the books of the ancients; the emperor knew that they were convicted by the debates over their own words alone, and withdrew the proposition. He blamed them for their opinion, and commanded each party to draw up a written exposition of its own creed. On the day appointed for the presentation of these documents, Nectarius and Agelius appeared at the palace, as representatives of those who maintain the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity; Demophilus, the Arian president, came forward as the deputy of the Arians; Eunomius represented the Eunomians; and Eleusius, bishop of Cyzicus, appeared for the sectarians denominated Macedonians. The emperor, after receiving their formularies, expressed himself in favor of that one alone in which consubstantiality of the Trinity was recognized, and destroyed the others. The interests of the Novatians were not affected by this transaction, for they held the same doctrines as the Catholic Church concerning the Divine nature. The members of the other sects were indignant with the priests for having entered into unwise disputations in the presence of the emperor. Many renounced their former opinions, and embraced the authorized form of religion. The emperor enacted a law, prohibiting heretics from holding churches, from giving public instructions in the faith, and from conferring ordination on bishops or others. Some of the heterodox were expelled from the cities and villages, while others were disgraced and deprived of the privileges enjoyed by other subjects of the empire. Great as were the punishments adjudged by the laws against heretics, they were not always carried into execution, for the emperor had no desire to persecute his subjects; he only desired to enforce uniformity of view about God through the medium of intimidation. Those who voluntarily renounced heretical opinions received commendation from him.


AS the Emperor Gratian was at this period occupied with a war against the Alamanni, Maximus quitted Britain, with the design of usurping the imperial power. Valentinian was then residing in Italy, but as he was a minor, the affairs of state were transacted by Probus, a praetorian prefect, who had formerly been consul.

Justina, the mother of the emperor, having espoused the Arian heresy, persecuted Ambrose, bishop of Milan, and disquieted the churches by her efforts to introduce alterations in the Nicene doctrines, and to obtain the predominance of the form of belief set forth at Ariminum. She was incensed against Ambrose because he strenuously opposed her attempts at innovation, and she represented to her son that he had insulted her. Valentinian believed this calumny, and, determined to avenge the supposed wrongs of his mother, he sent a party of soldiers against the church. On their reaching the temple, they forced their way into the interior, arrested Ambrose, and were about to lead him into exile at that very moment, when the people assembled in crowds at the church, and evinced a resolution to die rather than submit to the banishment of their priest. Justina was still further incensed at this occurrence; and with a view of enforcing her project by law, she sent for Menivolus, one of the legal secretaries, and commanded him to draw up, as quickly as possible, an edict confirmatory of the decrees of Ariminum. Menivolus, being firmly attached to the Catholic Church, refused to write the document, and the empress tried to bribe him by promises of greater honors. He still, however, refused compliance, and, tearing off his belt, he threw it at the feet of Justina, and declared that he would neither retain his present office, nor accept of promotion, as the reward of impiety. As he remained firm in his refusal, others were intrusted with the compilation of the law. By this law, all who conformed to the doctrines set forth at Ariminum and ratified at Constantinople were exhorted to convene boldly; and it was enacted that death should be the punishment of those who should hinder or be running counter to this law of the emperor.

While the mother of the emperor was planning the means of carrying this cruel law into execution, intelligence was brought of the murder of Gratian, through the treachery of Andragathius, the general of Maximus. Andragathius obtained possession of the imperial chariot, and sent word to the emperor that his consort was traveling towards his camp. Gratian, who was but recently married and youthful, as well as passionately attached to his wife, hastened incautiously across the river, and in his anxiety to meet her fell without forethought into the hands of Andragathius; he was seized, and, in a little while, put to death. He was in the twenty-fourth year of his age, and had reigned fifteen years. This calamity quieted Justina's wrath against Ambrose.

Maximus, in the meantime, raised a large army of Britons, neighboring Gauls, Celts, and other nations, and marched into Italy. The pretext which he advanced for this measure was, that he desired to prevent the introduction of innovations in the ancient form of religion and of ecclesiastical order; but he was in reality actuated by the desire of dispelling any suspicion that might have been excited as to his aspirations after tyranny. He was watching and intriguing for the imperial rule in such a way that it might appear as if he had acquired the Roman government by law, and not by force. Valentinian was compelled by the exigencies of the times to recognize the symbols of his rule; but soon after, in fear of suffering, fled with his mother Justina, and Probus, the praetorian prefect in Italy, to Thessalonica.


WHILE Theodosius was making preparations for a war against Maximus, his son Honorius was born. On the completion of these warlike preparations, he left his son Arcadius to govern at Constantinople, and proceeded to Thessalonica, where he received Valentinian. He refused either to dismiss openly, or to give audience to the embassy sent by Maximus, but continued his journey at the head of his troops towards Italy.

About this period, Agelius, bishop of the Novatians at Constantinople, feeling his end approaching, nominated Sisinius, one of the presbyters of his church, as his successor. The people, however, murmured that the preference had not rather been given to Marcian, who was noted on account of his piety, and Agelius therefore ordained him, and addressed the people who were assembled in the church in the following words: "After me you shall have Mar-clan for your bishop, and after him, Sisinius." Agelius died soon after he had uttered these words. He had governed his church forty years with the greatest approbation from his own heretical party; and some assert that during the times of Pagan persecution, he had openly confessed the name of Christ.

Not long after Timothy and Cyril died; Theophilus succeeded to the see of Alexandria, and John to that of Jerusalem. Demophilus, leader of the Arians at Constantinople, likewise died and was succeeded by Marinus of Thrace; but he was superseded by Dorotheus, who soon after arrived from Antioch in Syria, and who was considered by his sect to be better qualified for the office than Marinus.

Theodosius, having in the meantime entered Italy, various conflicting reports were spread as to the success of his arms. It was rumored among the Arians that the greater part of his army had been cut to pieces in battle, and that he himself had been captured by the tyrant; and assuming this report to be true, these sectarians became bold and ran to the house of Nectarius and set it on fire, from indignation at the power which the bishop had obtained over the churches. The emperor, however, carried out his purpose in the war, for the soldiers of Maximus, impelled by fear of the preparations against them, or treachery, seized and slew the tyrant. Andragathius, the murderer of Gratian, no sooner heard of the death of Maximus, than he leaped into the river with his armor, and perished. The war having been thus terminated, and the death of Gratian avenged, Theodosius, accompanied by Valentinian, celebrated a triumph in Rome, and restored order in the churches of Italy, for the Empress Justina was dead.


PAULINUS, bishop of Antioch, died about this period, and those who had been convened into a church with him persisted in their aversion to Flavian, although his religious sentiments were precisely the same as their own, because he had violated the oath he had formerly made to Meletius. They, therefore, elected Evagrius as their bishop. Evagrius did not long survive this appointment, and although Flavian prevented the election of another bishop, those who had seceded from communion with him, still continued to hold their assemblies apart.

About this period, the bishop of Alexandria, to whom the temple of Dionysus had, at his own request, been granted by the emperor, converted the edifice into a church. The statues were removed, the adyta were exposed; and, in order to cast contumely on the pagan mysteries, he made a procession for the display of these objects; the phalli, and whatever other object had been concealed in the adyta which really was, or seemed to be, ridiculous, he made a public exhibition of. The pagans, amazed at so unexpected an exposure, could not suffer it in silence, but conspired together to attack the Christians. They killed many of the Christians, wounded others, and seized the Serapion, a temple which was conspicuous for beauty and vastness and which was seated on an eminence. This they converted into a temporary citadel; and hither they conveyed many of the Christians, put them to the torture, and compelled them to offer sacrifice. Those who refused compliance were crucified, had both legs broken, or were put to death in some cruel manner. When the sedition had prevailed for some time, the rulers came and urged the people to remember the laws, to lay down their arms, and to give up the Serapion. There came then Romanus, the general of the military legions in Egpyt; and Evagrius was the prefect of Alexandria. As their efforts, however, to reduce the people to submission were utterly in vain, they made known what had transpired to the emperor. Those who had shut themselves up in the Serapion prepared a more spirited resistance, from fear of the punishment that they knew would await their audacious proceedings, and they were further instigated to revolt by the inflammatory discourses of a man named Olympius, attired in the garments of a philosopher, who told them that they ought to die rather than neglect the gods of their fathers. Perceiving that they were greatly dispirited by the destruction of the idolatrous statues, he assured them that such a circumstance did not warrant their renouncing their religion; for that the statues were composed of corruptible materials, and were mere pictures, and therefore would disappear; whereas, the powers which had dwelt within them, had flown to heaven. By such representations as these, he retained the multitude with him in the Serapion.

When the emperor was informed of these occurrences, he declared that the Christians who had been slain were blessed, inasmuch as they had been admitted to the honor of martyrdom, and had suffered in defense of the faith. He offered free pardon to those who had slain them, hoping that by this act of clemency they would be the more readily induced to embrace Christianity; and he commanded the demolition of the temples in Alexandria which had been the cause of the popular sedition. It is said that, when this imperial edict was read in public, the Christians uttered loud shouts of joy, because the emperor laid the odium of what had occurred upon the pagans. The people who were guarding the Serapion were so terrified at hearing these shouts, that they took to flight, and the Christians immediately obtained possession of the spot, which they have retained ever since. I have been informed that, on the night preceding this occurrence, Olympius heard the voice of one singing hallelujah in the Serapion. The doors were shut and everything was still; and as he could see no one, but could only hear the voice of the singer, he at once understood what the sign signified; and unknown to any one he quitted the Serapion and embarked for Italy. It is said that when the temple was being demolished, some stones were found, on which were hieroglyphic characters in the form of a cross, which on being submitted to the inspection of the learned, were interpreted as signifying the life to come. These characters led to the conversion of several of the pagans, as did likewise other inscriptions found in the same place, and which contained predictions of the destruction of the temple. It was thus that the Serapion was taken, and, a little while after, converted into a church; it received the name of the Emperor Arcadius.

There were still pagans in many cities, who contended zealously in behalf of their temples; as, for instance, the inhabitants of Petraea and of Areopolis, in Arabia; of Raphi and Gaza, in Palestine; of Heriopolis in Phoenicia; and of Apamea, on the river Axius, in Syria. I have been informed that the inhabitants of the last-named city often armed the men of Galilee and the peasants of Lebanon in defense of their temples; and that at last, they even carried their audacity to such a height, as to slay a bishop named Marcellus. This bishop had commanded the demolition of all the temples in the city and villages, under the supposition that it would not be easy otherwise for them to be converted from their former religion. Having heard that there was a very spacious temple at Aulon, a district of Apamea, he repaired thither with a body of soldiers and gladiators. He stationed himself at a distance from the scene of conflict, beyond the reach of the arrows; for he was afflicted with the gout, and was unable to fight, to pursue, or to flee. Whilst the soldiers and gladiators were engaged in the assault against the temple, some pagans, discovering that he was alone, hastened to the place where he was separated from the combat; they arose suddenly and seized him, and burnt him alive. The perpetrators of this deed were not then known, but, in course of time, they were detected, and the sons of Marcellus determined upon avenging his death. The council of the province, however, prohibited them from executing this design, and declared that it was not just that the relatives or friends of Marcellus should seek to avenge his death; when they should rather return thanks to God for having accounted him worthy to die in such a cause.


NECTARIUS, about this period, abolished the office of the presbyter whose duty it was to pre- side over the imposition of penance; and this is the first instance of the suppression of this office in the Church. This example was followed by the bishops of every region. Various accounts have been given of the nature, the origin, and the cause of the abolition of this office. I shall state my own views on the subject. Impeccability is a Divine attribute, and belongs not to human nature; therefore God has decreed that pardon should be extended to the penitent, even after many transgressions. As in supplicating for pardon; it is requisite to confess the sin, it seems probable that the priests, from the beginning, considered it irksome to make this confession in public, before the whole assembly of the people. They therefore appointed a presbyter, of the utmost sanctity, and the most undoubted prudence, to act on these occasions; the penitents went to him, and confessed their transgressions; and it was his office to indicate the kind of penance adapted to each sin, and then when satisfaction had been made, to pronounce absolution. As the custom of doing penance never gained ground among the Novatians, regulations of this nature were of course unnecessary among them; but the custom prevailed among all other heretics, and prevails even to the present day. It is observed with great rigor by the Western churches, particularly at Rome, where there is a place appropriated to the reception of penitents, in which spot they stand and mourn until the completion of the services, for it is not lawful for them to take part in the mysteries; then they cast themselves, with groans and lamentations, prostrate on the ground. The bishop conducts the ceremony, sheds tears, and prostrates himself in like manner; and all the people burst into tears, and groan aloud. Afterwards, the bishop rises first from the ground, and raises up the others; he offers up prayer on behalf of the penitents, and then dismisses them. Each of the penitents subjects himself in private to voluntary suffering, either by fastings, by abstaining from the bath or from divers kinds of meats, or by other prescribed means, until a certain period appointed by the bishop. When the time arrives, he is made free from the consequences of his sin, and assembles at the church with the people. The Roman priests have carefully observed this custom from the beginning to the present time. In the church at Constantinople, a presbyter was always appointed to preside over the penitents, until a lady of the nobility made a deposition to the effect, that when she resorted as a penitent to the presbyter, to fast and offer supplications to God, and tarried for that purpose, in the church a rape had been committed on her person by the deacon. Great displeasure was manifested by the people when this occurrence was made known to them, on account of the discredit that would result to the church; and the priests, in particular, were thereby greatly scandalized. Nectarius, after much hesitation as to what means ought to be adopted, deposed the deacon; and, at the advice of certain persons, who urged the necessity of leaving each individual to examine himself before participating in the sacred mysteries, he abolished the office of the presbyter presiding over penance. From that period, therefore, the performance of penance fell into disuse; and it seems to me, that extreme laxity of principle was thus substituted for the severity and rigor of antiquity. Under the ancient system, I think, offences were of rarer occurrence; for people were deterred from their commission, by the dread of confessing them, and of exposing them to the scrutiny of a severe judge. I believe it was from similar considerations, that the Emperor Theodosius, who was always zealous in promoting the glory of the Church, issued a law, enacting that women should not be admitted into the ministry, unless they had had children, and were upwards of sixty years of age, according to the precept of the Apostle Paul. By this law it was also decreed, that women who had shaved their heads should be ejected from the churches; and that the bishop by whom such women were admitted should be deposed from the bishopric.


Such subjects as the above, however, are best left to the decision of individual judgment.

The emperor, about this period, condemned Eunomius to banishment. This heretic had fixed his residence in the suburbs of Constantinople, and held frequent churches in private houses, where he read his own writings. He induced many to embrace his sentiments, so that the sectarians, who were named after him, became very numerous. He died not long after his banishment, and was interred at Dacora, his birthplace, a village of Cappadocia, situated near Mount Argeus, in the territory of Caesarea. Theophronius, who was also a native of Cappadocia, and who had been his disciple, continued to promulgate his doctrines. Having gotten a smattering, through the writings of Aristotle, he composed an introduction to the study of the syllogisms in them, which he entitled "Exercises for the Mind." But he afterwards engaged, I have understood, in many unprofitable disputations, and soon ceased to confine himself to the doctrines of his master. But being eager for new things, he endeavored to prove, from the terms which are placed in the Sacred Scriptures, that though God foreknows that which is not, and knows that which is, and remembers what has happened, he does not always have that knowledge in the same manner with respect to the future and present, and changes his knowledge of the past. As this hypothesis appeared positively absurd to the Eunomians, they excommunicated him from their church; and he constituted himself the leader of a new sect, called, after his name, Theophronians. Not long after, Eutychus, one of the Eunomians, originated another sect in Constantinople, to which his own name was given. For the question had been proposed, as to whether the Son of God is or is not acquainted with the last hour; and for its solution, the words of the evangelist were quoted, in which it is stated that the day and hour are known only to the Father. Eutychus, however, contended that this knowledge belongs also to the Son, inasmuch as He has received all things from the Father. The Eunomian presidents, having condemned this opinion, he seceded from communion with them, and went to join Eunomius in his place of banishment. A deacon, and some other individuals, who had been dispatched from Constantinople to accuse Eutychus, and, if necessary, to oppose him in argument, arrived first at the place of destination. When Eunomius was made acquainted with the object of their journey, he expressed himself in favor of the sentiments propounded by Eutychus; and, on his arrival, prayed with him, although it was not lawful to pray with any one who travels unprovided with letters written in sacred characters, attesting his being in communion. Eunomius died soon after this contention; and the Eunomian president, at Constantinople, refused to receive Eutychus into communion; for he antagonized him from jealousy because he was not even of clerical rank, and because he could not answer his arguments, and did not find it possible to solve his problems. Eutychus, therefore, separated those who had espoused his sentiments into a personal heresy. Many assert that he and Theophronius were the first who propounded the peculiar views entertained by the Eunomians concerning divine baptism. The above is a brief account of such details as I have been able to give in order to afford a succinct knowledge of the causes which led the Eunomians to be divided among themselves. I should be prolix were I to enter into further particulars; and, indeed, the subject would be by no means an easy one to me, since I have no such dialectic skill.

The following question was, in the meantime, agitated among the Arians of Constantinople: Prior to the existence of the Son (whom they regard as having proceeded out of nothing), is God to be termed the Father? Dorotheus, who had been summoned from Antioch to rule over them in the place of Marinus, was of opinion that God could not have been called the Father prior to the existence of the Son, because the name of Father has a necessary connection with that of Son. Marinus, on the other hand, maintained that the Father was the Father, even when the Son existed not; and he advanced this opinion either from conviction, or else from the desire of contention, and from jealousy at the preference that had been shown to Dorotheus in the Church. The Arians were thus divided into two parties; Dorotheus and his followers retained possession of the houses of prayer, while Marinus, and those who seceded with him, erected new edifices in which to hold their own churches. The name "Psathyrians" and "Goths" were given to the partisans of Marinus; Psathyrians, because Theoctistus, a certain cake-vender (psathuropw'lhs) was a zealous advocate of their opinions; and Goths, because their sentiments were approved by Selinus, bishop of that nation. Almost all these barbarians followed the instructions of Selinus, and they gathered in churches with the followers of Marinus. The Goths were drawn to Selinus particularly because he had formerly been the secretary of Ulphilas, and had succeeded him as bishop. He was capable of teaching in their churches, not only in the vernacular, but also in the Greek language.

Soon after a contest for precedency arose between Marinus and Agapius, whom Marinus himself had ordained bishop over the Arians at Ephesus; and in the quarrel which ensued, the Goths took the part of Agapius. It is said that many of the Arian clergy of that city were so much irritated through the ambition displayed by these two bishops, that they communed with the Catholic Church. Such was the origin of the division of the Arians into two factions, — a division which still subsists; so that, in every city, they have separate churches. The Arians at Constantinople, however, after a separation of thirty-five years, were reconciled to each other by Plinthas, formerly a consul, general of the cavalry and infantry, a man possessed of great influence at court. To prevent the revival of the former dissensions among them, the question which had been the cause of the division was forbidden to be mooted. And these occurrences took place later.


A DIVISION arose during the same reign among the Novatians concerning the celebration of the festival of Easter, and from this dispute originated another, called the Sabbatian. Sabbatius, who, with Theoctistus and Macarius, had been ordained presbyter by Marcian, adopted the opinion of the co-presbyters, who had been convened at Pazoucoma during the reign of Valens, and maintained that the feast of the Passover (Easter) ought to be celebrated by Christians as by Jews. He seceded from the Church at first for the purpose of exercising greater austerity, for he professed to adopt a very austere mode of life. He also declared that one motive of his secession was, that many persons who participated in the mysteries appeared to him to be unworthy of the honor. When, however, his design of introducing innovations was detected, Marcian expressed his regret at having ordained him, and, it is said, was often heard to exclaim that he would rather have laid his hands upon thorns than upon the head of Sabbatius. Perceiving that the people of his diocese were being rent into two factions, Marcian summoned all the bishops of his own persuasion to Sangarus, a town of Bithynia, near the seashore, not far from the city of Helenopolis. When they had assembled, they summoned Sabbatius, and asked him to state the cause of his grievance; and as he merely complained of the diversity prevailing in regard to the feast, they suspected that he made this a pretext to disguise his love of precedency, and made him declare upon oath that he would never accept the episcopal office. When he had taken the required oath, all were of the same opinion, and they voted to hold the church together, for the difference prevailing in the celebration of the Paschal feast ought by no means to be made an occasion for separation from communion and they decided that each individual should be at liberty to observe the feast according to his own judgment. They enacted a canon on the subject, which they styled the "Indifferent (hadia'phoros) Canon." Such were the transactions of the assembly at Sangarus. From that period Sabbatius adhered to the usage of the Jews; and unless all happened to observe the feast at the same time, he fasted, according to the custom, but in advance, and celebrated the Passover with the usual prescriptions by himself. He passed the Saturday, from the evening to the appointed time, in watching and in offering up the prescribed prayers; and on the following day he assembled with the multitude, and partook of the mysteries. This mode of observing the feast was at first unnoticed by the people but as, in process of time, it began to attract observation, and to become more generally known, he found a great many imitators, particularly in Phrygia and Galatia, to whom this celebration of the feast became a national custom. Eventually he openly seceded from communion, and became the bishop of those who had espoused his sentiments, as we shall have occasion to show in the proper place.

I am, for my own part, astonished that Sabbatius and his followers attempted to introduce this innovation. The ancient Hebrews, as is related by Eusebius, on the testimony of Philo, Josephus, Aristobulus, and several others, offered the sacrifices after the vernal equinox, when the sun is in the first sign of the zodiac, called by the Greeks the Ram, and when the moon is in the opposite quarter of the heavens, and in the fourteenth day of her age. Even the Novatians themselves, who have studied the subject with some accuracy, declare that the founder of their heresy and his first disciples did not follow this custom, which was introduced for the first time by those who assembled at Pazoucoma; and that at old Rome the members of this sect still observe the same practice as the Romans, who have not deviated from their original usage in this particular, the custom having been handed down to them by the holy apostles Peter and Paul. Further, the Samaritans, who are scrupulous observers of the laws of Moses, never celebrate this festival till the first-fruits have reached maturity; they say it is, in the law, called the Feast of First-Fruits, and before these appear, it is not lawful to observe the feast; and, therefore, necessarily the vernal equinox must precede. Hence arises my astonishment that those who profess to adopt the Jewish custom in the celebration of this feast, do not conform to the ancient practice of the Jews. With the exception of the people above mentioned, and the Quartodecimani of Asia, all heresies, I believe, celebrate the Passover in the same manner as the Romans and the Egyptians. The Quartodecimani are so called because they observe this festival, like the Jews, on the fourteenth day of the moon, and hence their name. The Novatians observe the day of the resurrection. They follow the custom of the Jews and the Quartodecimani, except when the fourteenth day of the moon falls upon the first day of the week, in which case they celebrate the feast so many days after the Jews, as there are intervening days between the fourteenth day of the moon and the following Lord's day. The Montanists, who are called Pepuzites and Phrygians, celebrate the Passover according to a strange fashion which they introduced. They blame those who regulate the time of observing the feast according to the course of the moon, and affirm that it is right to attend exclusively to the cycles of the sun. They reckon each month to consist of thirty days, and account the day after the vernal equinox as the first day of the year, which, according to the Roman method of computation, would be called the ninth day before the calends of April. It was on this day, they say, that the two great luminaries appointed for the indication of times and of years were created. This they prove by the fact that every eight years the sun and the moon meet together in the same point of the heavens. The moon's cycle of eight years is accomplished in ninety-nine months, and in two thousand nine hundred and twenty-two days; and during that time there are eight revolutions made by the sun, each comprising three hundred and sixty-five days, and the fourth part of a day. For they compute the day of the creation of the sun, mentioned in Sacred Writ, to have been the fourteenth day of the moon, occurring after the ninth day before the calends of the month of April, and answering to the eighth day prior to ides of the same month. They always celebrate the Passover on this day, when it falls on the day of the resurrection; otherwise they celebrate it on the following Lord's day; for it is written according to their assertion that the feast may be held on any day between the fourteenth and twenty-first.


We have now described the various usages that prevailed in the celebration of the Passover. It appears to me that Victor, bishop of Rome, and Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, came to a very wise decision on the controversy that had arisen between them. For as the bishops of the West did not deem it necessary to dishonor the tradition handed down to them by Peter and by Paul, and as, on the other hand, the Asiatic bishops persisted in following the rules laid down by John the evangelist, they unanimously agreed to continue in the observance of the festival according to their respective customs, without separation from communion with each other. They faithfully and justly assumed, that those who accorded in the essentials of worship ought not to separate from one another on account of customs. For exactly similar traditions on every point are to be found in all the churches even though they hold the same opinions. There are, for instance, many cities in Scythia, and yet they all have but one bishop; whereas, in other nations a bishop serves as priest even over a village, as I have myself observed in Arabia, and in Cyprus, and among the Novatians and Montanists of Phrygia. Again, there are even now but seven deacons at Rome, answering precisely to the number ordained by the apostles, of whom Stephen was the first martyr; whereas, in other churches, the number of deacons is a matter of indifference. At Rome hallelujah is sung once annually, namely, on the first day of the festival of the Passover; so that it is a common thing among the Romans to swear by the fact of hearing or singing this hymn. In that city the people are not taught by the bishop, nor by any one in the Church. At Alexandria the bishop of the city alone teaches the people, and it is said that this custom has prevailed there ever since the days of Arius, who, though but a presbyter, broached a new doctrine. Another strange custom also prevails at Alexandria which I have never witnessed nor heard of elsewhere, and this is, that when the Gospel is read the bishop does not rise from his seat. The archdeacon alone reads the Gospel in this city, whereas in some places it is read by the deacons, and in many churches only by the priests; while on noted days it is read by the bishops, as, for instance, at Constantinople, on the first day of the festival of the resurrection. In some churches the interval called Quadragesima, which occurs before this festival, and is devoted by the people to fasting, is made to consist of six weeks; and this is the case in Illyria and the Western regions, in Libya, throughout Egypt, and in Palestine; whereas it is made to comprise seven weeks at Constantinople, and in the neighboring provinces as far as Phoenicia. In some churches the people fast three alternate weeks, during the space of six or seven weeks, whereas in others they fast continuously during the three weeks immediately preceding the festival. Some people, as the Montanists, only fast two weeks. Assemblies are not held in all churches on the same time or manner. The people of Constantinople, and almost everywhere, assemble together on the Sabbath, as well as on the first day of the week, which custom is never observed at Rome or at Alexandria. There are several cities and villages in Egypt where, contrary to the usage established elsewhere, the people meet together on Sabbath evenings, and, although they have dined previously, partake of the mysteries. The same prayers and psalms are not recited nor the same lections read on the same occasions in all churches. Thus the book entitled "The Apocalypse of Peter," which was considered altogether spurious by the ancients, is still read m some of the churches of Palestine, on the day of preparation, when the people observe a fast m memory of the passion of the Saviour. So the work entitled "The Apocalypse of the Apostle Paul," though unrecognized by the ancients, is still esteemed by most of the monks. Some persons affirm that the book was found during this reign, by Divine revelation, in a marble box, buried beneath the soil in the house of Paul at Tarsus in Cilicia. I have been informed that this report is false by Cilix, a presbyter of the church in Tarsus, a man of very advanced age, as is indicated by his gray hairs, who says that no such occurrence is known among them, and wonders if the heretics did not invent the story. What I have said upon this subject must now suffice. Many other customs are still to be observed in cities and villages; and those who have been brought up in their observance would, from respect to the great men who instituted and perpetuated these customs, consider it wrong to abolish them. Similar motives must be attributed to those who observe different practices in the celebration of the feast which has led us into this long digression.


WHILE the heretics were disrupted among themselves, the Catholic Church increased more and more by many accessions from the heterodox, on account of the dissensions among them and especially from multitudes of pagans. The emperor having observed that the practice of idolatry had been greatly promoted by the facility of constant ingress and egress to and from the temple, directed the entrances of all temples to be closed; and eventually he commanded the demolition of many of these edifices. When the pagans found themselves deprived of their own houses of prayer, they began to frequent our churches; for they did not dare to offer sacrifices after the pagan form in secret, for it was dangerous, since the sacrifice was under the penalty of death and of confiscation of property.

It is said that the river of Egypt did not overflow its banks this year at the proper season; and that the Egyptians angrily ascribed this circumstance to the prohibition of sacrifices to it, according to the ancestral law. The governor of the province, apprehensive test the general discontent should terminate in sedition, sent a message to the emperor on the subject. But the emperor, far from attaching more importance to the temporary fertility produced by the Nile, than to the fidelity he owed to God and the interests of religion, replied as follows: "Let that river cease to flow, if enchantments are requisite to insure the regularity of its course; or if it delights in sacrifices, or if blood must be mingled with the waters that derive their source from the paradise of God." Soon afterwards, the Nile overflowed its banks with such violence, that the highest eminences were submerged. When it reached the farthest limit and almost had attained the fullest measure, the water did not the less press upward, so that the Egyptians were thrown into the contrary fear. The dread was lest the city of Alexandria and part of Libya should be submerged. The pagans of Alexandria, irritated at this unexpected occurrence, exclaimed in derision at the public theatres, that the river, like an old man or fool, could not moderate its proceedings. Many of the Egpytians were hence induced to abandon the superstitions of their forefathers, and embrace Christianity. These incidents are given as I have learned them.


ABOUT this time the head of John the Baptist, which Herodias had asked of Herod the tetrarch, was removed to Constantinople. It is said that it was discovered by some monks of the Macedonian heresy, who originally dwelt at Constantinople, and afterwards fixed their abode in Cilicia. Mardonius, the first eunuch of the palace, made known this discovery at court, during the preceding reign; and Valens commanded that the relic should be removed to Constantinople. The officers appointed to carry it thither, placed it in a public chariot, and proceeded with it as far as Pantichium, a district in the territory of Chalcedon. Here the mules of the chariot suddenly stopped; and neither the application of the lash, nor the threats of the hostlers, could induce them to advance further. So extraordinary an event was considered by all, and even by the emperor himself, to be of God; and the holy head was therefore deposited at Cosilaos, a village in the neighborhood, which belonged to Mardonius. Soon after, the Emperor Theodosius, impelled by an impulse from God, or from the prophet, repaired to the village. He determined upon removing the remains of the Baptist, and it is said met with no opposition, except from a holy virgin, Matrona, who had been the servant and guardian of the relic. He laid aside all authority and force, and after many entreaties, extorted a reluctant consent from her to remove the head; for she bore in mind what had occurred at the period when Valens commanded its removal. The emperor placed it, with the box in which it was encased, in his purple robe, and conveyed it to a place called Hebdomos, in the suburbs of Constantinople, where he erected a spacious and magnificent temple. The woman who had been appointed to the charge of the relic could not be persuaded by the emperor to renounce her religious sentiments, although he had recourse to entreaty and promises; for she was, it appears, of the Macedonian heresy. A presbyter of the same tendency, named Vincent, who also took charge of the coffin of the prophet, and performed the sacerdotal functions over it, followed the religious opinions of the emperor, and entered into communion with the Catholic Church. He had taken an oath, as the Macedonians affirm, never to swerve from their doctrines; but he afterwards openly declared that, if the Baptist would follow the emperor, he also would enter into communion with him and be separated. He was a Persian, and had left his country in company with a relative named Addas, during the reign of Constantius, in order to avoid the persecution which the Christians were then suffering in Persia. On his arrival in the Roman territories, he was placed in the ranks of the clergy, and advanced to the office of presbyter. Addas married and rendered great service to the Church. He left a son named Auxentius, who was noted for his very faithful piety, his zeal for his friends, the moderation of his life, his love of letters, and the greatness of his attainments in pagan and ecclesiastical literature. He was modest and retiring in deportment, although admitted to familiarity with the emperor and the courtiers, and possessed of a very illustrious appointment. His memory is still revered by the monks and zealous men, who were all acquainted with him. The woman who had been entrusted with the relic remained during the rest of her life at Cosilaos. She was greatly distinguished by her piety and wisdom, and instructed many holy virgins; and I have been assured that many still survive who reflect the honorable character which was the result of training under Matrona.


WHILE Theodosius was thus occupied in the wise and peaceful government of his subjects in the East, and in the service of God, intelligence was brought that Valentinian had been strangled. Some say that he was put to death by the eunuchs of the bedchamber, at the solicitation of Arbogastes, a military chief, and of certain courtiers, who were displeased because the young prince had begun to walk in the footsteps of his father, concerning the government, and contrary to the opinions approved by them. Others assert, however, that Valentinian committed the fatal deed with his own hands, because he found himself impeded in attempting deeds which are not lawful in one of his years; and on this account he did not deem it worth while to live; for although an emperor, he was not allowed to do what he wished. It is said that the boy was noble in person, and excellent in royal manners; and that, had he lived to the age of manhood, he would have shown himself worthy of holding the reins of empire, and would have surpassed his father in magnanimity and justice. But though endowed with these promising qualities, he died in the manner above related.

A certain man named Eugenius, who was by no means sincere in his professions of Christianity, aspired to sovereignty, and assumed the symbols of imperial power. He was hoping to succeed in the attempt safely; for he was led by the predictions of individuals who professed to foresee the future, by the examination of the entrails and livers of animals and the course of the stars. Men of the highest rank among the Romans were addicted to these superstitions. Flavian, then a praetorian prefect, a learned man, and one who appeared to have an aptitude for politics, was noted for being conversant with, every means of foretelling the future. He persuaded Eugenius to take up arms by assuring him that he was destined for the throne, that his warlike undertakings would be crowned with victory, and that the Christian religion would be abolished. Deceived by these flattering representations, Eugenius raised an army and took possession of the gates into Italy, as the Romans call the Julian Alps, an elevated and precipitous range of mountains; these he seized beforehand and fortified, for they had but one path in the narrows, and were shut in on each side by precipices and the loftiest mountains. Theodosius was perplexed as to whether he ought to await the issue of the war, or whether it would be better in the first place to attack Eugenius; and in this dilemma, he determined to consult John, a monk of Thebais, who, as I have before stated, was celebrated for his knowledge of the future. He therefore sent Eutropius, a eunuch of the palace, and of tried fidelity, to Egypt, with orders to bring John, if possible, to court; but, in case of his refusal, to learn what ought to be done. When he came to John, the monk could not be persuaded to go to the emperor, but he sent word by Eutropius that the war would terminate in favor of Theodosius, and that the tyrant would be slain; but that, after the victory, Theodosius himself would die in Italy. The truth of both of these predictions was confirmed by events.


IN this time, on account of the necessities of war, it seemed best to the officials whose concern it was, to impose more than the customary taxes; for this reason the populace of Antioch in Syria revolted; the statues of the emperor and empress were thrown down and dragged by ropes through the city, and, as is usual on such occasions, the enraged multitude uttered every insulting epithet that passion could suggest. The emperor determined to avenge this insult by the death of many of the citizens of Antioch; the people were struck dumb at the mere announcement; the rage of the citizens had subsided, and had given place to repentance; and, as if already subjected to the threatened punishment, they abandoned themselves to groans and tears, and supplicated God to turn away the anger of the emperor, and made use of some threnodic hymns for their litanies. They deputed Flavian, their bishop, to go on an embassy to Theodosius; but on his arrival, finding that the resentment of the emperor at what had occurred was unabated, he had recourse to the following artifice. He caused some young men accustomed to sing at the table of the emperor to utter these hymns with the litanies of the Antiochans. It is said that the humanity of the emperor was excited; he was overcome by pity at once; his wrath was subdued, and as his heart yearned over the city, he shed tears on the cup which he held in his hand. It is reported that, on the night before the sedition occurred, a spectre was seen in the form of a woman of prodigious height and terrible aspect, pacing through the streets of the city, lashing the air with an ill-sounding whip, similar to that which is used in goading on the beasts brought forward at the public theatres. It might have been inferred that the sedition was excited by the agency of some evil and malicious demon. There is no doubt but that much bloodshed would have ensued, had not the wrath of the emperor been stayed by his respect for this sacerdotal entreaty.


WHEN he had completed his preparations for war, Theodosius declared his younger son Honorius emperor, and leaving him to reign at Constantinople conjointly with Arcadius, who had previously been appointed emperor, he departed from the East to the West at the head of his troops. His army consisted not only of Roman soldiers, but of bands of barbarians from the banks of the Ister. It is said that when he left Constantinople, he came to the seventh milestone, and went to pray to God in the church which he had erected in honor of John the Baptist; and in his name prayed that success might attend the Roman arms, and besought the Baptist himself to aid him. After offering up these prayers he proceeded towards Italy, crossed the Alps, and took the first guard-posts. On descending from the heights of these mountains, he perceived a plain before him covered with infantry and cavalry, and became at the same time aware that some of the enemy's troops were lying in ambush behind him, among the recesses of the mountains. The advance guard of his army attacked the infantry stationed in the plain, and a desperate and very doubtful conflict ensued. Further, when the army surrounded him, he considered that he had come into the power of men, and could not be saved even by those who would desire to do so, since those who had been posted in his rear were seizing the heights; he fell prone upon the earth, and prayed with tears, and God instantly answered him; for the officers of the troops stationed in ambush on the height sent to offer him their services as his allies, provided that he would assign them honorable posts in his army. As he had neither paper nor ink within reach, he took up some tablets, and wrote on them the high and befitting appointments he would confer upon them, provided that they would fulfill their promise to him. Under these conditions they advanced to the emperor. The issue did not yet incline to either side, but the battle was still evenly balanced in the plain, when a tremendous wind descended into the face of the enemy. It was such an one as we have never before re corded, and broke up the ranks of the enemies. The arrows and darts which were sent against the Romans, as if projected by the opposing ranks, were turned upon the bodies of those who had cast them; and their shields were wrenched from their hands, and whirled against them with filth and dust. Standing thus exposed, in a defenseless condition, to the weapons of the Romans, many of them perished, while the few who attempted to effect an escape were soon captured. Eugenius threw himself at the feet of the emperor, and implored him to spare his life; but while in the act of offering up these entreaties, a soldier struck off his head. Arbogastes fled after the battle, and fell by his own hands. It is said that while the battle was being fought, a demoniac presented himself in the temple of God which is in the Hebdomos, where the emperor had engaged in prayer on starting out, and insulted John the Baptist, taunting him with having his head cut off, and shouted the following words: "You conquer me, and lay snares for my army." The persons who happened to be on the spot, and who were waiting impatiently to learn some news of the war, were amazed, and wrote an account of it on the day that it occurred, and afterwards ascertained that it was the same day as that on which the battle had been fought. Such is the history of these transactions.


AFTER the death of Eugenius, the emperor went to Milan, and repaired towards the church to pray within its walls. When he drew near the gates of the edifice, he was met by Ambrose, the bishop of the city, who took hold of him by his purple robe, and said to him, in the presence of the multitude, "Stand back! a man defiled by sin, and with hands imbrued in blood unjustly shed, is not worthy, without repentance, to enter within these sacred precincts, or partake of the holy mysteries." The emperor, struck with admiration at the boldness of the bishop, began to reflect on his own conduct, and, with much contrition, retraced his steps. The occasion of the sin was as follows. When Buthericus was general of the troops in Illyria, a charioteer saw him shamefully exposed at a tavern, and attempted an outrage; he was apprehended and put in custody. Some time after, some magnificent races were to be held at the hippodrome, and the populace of Thessalonica demanded the release of the prisoner, considering him necessary to the celebration of the contest. As their request was not attended to, they rose up in sedition and finally slew Buthericus. On hearing of this deed, the wrath of the emperor was excited immediately, and he commanded that a certain number of the citizens should be put to death. The city was filled with the blood of many unjustly shed; for strangers, who had but just arrived there on their journey to other lands, were sacrificed with the others. There were many cases of suffering well worthy of commiseration, of which the following is an instance. A merchant offered himself to be slain as a substitute for his two sons who had both been selected as victims, and promised the soldiers to give them all the gold he possessed, on condition of their effecting the exchange. They could not but compassionate his misfortune, and consented to take him as a substitute for one of his sons, but declared that they did not dare to let off both the young men, as that would render the appointed number of the slain incomplete. The father gazed on his sons, groaning and weeping; he could not save either from death, but he continued hesitating until they had been put to death, being overcome by an equal love for each. I have also been informed, that a faithful slave voluntarily offered to die instead of his master, who was being led to the place of execution. It appears that it was for these and other acts of cruelty that Ambrose rebuked the emperor, forbade him to enter the church, and excommunicated him. Theodosius publicly confessed his sin in the church, and during the time set apart for penance, refrained from wearing his imperial ornaments, according to the usage of mourners. He also enacted a law prohibiting the officers entrusted with the execution of the imperial mandates, from inflicting the punishment of death till thirty days after the mandate had been issued, in order that the wrath of the emperor might have time to be appeased, and that room might be made for the exercise of mercy and repentance.

Ambrose, no doubt, performed many other actions worthy of his priestly office, which are known, as is likely, only to the inhabitants of the country. Among the illustrious deeds that are attributed to him, I have been made acquainted with the following. It was the custom of the emperor to take a seat in assemblies of the church within the palisades of the altar, so that he sat apart from the rest of the people. Ambrose, considering that this custom had originated either from subserviency or from want of discipline, caused the emperor to be seated without the trellis work of the altar, so that he sat in front of the people, and behind the priests. The emperor Theodosius approved of this best tradition, as did likewise his successors; and we are told that it has been ever since scrupulously observed.

I think it necessary to make a record of another action worthy of mention performed by this bishop. A pagan of distinction insulted Gratian, affirming that he was unworthy of his father; and he was in consequence condemned to death. As he was being led out to execution, Ambrose went to the palace to implore a pardon. Gratian was then engaged in witnessing a private exhibition of the hunt, such as the emperors were wont to celebrate for their private pleasure, and not for the public pastime. On finding this to be the case, the bishop went to the gate where they led in the beasts; he hid himself, and entered with the hunters who took charge of the animals, and did not intermit, although Gratian and his attendants resisted, till he had obtained an immediate and saving consent of the emperor, which released the man who was to be led out to death. Ambrose was very diligent in the observance of the laws of the Church, and in maintaining discipline among his clergy. I have selected the above two incidents from among the records of his numerous magnanimous deeds, in order to show with what intrepidity he addressed those in power when the service of God was in question.


THERE were at this period many other bishops in various parts of the empire highly celebrated for their sanctity and high qualifications, of whom Donatus, bishop of Euroea in Epirus, deserves to be particularly instanced. The inhabitants of the country relate many extraordinary miracles which he performed, of which the most celebrated seems to have been the destruction of a dragon of enormous size. It had stationed itself on the high road, at a place called Chamaegephyrae and devoured sheep, goats, oxen, horses, and men. Donatus came upon this beast, attacked it unarmed, without sword, lance, or javelin; it raised its head, and was about to dash upon him, when Donatus made the sign of the cross with his finger in the air, and spat upon the dragon. The saliva entered its mouth, and it immediately expired. As it lay extended on the earth it did not appear inferior in size to the noted serpents of India. I have been informed that the people of the country yoked eight pair of oxen to transport the body to a neighboring field, where they burnt it, that it might not during the process of decomposition corrupt the air and generate disease. The tomb of this bishop is deposited in a magnificent house of prayer which bears his name. It is situated near a fountain of many waters, which God caused to rise from the ground in answer to his prayer, in an arid spot where no water had previously existed. For it is said that one day, when on a journey, he had to pass through this locality; and, perceiving that his companions were suffering from thirst, he moved the soil with his hands and engaged in prayer; before his prayer was concluded, a spring of water arose from the ground, which has never since been dried up. The inhabitants of Isoria, a village in the territory of Euroea, bear testimony to the truth of this narration.

The church of Tomi, and indeed all the churches of Scythia, were at this period under the government of Theotimus, a Scythian. He had been brought up in the practice of philosophy; and his virtues had so won the admiration of the barbarian Huns, who dwelt on the banks of the Ister, that they called him the god of the Romans, for they had experience of divine deeds wrought by him. It is said that one day, when traveling toward the country of the barbarians, he perceived some of them advancing towards Total. His attendants burst forth into lamentations, and gave themselves up at once for lost; but he merely descended from horseback, and prayed. The consequence was, that the barbarians passed by without seeing him, his attendants, or the horses from which they had dismounted. As these tribes frequently devastated Scythia by their predatory incursions, he tried to subdue the ferocity of their disposition by presenting them with food and gifts. One of the barbarians hence concluded that he was a man of wealth, and, determining to take him prisoner, leaned upon his shield, as was his custom when parleying with his enemies; the man raised up his right hand in order to throw a rope, which he firmly grasped, over the bishop, for he intended to drag him away to his own country; but in the attempt, his hand remained extended in the air, and the barbarian was not released from his terrible bonds until his companions had implored Theotimus to intercede with God in his behalf.

It is said that Theotimus always retained the long hair which he wore when he first devoted himself to the practice of philosophy. He was very temperate, had no stated hours for his repasts, but ate and drank when compelled to do so by the calls of hunger and of thirst. I consider it to be the part of a philosopher to yield to the demands of these appetites from necessity, and not from the love of sensual gratification.


EPIPHANIUS was at this period at the head of the metropolitan church of Cyprus. He was celebrated, not only for the virtues he manifested and miraculous deeds during his life, but also for the honor that was rendered to him by God after his death; for it was said that demons were expelled, and diseases healed at his tomb. Many wonderful actions wrought while he lived are attributed to him, of which the following is one of the most remarkable that has come to our knowledge. He was extremely liberal towards the needy, either to those who had suffered from shipwreck or any other calamity; and after expending the whole of his own patrimony in the relief of such cases, he applied the treasures of the church to the same purpose. These treasures had been greatly increased by the donations of pious men of various provinces, who had been induced by their admiration of Epiphanius to entrust him with the distribution of their alms during their lives, or to bequeath their property to him for this purpose at their death. It is said that on one occasion the treasurer, who was a godly man, discovered that the revenues of the church had been nearly drained, and so little remained in the treasury that he considered it his duty to rebuke the bishop as a spendthrift. Epiphanius, however, having, notwithstanding these remonstrances, given away the small sum that had remained, a stranger went to the little house where the treasurer lived, and placed in his hands a bag containing many gold coins. Since neither the giver nor the sender was visible, it seemed very naturally miraculous, that in a gift of so much money a man should keep himself unknown; thus everybody thought it to be a Divine work.

I desire also to relate another miracle that is attributed to Epiphanius. I have heard that a similar action has been related of Gregory, who formerly governed Neocaesarea; and I see no reason to doubt the veracity of the account; but it does not disprove the authenticity of the miracle attributed to Epiphanius. Peter, the apostle, was not the only man who raised another from the dead; John, the evangelist, wrought a similar miracle at Ephesus; as did likewise the daughters of Philip at Hierapolis. Similar actions have been performed in different ages by the men of God. The miracle which I wish to instance is the following. Two beggars having ascertained when Epiphanius would pass that way, agreed to extract a larger donation than usual from him by having recourse to stratagem. As soon as the bishop was seen approaching, one of the beggars flung himself on the ground and simulated death; the other stood by and uttered loud lamentations, deploring the loss of his companion, and his own poverty, which made him unable to procure sepulture for him. Epiphanius prayed to God that the deceased might rise in peace; he gave the survivor sufficient money for the interment, and said to the weeper, "Take measures, my son, for the burial of your companion, and weep no more; he cannot now arise from the dead; the calamity was inevitable, therefore you ought to bear it with resignation." Saying these words, the bishop departed from the spot. As soon as there was no one in sight, the beggar who had addressed Epiphanius touched the other with his foot, as he lay extended on the ground, and said to him, "You have well performed your part; arise now, for through your labor, we have a good provision for to-day." He, however, lay in the same way, neither heard any cry, nor perceived him who moved him with all his strength; the other beggar ran after the priest and confessed their artifice, and, with lamentations and tearing of his hair, he besought Epiphanius to restore his companion. Epiphanius merely exhorted him to submit with patience to the catastrophe, and sent him away. God did not undo what had happened, because, I feel persuaded, it was his design to show that those who practice deception on his servants are accounted as guilty of the fraud as if it had been perpetrated against Him who sees all, and who hears all.


THE following details are also the results of inquiry. Acacius was conspicuous among the bishops; he had already previously administered the episcopate of Beroea in Syria. There are of course many actions of his, which are worthy of record. He was from his youth brought up to the profession of ascetic monasticism, and was rigid in observing all the regulations of this mode of life. When he was raised to the bishopric, he gave this evidence of greatest virtue, in that he kept the episcopal residence open at all hours of the day, so that the citizens and strangers were always free to visit him, even when he was at meals or at repose. This course of conduct is, l in my opinion, very admirable; for either he was living in such a way as to be always sure of himself, or he devised this as a means of preparation against the evil in one's nature, so that in expecting to be caught by the sudden entrance of persons, it would be necessary for him to be on continuous guard, not to err in his duties, but rather to be engaged in covenanted acts.

Zeno and Ajax, two celebrated brothers, flourished about the same period. They devoted themselves to a life of philosophy, but did not fix their abode as hermits in the desert, but at Gaza, a maritime city, which was also called Majuma. They both defended the truth of their religion with greatest fidelity, and confessed God with courage, so that they were frequently subjected to very cruel and harsh treatment by the pagans. It is said that Ajax married a very lovely woman, and after he had known her thrice in all that time, had three sons; and that subsequently he held no further intercourse with her, but persevered in the exercises of monasticism. He brought up two of his sons to the divine life and celibacy, and the third he permitted to marry. He governed the church of Botolium with propriety and distinction.

Zeno, who had from his youth renounced the world and marriage, persevered in steadfast adherence to the service of God. It is said, and I myself am witness of the truth of the assertion, that when he was bishop of the church in Majuma, he was never absent at morning or evening hymns, or any other worship of God, unless attacked by some malady; and yet he was at this period an old man, being nearly a hundred years of age. He continued his course of life in the monastic philosophy, but, by pursuing his trade of weaving linen, continued to earn the means of supplying his own wants and of providing for others. He never deviated from this course of conduct till the close of his life, although he exceeded all the other priests of that province in age; and although he presided over the people and property of the largest church.

I have mentioned these as examples of those who served as priests at this period. It would be a task to enumerate all where the main part of them were good, and God bore testimony to their lives by readily hearing their prayers and by working many miracles.


WHILE the Church everywhere was under the sway of these eminent men, the clergy and people were excited to the imitation of their virtue and zeal. Nor was the Church of this era distinguished only by these illustrious examples of piety; for the relics of the proto-prophets, Habakkuk, and a little while after, Micah, were brought to light about this time. As I understand, God made known the place where both these bodies were deposited by a divine vision in a dream to Zebennus, who was then acting as bishop of the church of Eleutheropolis. The relics of Habakkuk were found at Cela, a city formerly called Ceila. The tomb of Micah was discovered at a distance of ten stadia from Cela, at a place called Berathsatia. This tomb was ignorantly styled by the people of the country, "the tomb of the faithful"; or, in their native language, Nephsameemana. These events, which occurred during the reign of Theodosius, were sufficient for the good repute of the Christian religion.

After conquering Eugenius, Theodosius the emperor remained for some time at Milan, and here he was attacked with a serious malady. He recalled to mind the prediction of the monk, John, and conjectured that his sickness was unto death. He sent in haste for his son Honorius from Constantinople; and on seeing him by, he seemed to be easier, so that he was able to be present at the sports of the Hippodrome. After dinner, however, he suddenly grew worse, and sent to desire his son to preside at the spectacle. He died on the following night. This event happened during the consulate of the brothers Olybrius and Probianus.



Such was the death of Theodosius, who had contributed so efficiently to the aggrandizement of the Church. He expired in the sixtieth year of his age, and the sixteenth of his reign. He left his two sons as his successors. Arcadius, the elder, reigned in the East, and Honorius in the West. They both held the same religious sentiments as their father.

Damasus was dead; and at this period Siricius was the leader of the church of Rome; Nectarius, of the church in Constantinople; Theophilus, over the church of Alexandria; Flavian, over the church of Antioch; and John, over that of Jerusalem. Armenia and the Eastern provinces were at this time overrun by the barbarian Huns. Rufinus, prefect of the East, was suspected of having clandestinely invited them to devastate the Roman territories, in furtherance of his own ambitious designs; for he was said to aspire to tyranny. For this reason, he was soon after slain; for, on the return of the troops from the conquest of Eugenius, the Emperor Arcadius, according to custom, went forth from Constantinople to meet them; and the soldiers took this opportunity to massacre Rufinus. These circumstances tended greatly to the extension of religion. The emperors attributed to the piety of their father, the ease with which the tyrant had been vanquished, and the plot of Rufinus to gain their government arrested; and they readily confirmed all the laws which had been enacted by their predecessors in favor of the churches, and bestowed their own gifts in addition. Their subjects profited by their example, so that even the pagans were converted without difficulty to Christianity, and the heretics united themselves to the Catholic Church.

Owing to the disputes which had arisen among the Arians and Eunomians, and to which I have already alluded, these heretics daily diminished in number. Many of them, in reflecting upon the diversity of sentiments which prevailed among those of their own persuasion, judged that the truth of God could not be present with them, and went over to those who held the same faith as the emperors.

The interests of the Macedonians of Constantinople were materially affected by their possessing no bishop in that juncture; for, ever since they had been deprived of their churches by Eudoxius, under the reign of Constantius, they had been governed only by presbyters, and remained so until the next reign. The Novatians, on the other hand, although they had been agitated by the controversy concerning the Passover, which was an innovation made by Sabbatius, yet the most of them remained in quiet possession of their churches, and had not been molested by any of the punishments or laws enacted against other heretics, because they maintained that the Three Persons of the Trinity are of the same substance. The virtue of their leaders also tended greatly to the maintenance of concord among them. After the presidency of Agelius they were governed by Marcian, a good man; and on his decease, a little while before the time now under consideration, the bishopric devolved upon Sisinius, a very eloquent man, well versed in the doctrines of philosophy and of the Holy Scriptures, and so expert in disputation that even Eunomius, who was well approved in this art and effective in this work, often refused to hold debates with him. His course of life was prudent and above the reach of calumny; yet he indulged in luxury, and even in superfluities; so that those who knew him not were incredulous as to whether he could remain temperate in the midst of so much abundance. His manners were gracious and suave in assemblies, and on this account he was esteemed by the bishops of the Catholic Church, by the rulers, and by the learned. His jests were replete with good nature, and he could bear ridicule without manifesting the least resentment. He was very prompt and witty in his rejoinders. Being once asked wherefore, as he was bishop, he bathed twice daily, he replied, "Because I do not bathe thrice." On another occasion, being ridiculed by a member of the Catholic Church because he dressed in white, he asked where it was commanded that he should dress in black; and, as the other hesitated for a reply, he continued, "You can give no argument in support of your position; but I refer you to Solomon, the wisest of men, who says, 'Let your garments be always white.' Moreover Christ is described in the Gospel as having appeared in white, and Moses and Elias manifester themselves to the apostles in robes of white." It appears to me that the following reply was also very ingenious. Leontius, bishop of Ancyra, in Galatia, settled in Constantinople after he had deprived the Novatians in his province of their churches. Sisinius went to him to request that the churches might be restored; but far from yielding compliance, he reviled the Novatians, and said that they were not worthy of holding churches, because, by abolishing the observance of penance, they intercepted the philanthropy of God. To this Sisinius replied, "No one does penance as I do." Leontius asked him in what way he did penance. "In coming to see you," retorted Sisinius. Many other witty speeches are attributed to him, and he is even said to have written several works with some elegance. But his discourses obtained greater applause than his writings, since he was best at declamation, and was capable of attracting the hearer by his voice and look and pleasing countenance. This brief description may serve as a proof of the disposition and mode of life of this great man.


NECTARIUS died about this period, and lengthened debates were held on the ordination of a successor. They all voted for different individuals, and it seemed impossible for all to unite on one, and the time passed heavily. There was, however, at Antioch on the Orontes, a certain presbyter named John, a man of noble birth and of exemplary life, and possessed of such wonderful powers of eloquence and persuasion that he was declared by the sophist, Libanius the Syrian, to surpass all the orators of the age. When this sophist was on his death-bed he was asked by his friends who should take his place. "It would have been John," replied he, "had not the Christians taken him from us." Many of those who heard the discourses of John in the church were thereby excited to the love of, virtue and to the reception of his own religious sentiments. For by living a divine life he imparted zeal from his own virtues to his hearers. He produced convictions similar to his own, because he did not enforce them by rhetorical art and strength, but expounded the sacred books with truth and sincerity. For a word which is ornamented by deeds customarily shows itself as worthy of belief; but without these the speaker appears as an impostor and a traitor to his own words, even though he teach earnestly. Approbation in both regards was due to John. He devoted himself to a prudent course of life and to a severe public career, while he also used a clear diction, united with brilliance in speech.

His natural abilities were excellent, and he improved them by studying under the best masters. He learned rhetoric from Libanius, and philosophy from Andragathius. When it was expected that he would embrace the legal profession and take part in the career of an advocate, he determined to exercise himself in the sacred books and to practice philosophy according to the law of the Church. He had as teachers of this philosophy, Carterius and Diodorus, two celebrated presidents of ascetic institutions. Diodorus was afterwards the governor of the church of Tarsus, and, I have been informed, left many books of his own writings in which he explained the significance of the sacred words and avoided allegory. John did not receive the instructions of these men by himself, but persuaded Theodore and Maximus, who had been his companions under the instruction of Libanius, to accompany him. Maximus afterwards became bishop of Seleucia, in Isauria; and Theodore, bishop of Mompsuestia, in Cilicia. Theodore was well conversant with the sacred books and with the rest of the discipline of rhetoricians and philosophers. After studying the ecclesiastical laws, and frequenting the society of holy men, he was filled with admiration of the ascetic mode of life and condemned city life. He did not persevere in the same purpose, but after changing it, he was drawn to his former course of life; and, to justify his conduct, cited many examples from ancient history, with which he was well acquainted, and went back into the city. On hearing that he was engaged in business and intent on marriage, John composed an epistle, more divine in language and thought than the mind of man could produce, and sent it to him. Upon reading it, he repented and immediately gave up his possessions, renounced his intention of marrying, and was saved by the advice of John, and returned to the philosophic career. This seems to me a remarkable instance of the power of John's eloquence; for he readily forced conviction on the mind of one who was himself habituated to persuade and convince others. By the same eloquence, John attracted the admiration of the people; while he strenuously convicted sinners even in the churches, and antagonized with boldness all acts of injustice, as if they had been perpetrated against himself. This boldness pleased the people, but grieved the wealthy and the powerful, who were guilty of most of the vices which he denounced.

Being, then, held in such high estimation by those who knew him by experience, and by those who were acquainted with him through the reports of others, John was adjudged worthy, in word and in deed, by all the subjects of the Roman Empire, to be the bishop of the church of Constantinople. The clergy and people were unanimous in electing him; their choice was approved by the emperor, who also sent the embassy which should conduct him; and, to confer greater solemnity on his ordination, a council was convened. Not long after the letter of the emperor reached Asterius, the general of the East; he sent to desire John to repair to him, as if he had need of him. On his arrival, he at once made him get into his chariot, and conveyed him with dispatch to a military station, Pagras so-called, where he delivered him to the officers whom the emperor had sent in quest of him. Asterius acted very prudently in sending for John before the citizens of Antioch knew what was about to occur; for they would probably have excited a sedition, and have inflicted injury on others, or subjected themselves to acts of violence, rather than have suffered John to be taken from them.

When John had arrived at Constantinople, and when the priests were assembled together, Theophilus opposed his ordination; and proposed as a candidate in his stead, a presbyter of his church named Isidore, who took charge of strangers and of the poor at Alexandria. I have been informed by persons who were acquainted with Isidore, that from his youth upwards he practiced the philosophic virtues, near Scetis. Others say that he had gained the friendship of Theophilus by being a participant and a familiar in a very perilous undertaking. For it is reported that during the war against Maximus, Theophilus intrusted Isidore with gifts and letters respectively addressed to the emperor and to the tyrant, and sent him to Rome, desiring him to remain there until the termination of the war, when he was to deliver the gifts, with the letters, to him, who might prove the victor. Isidore acted according to his instructions, but the artifice was detected; and, fearful of being arrested, he fled to Alexandria. Theophilus from that period evinced much attachment towards him, and, with a view of recompensing his services, strove to raise him to the bishopric of Constantinople. But whether there was really any truth in this report, or whether Theophilus desired to ordain this man because of his excellence, it is certain that he eventually yielded to those who decided for John. He feared Eutropius, who was artfully eager for this ordination. Eutropius then presided over the imperial house, and they say he threatened Theophilus, that unless he would vote with the other bishops, he would have to defend himself against those who desired to accuse him; for many written accusations against him were at that time before the council.


As soon as John was raised to the episcopal dignity, he devoted his attention first to the reformation of the lives of his clergy; he reproved and amended their ways and diet and every procedure of their manifold transactions. He also ejected some of the clergy from the Church. He was naturally disposed to reprehend the misconduct of others, and to antagonize righteously those who acted unjustly; and he gave way to these characteristics still more in the episcopate; for his nature, having attained power, led his tongue to reproof, and nerved his wrath more readily against the enemy. He did not confine his efforts to the reformation of his own church; but as a good and large-minded man, he sought to rectify abuses throughout the world. Immediately upon entering the episcopate, he strove to put an end to the dissension which had arisen concerning Paulinus, between the Western and Egyptian bishops and the bishops of the East; since on this account a general disunion was overpowering the churches in the whole empire. He requested the assistance of Theophilus in effecting the reconciliation of Flavian with the bishop of Rome. Theophilus agreed to co-operate with him in the restoration of concord; and Acacius, bishop of Berea, and Isidore, whom Theophilus had proposed as a candidate for ordination instead of John, were sent on an embassy to Rome. They soon effected the object of their journey, and sailed back to Egypt. Acacius repaired to Syria, bearing conciliatory letters to the adherents of Flavian from the priests of Egypt and of the West. And the churches, after a long delay once more laid aside their discord, and took up communion with one another. The people at Antioch, who were called Eustathians, continued, indeed, for some time to hold separate assemblies, although they possessed no bishop. Evagrius, the successor of Paulinus, did not, as we have stated, long survive him; and I think reconciliation became easier for the bishops from there being no one to oppose. The laity, as is customary with the populace, gradually went over to those who assembled together under the guidance of Flavian; and thus, in course of time, they were more and more united.


A BARBARIAN, named Gainas, who had taken refuge among the Romans, and who had risen from the lowest ranks of the army to military command, formed a design to usurp the throne of the Roman Empire. With this in view, he sent for his countrymen, the Goths, from their own homes to come to the Roman territories, and appointed his relatives to be tribunes and chiliarchs. Tirbingilus, a relative of his, who commanded a large body of troops in Phrygia, commenced an insurrection; and to all persons of judgment it was patent that he was preparing the way. Under the pretext of resenting the devastation of many of the Phrygian cities, which had been committed to his superintendence, Gainas turned to their assistance; but on his arrival, when a multitude of barbarians had been equipped for war, he disclosed his plan which he had previously concealed, and pillaged the cities which he had been commanded to guard, and was about to attack others. He then proceeded to Bithynia, and encamped in the boundaries of Chalcedon, and threatened war. The cities of the East of Asia, and as many as lived between these regions and about the Euxine, being thus in danger, the emperor and his counsellors judged that it would not be safe to venture into any hazardous undertaking without preparation against men who were already desperate; for the emperor declared that he was ready to be favorable to him in every point, and sent to Gainas to offer him whatever he might demand.

Gainas requested that two consuls, named Saturninus and Aurelian, whom he suspected of being inimical, should be delivered up to him; and when they were in his power, he pardoned them. He afterwards held a conference with the emperor near Chalcedon, in the house of prayer in which the tomb of Euphemia the martyr is deposited; and after he and the emperor had mutually bound themselves by vows of friendship to each other, he threw down his arms, and repaired to Constantinople, where, by an imperial edict, he was appointed general of the infantry and cavalry. Prosperity so far beyond his deserts was more than he could bear with moderation; and as, contrary to all expectations, he had succeeded so wonderfully in his former enterprise, he determined to undermine the peace of the Catholic Church. He was a Christian, and, like the rest of the barbarians, had espoused the Arian heresy. Urged either by the presidents of this party, or by the suggestions of his own ambition, he applied to the emperor to place one of the churches of the city in the hands of the Arians. He represented that it was neither just nor proper that, while he was general of the Roman troops, he should be compelled to retire without the walls of the city when he wished to engage in prayer. John did not remain inactive when made acquainted with these proceedings. He assembled all the bishops who were then residing in the city, and went with them to the palace. He spoke at great length in the presence of the emperor and of Gainas, reproached the latter with being a stranger and a fugitive, and reminded him that his life had been saved by the father of the emperor, to whom he had sworn fidelity, as likewise to his children, to the Romans, and to the laws which he was striving to make powerless. When he had made this speech he showed the law which Theodosius had established, forbidding the heterodox to hold a church within the walls. Then, addressing himself to the emperor, John exhorted him to maintain the laws which had been established against heretics; and told him that it would be better to be deprived of the empire, than to be guilty of impiety by becoming a traitor to the house of God. Thus did John speak boldly like a man, and gave no place to innovation in the churches under his care. Gainas, however, regardless of his oaths, attacked the city. His enterprise was pre-announced by the appearance of a comet directly over the city; this comet was of extraordinary magnitude, larger, it is said, than any that had previously been seen, and reaching almost to the earth itself. Gainas intended to seize first upon the stores of the bankers, and hoped to collect together their enormous wealth. But since the rumor of his plan was spread, the bankers concealed their ready wealth and no longer set forth silver upon the tables, as they were wont publicly to do. Gainas then sent some of the barbarians by night to set fire to the palace; but they were unskillful and overcome with fear, so they turned back. For when they drew near the edifice, they fancied that they saw a multitude of heavily armed men of immense stature, and they returned to inform Gainas that fresh troops had just arrived. Gainas disbelieved their report, for he was confident that no troops bad entered the city. As, however, other individuals whom he despatched to the palace for the same purpose, on the following night, returned with the same report, he went out himself to be an eye-witness of the extraordinary spectacle. Imagining that the army before him consisted of soldiers who had been withdrawn from other cities, and that these troops protected the city and palace by night and concealed themselves by day, Gainas feigned to be possessed of a demon; and under the pretext of offering up a prayer, went to the church which the father of the emperor had erected in honor of John the Baptist, at Hebdomos. Some of the barbarians remained in Constantinople, and others accompanied Gainas; they secretly carried arms and pots full of darts in the women's chariots, but when they were discovered, they slew the guard at the gates, who attempted to hinder the carrying out of the arms. From this the city was filled with as much confusion and uproar, as if it had suddenly been captured. A good thought ruled this terrible moment; for the emperor without delay declared Gainas a public enemy, and commanded that all the barbarians left in the city should be slain. No sooner was this mandate issued, than the soldiers rushed upon the barbarians, and slew the greater number of them; they then set fire to the church which was named after the Goths; for as was customary, they had congregated there in the house of prayer, because there was no other refuge, since the gates were shut. On hearing of this calamity, Gainas passed through Thrace, and proceeded towards the Cherronesus, intending to cross the Hellespont; for he thought that if he could conquer the opposite coast of Asia, he could easily subjugate to himself all the provinces of the empire in the East. All these things proved contrary to his hopes, because the Romans were there favored by Divine power. For the army sent by the emperor was on hand by land and by sea, under the command of Flavira, who although a barbarian by birth, was a good man, and an able general. The barbarians, having no ships, imprudently attempted to cross the Hellespont to the opposite continent on rafts; when suddenly a great wind blew and violently separated them, and drove them against the Roman vessels. The greater part of the barbarians and their horses were drowned; but many were slain by the military. Gainas, however, with a few of his followers escaped; but not long after, when fleeing through Thrace, they fell in with another detachment of the Roman army, and Gainas, with all his barbarians, perished. Such was the termination of the daring schemes and life of Gainas.

Flavita had rendered himself very conspicuous in this war, and was therefore appointed consul. During his consulate, and that of Vincentius, a son was born to the emperor. The young prince was named after his grandfather, and at the commencement of the next consulate, was proclaimed Augustus.


JOHN governed the church of Constantinople with exemplary prudence, and induced many of the pagans and of the heretics to unite themselves with him. Crowds of people daily resorted to him; some for the purpose of being edified by listening to his discourses, and others with the intention of tempting him, He, how ever, pleased and attracted all classes, and led them to embrace the same religious sentiments as himself. As the people pressed around him, and could not get enough of his words, so that when they were pushed hither and you, and were pressing one another, they incurred danger; and each one was forcing his way to go farther, so that by standing near, he might hear more accurately what John was saying, he placed himself in the midst of them upon the platform of the readers, and, having taken a seat, taught the multitude. It seems to me that this is a suitable place in my history for the insertion of the account of a miracle which was performed during the life of John. A certain man of the Macedonian heresy, lived with a wife of the same belief; he chanced to hear John discoursing concerning the opinion one ought to hold about the Divine nature; he was convinced by the argument he heard advanced, and strove to persuade his wife to embrace the same sentiments. Her previous habits of mind, and the conversation of other women of her acquaintance, deterred her from complying with his wishes; and, when he found that all his efforts to convince her were futile, he told her that, unless she would be of one mind with him on Divine subjects, she should not continue to live with him. The woman, therefore, promised to do as she was required; but, at the same time, she made known the matter to one of her servant maids, in whose fidelity she confided, and used her as an instrument in deceiving her husband. At the season of the celebration of the mysteries (the initiated will understand what I mean), this woman kept what was given to her and held down her head as if engaged in prayer. Her servant, who was standing behind her, placed in her hand a bit of bread which she had brought with her; but, as soon as she had placed it between her teeth, it was converted into stone. Since such a divine affair had happened to her, she was very fearful lest any further calamity should befall her, and ran to the bishop, and confessed on herself. She showed him the stone, which bore the marks of her teeth; it was composed of some unknown substance, and was marked by a very strange color. She implored forgiveness with tears, and continued ever after to hold the same religious tenets as her husband. If any person should consider this narrative incredible, he can inspect the stone in question; for it is still preserved in the treasury of the church of Constantinople.


John having been informed that the churches in Asia and the neighborhood were governed by unworthy persons, and that they bartered the priesthood for the incomes and gifts received, or bestowed that dignity as a matter of private favor, repaired to Ephesus, and deposed thirteen bishops, some in Lycia and Phrygia, and others in Asia itself, and appointed others in their stead. The bishop of Ephesus was dead, and he therefore ordained Heraclides over the church. Heraclides was a native of Cyprus, and was one of the deacons under John: he had formerly joined the monks at Scetis, and had been the disciple of the monk Evagrius. John also expelled Gerontius, bishop of the church in Nicomedia. This latter was a deacon under Ambrosius, of the church of Milan; he declared, I do not know why, either with an intention to invent a miracle, or because he had been himself deceived by the art and phantasms of a demon, that he had seized something resembling an ass, (onoskeli's) by night, had cut off its head, and flung it into a grinding-house. Ambrose regarded this mode of discourse as unworthy of a deacon of God, and commanded Gerontius to remain in seclusion until he had expiated his fault by repentance. Gerontius, however, was a very skillful physician; he was eloquent and persuasive, and knew well how to gain friends; be therefore ridiculed the command of Ambrose, and repaired to Constantinople. In a short time he obtained the friendship of some of the most powerful men at court; and, not long after, was elevated to the bishopric of Nicomedia. He was ordained by Helladius, bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, who performed this office the more readily for him, because he had been instrumental, through his interest at court, in obtaining high appointment in the army for that functionary's son. When Ambrose heard of this ordination, he wrote to Nectarius, the president of the church of Constantinople, desiring him to eject Gerontius from the priesthood, and not permit him and the ecclesiastical order to be so abused. However desirous Nectarius might have been to obey this injunction, he could never succeed carrying it into effect, owing to the determined resistance of the people of Nicomedia. John deposed Gerontius, and ordained Pansophius, who had formerly been preceptor to the wife of the emperor, and who, though a man of decided piety and of a mild and gentle disposition, was not liked by the Nicomedians. They arose in frequent sedition, and enumerated publicly and privately the beneficence of Gerontius, and on the liberal advantage derived from his science, and its generous and active use for the rich and poor alike; and as is usual when we applaud those we love, they ascribed many other virtues to him. They went about the streets of their own city and Constantinople as if some earthquake, or pestilence, or other visitation of Divine wrath had occurred, and sang psalms, and offered supplications that they might have Gerontius for their bishop. They were at length compelled to yield to necessity, and parted with grief and groans from Gerontius, receiving in his stead a bishop whom they regarded with fear and aversion. The bishops who had been deposed all their followers declaimed against John, as the leader of a revolution in the churches, and as changing the rights of the ordained, contrary to the ancestral laws; and under the influence of their grievance, they condemned deeds done by him, which were worthy of praise according to the opinion of most people. Among other matters, they reproached him with the proceedings that had been taken against Eutropius.


EUTROPIUS was originally the chief of the eunuchs, and was the first and only person of that rank of whom we have known or heard who attained the consular and patrician dignity. When he was raised to present power, he thought not of the future, nor of the instability of human affairs, but caused those who sought an asylum in churches to be thrust out. He treated Pentadia, the wife of Timasius, in this manner. Timasius was a general in the army, capable and much feared; but Eutropius procured an edict for his banishment to Pasis in Egypt, under the pretext that he aspired to tyranny. I have been informed that Timasius fell a victim to thirst, or dreading lest anything worse might be in store, he was caught in the sands there, and was found dead. Eutropius issued a law, enacting that no one should seek refuge in churches, and that those who had already fled thither should be driven out. He was, however, the first to transgress this law; for not long after its enactment, he offended the empress, and immediately left the palace, and fled to the Church as a suppliant. While he was lying beneath the table, John pronounced a discourse, in which he reprehended the pride of power, and directed the attention of the people to the instability of human greatness. The enemies of John hence took occasion to cast reproach on him, because he had rebuked instead of compassionating, one who was suffering under the calamities of adverse fortunes. Eutropius soon after paid the penalty of his impious plan, and was beheaded; and the law which he had enacted was effaced from the public inscriptions. The wrath of God having been thus promptly visited on the injustice that had been perpetrated against the Church, prosperity was restored to it, and there was an increase in the Divine worship. The people of Constantinople were more sedulous then than before, in attendance at the singing of the morning and evening hymns.


THE Arians, having been deprived of their churches in Constantinople during the reign Theodosius, held their churches without the walls of the city. They previously assembled by night in the public porticoes, and were divided into bands, so that they sang antiphonally, for they had composed certain refrains which reflected their own dogma, and at the break of day marched in procession, singing these hymns, to the places in which they held their churches. They proceeded in this manner on all solemn festivals, and on the first and last days of the week. The sentiments propounded in these odes were such as were likely to engender disputes. As, for instance, the following: "Where are those who say that the Three Persons constitute one Power?" Other similar acrimonious observations were interspersed throughout their compositions. John was fearful lest any of his own church people should be led astray by witnessing these exhibitions, and therefore commanded them to sing hymns in the same manner. The orthodox became more distinguished, and in a short time surpassed the opposing heretics in number and processions; for they had silver crosses and lighted wax tapers borne before them. The eunuch of the empress was appointed to regulate these processions, to pay the cost of whatever might be required, and to prepare hymns. Hence the Arians, impelled either by jealousy or revenge, attacked the members of the Catholic Church. Much bloodshed ensued on both sides. Briso (for this was the name of the imperial eunuch) was wounded on the forehead by a stone that was cast at him. The resentment of the emperor was kindled, and he put a stop to the Arian assemblies. Having commenced the custom of singing hymns in the manner and from the cause above stated, the members of the Catholic Church did not discontinue the practice, but have retained it to the present day. The institution of these processions and his services in the Church endeared John to the people; but he was hated by the clergy and the powerful on account of his free boldness, for he never failed to rebuke the clergy when he detected them in acts of injustice, nor to exhort the powerful to return to the practice of virtue when they abused their wealth, committed impiety, or yielded to voluptuousness.


The enmity of the clergy against John was greatly increased by Serapion, his archdeacon. He was an Egyptian, naturally prone to anger, and always ready to insult his opponents. The feelings of hostility were further fostered by the counsel which Olympias received from John. Olympias was of most illustrious birth, and although she had become a widow while young, and was zealously attached to the exercises of monastic philosophy according to the laws of the church, yet Nectarius had ordained her as deaconess. John, perceiving that she bestowed her goods liberally on any one who asked her for them, and that she despised everything but the service of God, said to her: "I applaud your intentions; but would have you know that those who aspire to the perfection of virtue according to God, ought to distribute their wealth with economy. You, however, have been bestowing wealth on the wealthy, which is as useless as if you had cast it into the sea. Know you not that you have voluntarily, for the sake of God, devoted all your possessions to the relief of the poor. You ought, therefore, to regard your wealth as belonging to your Master, and to remember that you have to account for its distribution. If you will be persuaded by me, you will in future regulate your donations according to the wants of those who solicit relief. You will thus be enabled to extend the sphere of your benevolence, and your mercy and most zealous care will receive reward from God."

John had several disputes with many of the monks, particularly with Isaac. He highly commended those who remained in quietude in the monasteries and practiced philosophy there; he protected them from all injustice and solicitiously supplied whatever necessities they might have. But the monks who went out of doors and made their appearance in cities, he reproached and regarded as insulting philosophy. For these causes, he incurred the hatred of the clergy, and of many of the monks, who called him a hard, passionate, morose, and arrogant man. They therefore attempted to bring his life into public disrepute, by stating confidently, as if it were the truth, that he would eat with no one, and that he refused every invitation to a meal that was offered him. I know of no pretext that could have given rise to this assertion, except that, as I have been assured by a man of undoubted veracity, John had, by rigorous asceticism, rendered himself liable to pain in the head and stomach, and was thus prevented from being present at some of the choicest symposia. Hence, however, originated the greatest accusation that was ever devised against him.


JOHN likewise incurred the enmity of the empress, through the machinations of Severian, bishop of Gabali in Syria. Severian and Antiochus, bishop of Ptolemais, a city in Phoenicia, were both learned men, and well qualified to teach in the churches. Antiochus had so fine a voice and delivery that, by some persons, he was surnamed Chrysostom. Severian, on the other hand, had the harshness of the Syrians in his speech; but, in point of knowledge and the evidences of the Scriptures, he was considered superior to Antiochus. It appears that Antiochus was the first to visit Constantinople; he gained great applause by his discourses, amassed some property, and then returned to his own city. Severian followed his example, and went to Constantinople. He formed an intimacy with John, spoke frequently in the churches, and was admired. He was in honor, and became well known to many of those in power, and to the emperor and empress. When John went to Asia, he commended the Church to his care; for he was so far deceived by the adulation of Severian as to imagine him to be his zealous friend. Severian, however, thought only of gratifying his auditors, and of pleasing the people by his discourses. When John was apprised of this, he was filled with jealousy; and his resentment was further kindled, it is said, by the representations of Serapion. After the return of John from Asia, Serapion happened to see Severian passing; but, instead of rising to salute him, he kept his seat, in order to show his utter contempt for the man. Severian was offended by this manifestation of disrespect, and exclaimed, "If Serapion die a clergyman, then Christ was not incarnate." Serapion reported these words; and John, in consequence, expelled Severian from the city as insolent, and as a blaspheme against God; for witnesses were brought forward to attest that the above words had been really uttered by him. Some of the friends of Serapion even went so far as to suppress part of the speech of Severian, and to affirm that he had declared that Christ was not incarnate. John also rebuked Severian, by asking whether, "If Serapion should not die among the clergy, it would follow that Christ had not been incarnate?" As Soon as the wife of the emperor was informed by the friends of Severian of what had occurred, she immediately sent for him from Chalcedon. John, notwithstanding all her remonstrances, positively refused to hold any intercourse with him, until the empress placed her son Theodosius on his knees in the church named after the apostles; then she entreated him persistently, and frequently adjured him, until John yielded a reluctant consent to receive Severian into friendship. Such are the accounts which I have received of these transactions. )


A QUESTION was at this period agitated in Egypt, which had been propounded a short time previously, namely, whether it is right to believe that God is anthropomorphic. Because they laid hold of the sacred words with simplicity and without any questioning, most of the monks of that part of the world were of this opinion; and supposed that God possessed eyes, a face, and hands, and other members of the bodily organization. But those who searched into the hidden meaning of the terms of Scripture held the opposite; and they maintained that those who denied the incorporeality of God were guilty of blasphemy. This later opinion was espoused by Theophilus, and preached by him in the church; and in the epistle which, according to custom, he wrote respecting the celebration of the passover, he took occasion to state that God ought to be regarded as incorporeal, as alien to a human form. When it was, signified to the Egyptian monks that Theophilus had broached these sentiments, they went to Alexandria, assembled the people together in one place, excited a tumult, and determined upon slaying the bishop as an impious man. Theophilus, however, presented himself to the insurgents forthwith, and said to them, "When I look upon you, it is as if I beheld the face of God." This address sufficiently mollified the men; yielding their wrath, they replied, "Wherefore, then, if you really hold orthodox doctrines, do you not denounce the books of Origen; since those who read them are led into such opinions?" "Such has long been my intention," replied he, "and I shall do as you advise; for I blame not less than you do, all those who follow the doctrines of Origen." By these means he deluded the brethren, and broke up the sedition.


The controversy would most likely have been terminated, had it not been renewed by Theophilus himself, from inimical feelings against Ammonius, Dioscorus, Eusebius, and Euthymius, who were called "the long." They were brothers; and, as we have before stated, became conspicuous among the philosophers at Scetis. They were at one period beloved by Theophilus above all the other monks of Egypt; he sought their society, and frequently dwelt with them. He even conferred on Dioscorus the bishopric of Hermopolis. He was confirmed in his hatred of them, on account of his enmity to Isidore, whom he had endeavored to ordain in Constantinople after Nectarius. Some say, that a woman, belonging to the Manichean heresy, had been converted to the faith of the Catholic Church; Theophilus rebuked the arch-presbyter (towards whom he had other reasons for entertaining resentful feeling), because he had admitted her to participate in the sacred mysteries before she had adjured her former heresy. Peter, for this was the name of the arch-presbyter, maintained that he had received the woman into communion according to the laws of the Church, and with the consent of Theophilus; and referred to Isidore, as a witness to the truth of what he had deposed. Isidore happened to be then at Rome on an embassy; but, on his return, he testified that the assertions of Peter were true. Theophilus resented this avowal as a calumny, and ejected both him and Peter from the Church. Such is the account given by some persons of the transaction. I have, however, heard it alleged, by a man of undoubted veracity, who was very intimate with the monks above mentioned, that the enmity of Theophilus towards Isidore originated from two causes. One of these causes was identical with that specified by Peter the presbyter, namely, that he had refused to attest the existence of a testament in which the inheritance was entailed on the sister of Theophilus; the other cause alleged by this individual was, that Isidore refused to give up certain moneys that had been confided to him for the relief of the poor, and which Theophilus wished to appropriate to the erection of churches; saying that it is better to restore the bodies of the suffering, which are more rightly to be considered the temples of God, and for which end the money had been furnished, than to build walls. But from whatever cause the enmity of Theophilus might have originated, Isidore, immediately after his excommunication, joined his former companions, the monks at Scetis. Ammonius, with a few others, then repaired to Theophilus, and en-treated him to restore Isidore to communion. Theophilus readily promised to do as they requested; but as time passed away, and nothing more was effected for them, and it became evident that Theophilus was pretending, they again repaired to him, renewed their entreaties, and pressed him to be faithful to his engagement. Instead of complying, Theophilus thrust one of the monks into prison, for the purpose of intimidating the others. But he erred in this. Ammonius and all the monks with him then went to the prison, into which they were readily admitted by the jailer, who imagined that they had come to bring provisions to the prisoner; but having once obtained admission, they refused to leave the prison. When Theophilus heard of their voluntary confinement, he sent to desire them to come to him. They replied, that he ought first to take them out of prison himself, for it was not just, after having been subjected to public indignity, that they should be privately released from confinement. At length, however, they yielded and went to him. Theophilus apologized for what had occurred, and dismissed them as if he had no further intention of molesting them; but by himself, he champed and was vexed, and determined to do them ill. He was in doubt, however, as to how he could ill-treat them, as they had no possessions, and despised everything but philosophy, until it occurred to him, to disturb the peace of their retirement. From his former intercourse with them he had gathered that they blamed those who believe that God has a human form, and that they adhered to the opinions of Origen; he brought them into collision with the multitude of monks who maintained the other view. A terrible contention prevailed among the monks, for they did not think it worth while to persuade one another by flaming arguments for themselves in an orderly way, but settled down into insults. They gave the name of Origenists to those who maintained the incorporeality of the Deity, while those who held the opposite opinion were called Anthropomorphists.


Dioscorus, Ammonius, and the other monks, having discovered the machinations of Theophilus, retired to Jerusalem, and thence proceeded to Scythopolis; for they thought that it would be an advantageous residence there for them on account of the many palms, whose leaves are used by the monks for their customary work. Dioscorus and Ammonius were accompanied hither by about eighty other monks. In the meantime, Theophilus sent messengers to Constantinople, to prefer complaints against them, and to oppose any petitions that they might lay before the emperor. On being informed of this fact, Ammonius and the monks embarked for Constantinople, and took Isidore with them; and they requested that their cause might be tried in the presence of the emperor and of the bishop; for they thought that, by reason of his boldness, John, who was careful to do right, would be able to help them in their rights. John, although he received them with kindness, and treated them with honor, and did not forbid them to pray in the church, refused to admit them to participation in the mysteries, for it was not lawful to do this before the investigation. He wrote to Theophilus, desiring him to receive them back into communion, as their sentiments concerning the Divine nature were orthodox; requesting him, if he regarded their orthodoxy as doubtful, to send some one to act as their accuser. Theophilus returned no reply to this epistle. Some time subsequently, Ammonius and his companions presented themselves before the wife of the emperor, as she was riding out, and complained of the machinations of Theophilus against them. She knew what had been plotted against them; and she stood up in honor of them; and, leaning forward from her royal chariot, she nodded, and said to them, "Pray for the emperor, for me, for our children, and for the empire. For my part, I shall shortly cause a council to be convened, to which Theophilus shall be summoned." A false report having prevailed in Alexandria, that John had received Dioscorus and his companions into communion, and had afforded them every aid and encouragement in his power, Theophilus began to reflect upon what measures it would be possible to adopt in order to eject John from his episcopate.


THEOPHILUS kept his designs against John as secret as possible; and wrote to the bishops of every city, condemning the books of Origen. It also occurred to him that it would be advantageous to enlist Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis, in Cyprus, on his side, a man who was revered for his life, and was the most distinguished of his contemporaries; and he therefore formed a friendship with him, although he had formerly blamed him for asserting that God possessed a human form. As if repentant of having ever entertained any other sentiment, Theophilus wrote to Epiphanius to acquaint him that he now held the same opinions as himself, and to move attacks against the books of Origen, as the source of such nefarious dogmas. Epiphanius had long regarded the writings of Origen with peculiar aversion, and was therefore easily led to attach credit to the epistle of Theophilus. He soon after assembled the bishops of Cyprus together, and prohibited the examination of the books of Origen. He also wrote to the other bishops, and, among others, to the bishop of Constantinople, exhorting them to convene. Synods, and to make the same decision. Theophilus, perceiving that there could be no l danger in following the example of Epiphanius, who was the object of popular praise, and who was admired for the virtue of his life, whatever his opinion might be, passed a vote similar to that of Epiphanius, with the concurrence of the bishops under his jurisdiction. John, on the other hand, paid little attention to the letters of Epiphanius and Theophilus. Those among the powerful and the clergy, who were opposed to him, perceived that the designs of Theophilus tended to his ejection from the bishopric, and therefore endeavored to procure the convention of a council in Constantinople, in order to carry this measure into execution. Theophilus, knowing this, exerted himself to the utmost in convening this council. He commanded the bishops of Egypt to repair by sea to Constantinople; he wrote to request Epiphanius and the other Eastern bishops to proceed to that city with as little delay as possible, and he himself set off on the journey thither by land. Epiphanius was the first to sail from Cyprus; he landed at Hebdomos, a suburb of Constantinople; and after having prayed in the church erected at that place, he proceeded to enter the city. In order to do him honor, John went out with all his clergy to meet him. Epiphanius, however, evinced clearly by his conduct that he believed the accusations against John; for, although invited to reside in the ecclesiastical residences, he would not continue there, and refused to meet with John in them. He also privately assembled all the bishops who were residing in Constantinople, and showed them the decrees which he had issued against the discourses of Origen. He persuaded some of the bishops to approve of these decrees, while others objected to them. Theotimus, bishop of Scythia, strongly opposed the proceedings of Epiphanius, and told him that it was not right to cast insult on the memory of one who had long been numbered with the dead; nor was it without blasphemy to assail the conclusion to which the ancients had arrived on the subject, and to set aside their decisions. While discoursing in this strain, he drew forth a book of Origen's which he had brought with him; and, after reading aloud a passage conducive to the education of the Church, he remarked that those who condemned such sentiments acted absurdly, for they were in danger of insulting the subjects themselves about which these words treated. John still had respect for Epiphanius, and invited him to join in the meetings of his church, and to dwell with him. But Epiphanius declared that he would neither reside with John nor pray with him publicly, unless he would denounce the works of Origen and expel Dioscorus and his companions. Not considering it just to act in the manner proposed until judgment had been passed on the case, John tried to postpone matters. When the assembly was about to be held in the Church of the Apostles, those ill-disposed to John planned that Epiphanius should go beforehand and publicly decry the books of Origen to the people, and Dioscorus and his companions as the partisans of this writer; and also to attack the bishop of the city as the abetter of those heretics. And some concerned themselves in this; for by this means it was supposed that the affections of the people would be alienated from their bishop. The following day, when Epiphanius was about entering the church, in order to carry his design into execution, he was stopped by Serapion, at the command of John, who had received intimation of the plot. Serapion proved to Epiphanius that while the project he had devised was unjust in itself, it could be of no personal advantage to him; for that if it should excite a popular resurrection, he would be regarded as responsible for the outrages that might follow. By these arguments Epiphanius was induced to relinquish his attack.


About this time, the son of the empress was attacked by a dangerous illness, and the mother, apprehensive of consequences, sent to implore Epiphanius to pray for him. Epiphanius returned for answer, that the sick one would live, provided that she would avoid all intercourse with the heretic Dioscorus and his companions. To this message the empress replied as follows: "If it be the will of God to take my son, His will be done. The Lord who gave me my child, can take him back again. You have not power to raise the dead, otherwise your archdeacon would not have died." She alluded to Chrispion, the archdeacon, who had died a short time previously. He was brother to Fuscon and Salamanus, monks whom I had occasion to mention when detailing the history of events under the reign of Valens; he had been companion of Epiphanius, and had been appointed his archdeacon. Ammonius and his companions went to Epiphanius, at the permission of the empress. Epiphanius inquired who they were, and Ammonius replied, "We are, O father, the Long Brothers; we come respectfully to know whether you have read any of our works or those of our disciples?" On Epiphanius replying that he had not seen them, he continued, "How is it, then, that you consider us to be heretics, when you have no proof as to what sentiments we may hold?" Epiphanius said that he had formed his judgment by the reports he had heard on the subject; and Ammonius replied, "We have pursued a very different line of conduct from yours. We have conversed with your disciples, and read your works frequently, and among others, that entitled 'The Anchored.' When we have met with persons who have ridiculed your opinions, and asserted that your writings are replete with heresy, we have contended for you, and defended you as our father. Ought you then to condemn the absent upon mere report, and of whom you know nothing with assured certitude, or return such an exchange to those who have spoken well of you?" Epiphanius was measurably convinced, and dismissed them. Soon after he embarked for Cyprus, either because he recognized the futility of his journey to Constantinople, or because, as there is reason to believe, God had revealed to him his approaching death; for he died while on his voyage back to Cyprus. It is reported that he said to the bishops who had accompanied him to the place of embarkation, "I leave you the city, the palace, and the stage, for I shall shortly depart." I have been informed by several persons that John predicted that Epiphanius would die at sea, and that this latter predicted the deposition of John. For it appears that when the dispute between them was at its height, Epiphanius said to John, "I hope you will not die a bishop," and that John replied, "I hope you will never return to your bishopric."


AFTER the departure of Epiphanius, John, when preaching in the church as usual, chanced to inveigh against the vices to which females are peculiarly prone. The people imagined that his strictures were enigmatically directed against the wife of the emperor. The enemies of the bishop did not fail to report his discourse in this sense to the empress; and she, conceiving herself to have been insulted, complained to the emperor, and urged the necessity for the speedy presence of Theophilus and the convocation of a council. Severian, bishop of Gabala, who had not yet changed his former resentment against John, cooperated in the promotion of these measures. I am not in possession of sufficient data to determine whether there was any truth in the current report that John delivered the discourse above mentioned with express allusion to the empress, because he suspected her of having excited Epiphanius against him. Theophilus arrived soon after at Chalcedon in Bithynia, and was followed thither by many bishops. Some of the bishops joined him in compliance with his own invitation, and others in obedience to the commands of the emperor. The bishops whom John had deposed in Asia repaired to Chalcedon with the utmost alacrity, as likewise all those who cherished any feeling of hostility against him. The ships which Theophilus expected from Egypt had already come to Chalcedon. When they had convened again in the same place, and when they had deliberated how the attempt against John might be judiciously forwarded by them, Cyrinus, leader of the church of Chalcedon, who was an Egyptian and a relative of Theophilus, and who had besides some other difficulties with John, spoke very abusively of him. Justice, however, seemed to follow him speedily; for Maruthas, a native of Mesopotamia, who had accompanied the bishops, happened to tread on his foot; and Cyrinus suffered so severely from this accident that he was unable to repair with the other bishops to Constantinople, although his aid was necessary to the execution of the designs that had been formed against John. The wound assumed so alarming an appearance, that the surgeons were obliged to perform several operations on the leg; and at length mortification took place, and spread over the whole body, and even extended to the other foot. He expired soon afterwards in great agony.


WHEN Theophilus entered Constantinople, none of the clergy went out to meet him; for his enmity against the bishop had become publicly known. Some sailors from Alexandria, however, who chanced to be on the shore, both from the corn vessels as well as other ships, having collected together, received him with great acclamations of joy. Passing by the church, he proceeded directly to the palace, where a lodging had been prepared for his accommodation. He soon perceived that many people of the city were strongly prejudiced against John, and ready to bring accusations against him; and taking his measures accordingly, he repaired to a place called "The Oak," in the suburbs of Chalcedon. This place now bears the name of Rufinus; for he was a consul, and erected here a magnificent palace, and a great church in honor of the apostles, Peter and Paul, and therefore named it the Apostolium; and appointed a congregation of monks to perform the clerical duties in the church. When Theophilus and the other bishops met for deliberation in this place, he judged it expedient to make no further allusion to the works of Origen, and called the monks of Scetis to repentance, promising that there would be no recollection of wrongs nor infliction of evil. His partisans zealously seconded his efforts, and told them that they must ask Theophilus to pardon their conduct; and as all the members of the assembly concurred in this request, the monks were troubled, and believing that it was necessary to do what they were desired by so many bishops, they used the words which it was their custom to use even when injured, and said "spare us." Theophilus willingly received them into favor, and restored them to communion; and the question concerning the injuries done to the monks of Scetis was ended. I feel convinced that this matter would not have been so quickly settled, had Dioscorus and Ammonius been present with the other monks. But Dioscorus had died some time previously, and had been interred in the church dedicated to St. Mocius the martyr. Ammonius, also, had been taken ill at the very time that preparations were being made for the convocation of the council; and although he insisted upon repairing to "The Oak," yet his malady was thereby greatly increased: he died soon after his journey, and had a splendid entombment among the monks of that vicinity, and there he lies. Theophilus, it is said, shed tears on hearing of his death, and declared that although he had been the cause of much perplexity, there was not a monk to be found of more exalted character than Ammonius. It must, however, be admitted, that the death of this monk tended much to promote the success of the designs of Theophilus.

The members of the council summoned all the clergy of Constantinople to appear before them, and threatened to depose those who did not obey the summons. They cited John to appear and answer; as likewise Serapion, Tigrius a presbyter, and Paul a reader. John acquainted them, through the medium of Demetrius, bishop of Pisinus, and of some of the other clergy, who were his friends, that he would not avoid investigation, but that he was ready, if the names of his accusers and the subject of his accusations were made known to him, to justify his proceedings before a larger council; for he did not choose to be considered insane, and to recognize his manifest enemies as judges. The bishops testified so much indignation at the non-compliance of John, that some of the clergy whom he had sent to the council were intimidated and did not return to him. Demetrius, and those who preferred his interests to all other considerations, quitted the council, and returned to him. The same day, a courier and a shorthand writer were dispatched from the palace to command John to repair to the bishops, and to urge the bishops to decide his cause without further delay. After John had been cited four times, and had appealed to a general council, no other accusation could be substantiated against him, except his refusal to obey the summons of the council; and upon this ground they deposed him.


THE people of Constantinople were made acquainted with the decree of the council towards the evening; and they immediately rose up in sedition. At the break of day they ran to the church, and shouted, among many other plans, that a larger council ought to be convened to take cognizance of the matter; and they prevented the officers, who had been sent by the emperor to convey John into banishment, from carrying the edict into execution. John, apprehensive lest another accusation should be preferred against him, under the pretext that he had disobeyed the mandate of the emperor, or excited an insurrection among the people, when the multitude was dispersed, secretly made his escape from the church at noon, three days after his deposition. When the people became aware that he had gone into exile, the sedition became serious, and many insulting speeches were uttered against the emperor and the council; and particularly against Theophilus and Severian, who were regarded as the originators of the plot. Severian happened to be teaching in the church at the very time that these occurrences were taking place; and he took occasion to commend the deposition of John, and stated that, even supposing him guiltless of other crimes, John deserved to be deposed on account of his pride; because, while God willingly forgives men all other sins, he resists the proud. At this discourse the people became restive under the wrong, and renewed their wrath, and fell into unrestrainable revolt. They ran to the churches, to the market-places, and even to the palace of the emperor, and with howls and groans demanded the recall of John. The empress was at length overcome by their importunity; and she persuaded her husband to yield to the wishes of the people. She quickly sent a eunuch, named Briso, in whom she placed confidence, to bring back John from Prenetus, a city of Bithynia; and protested that she had taken no part in the machinations that had been carded on against him, but had, on the contrary, always respected him as a priest and the initiator of her children.

When John, on his journey homeward, reached the suburbs belonging to the empress, he stopped near Anaplus; and refused to re-enter the city until the injustice of his deposition had been recognized by a larger synod of bishops; but as this refusal tended to augment the popular excitement, and led to many public declamations against the emperor and the empress, he allowed himself to be persuaded to enter the city. The people went to meet him, singing psalms composed with reference to the circumstances; many carried light wax tapers. They conducted him to the church; and although he refused, and frequently affirmed that those who had condemned him ought first to reconsider their vote, yet they compelled him to take the episcopal throne, and to speak peace to the people according to the custom of the priests. He then delivered an extemporaneous discourse, in which, by a pleasing figure of speech, he declared that Theophilus had meditated an injury against his church, even as the king of Egypt had contemplated the violation of Sarah, the wife of the patriarch Abraham, which is recorded in the books of the Hebrews: he then proceeded to commend the zeal of the people, and to extol the emperor and the empress for their good will to him; he stirred the people to much applause and good acclaim for the emperor and his spouse, so that he had to leave his speech half ended.


ALTHOUGH Theophilus would fain have brought an accusation against John, under the plea that he had unlawfully reinstated himself in his bishopric, yet he was deterred from doing so by the fear of offending the emperor, who had been compelled to recall John, as the means of suppressing the popular insurrection. Theophilus, however, received an accusation against Heraclides during the absence of the accused, in the hope of thereby authorizing the sentence of condemnation which had been issued against John. But the friends of Heraclides interposed, and declared that it was unjust, and contrary to ecclesiastical law, to condemn one who was absent. Theophilus and his partisans maintained the opposite side of the question: the people of Alexandria and of Egypt sided with them, and were opposed by the citizens of Constantinople. The strife between the two parties became so vehement that bloodshed ensued; many were wounded, and others slain in the contest. Severian, and all the bishops at Constantinople who did not support the cause of John, became apprehensive for their personal safety, and quitted the city in haste. Theophilus, also, fled the city at the commencement of the winter; and, in company with Isaac the monk, sailed for Alexandria. A wind arose which drove the vessel to Gera, a small city about fifty stadia from Pelusium. The bishop of this city died, and the inhabitants, I have been informed, elected Nilammon to preside over their church; he was a good man, and had attained the summit of monastic philosophy. He dwelt without the city, in a cell of which the door was built up with stones. He refused to accept the dignity of the priesthood; and Theophilus, therefore, visited him in person, to exhort him to receive ordination at his hands. Nilammon repeatedly refused the honor; but, as Theophilus would take no refusal, he said to him, "'To-morrow, my father, you shall act as you please; to-day it is requisite that I should arrange my affairs." Theophilus repaired, on the following day, to the cell of the monk, and commanded the door to be opened; but Nilammon exclaimed, "Let us first engage in prayer." Theophilus complied and began to pray. Nilammon likewise prayed within his cell, and in the act of prayer he expired. Theophilus, and those who were standing with him without the cell, knew nothing at the time of what had occurred; but, when the greater part of the day had passed away, and the name of Nilammon had been loudly reiterated without his returning any answer, the stones were removed from the door, and the monk was found dead. They honored him with a public burial after they had clothed him in the necessary vestments, and the inhabitants built a house of prayer about his tomb; and they celebrate the day of his death, in a very marked way, until this day. Thus died Nilammon, if it can be called death to quit this life for another,—rather than accept a bishopric of which, with extraordinary modesty, he considered himself unworthy.

After his return to Constantinople, John appeared to be more than ever beloved by the people. Sixty bishops assembled together in that city, and annulled all the decrees of the council of "The Oak." They confirmed John in the possession of the bishopric, and enacted that he should officiate as a priest, confer ordination, and perform all the duties of the church usually devolving on the president. At this time Serapion was appointed bishop of Heraclea in Thrace.


NOT long after these occurrences the silver statue of the empress, which is still to be seen to the south of the church opposite the grand council-chamber, was placed upon a column of porphyry on a high platform, and the event was celebrated there with applause and popular spectacles of dances and mimes, as was then customary on the erection of the statues of the emperors. In a public discourse to the people John charged that these proceedings reflected dishonor on the Church. This remark recalled former grievances to the recollection of the empress, and irritated her so exceedingly at the insult that she determined to convene another council. He did not yield, but added fuel to her indignation by still more openly declaiming, against her in the church; and it was at this period that he pronounced the memorable discourse commencing with the words, "Herodias is again enraged; again she dances; again she seeks to have the head of John in a basin."

Several bishops arrived soon after at Constantinople, and amongst them were Leontius, bishop of Ancyra, and Acacius, bishop of Berea. The festival of our Lord's Nativity was then at hand, and the emperor, instead of repairing to the church as usual, sent to acquaint John that he could not hold communion with him until he had cleared himself of the charges. John spiritedly replied that he was ready to prove his innocence; and this so intimidated his accusers that they did not dare to follow up the charges. The judges decided that, having been once deposed, he ought not to be admitted to a second trial. But they called on John to defend himself on this point only, that after he had been deposed, he had sat on the episcopal throne before a synod had reinstated him. In his defense he appealed to the decision of the bishops who had, subsequently to the council of "The Oak," held communion with him. The judges waived this argument, under the plea that those who had held communion with John were inferior in point of number to those who had deposed him, and that a canon was in force by which he stood condemned. Under this pretext they therefore deposed him, although the law in question had been enacted by heretics; for the Arians, after having taken advantage of various calumnies to expel Athanasius from the church of Alexandria, enacted this law from the apprehension of a change in public affairs, for they struggled to have the decisions against him remain uninvestigated.


AFTER his deposition, John held no more assemblies in the church, but quietly remained in the episcopal dwelling-house. At the termination of the season of Quadragesima, on the same holy night in which the yearly festival in commemoration of the resurrection of Christ is celebrated, the followers of John were expelled from the church by the soldiers and his enemies, who attacked the people while still celebrating the mysteries. Since this occurrence was unforeseen, a great disturbance arose in the baptistery. The women wept and lamented, and the children screamed; the priests and the deacons were beaten, and were forcibly ejected from the church, in the priestly garments in which they had been officiating. They were charged with the commission of such disorderly acts as can be readily conceived by those who have been admitted to the mysteries, but which I consider it requisite to pass over in silence, lest my work should fall into the hands of the uninitiated.

When the people perceived the plot, they did not use the church on the following day, but celebrated the Paschal feast in the very spacious public baths called after the Emperor Constantius. Bishops and presbyters, and the rest, whose right it is to administer church matters, officiated. Those who espoused the cause of John were present with the people. They were, however, driven hence, and then assembled on a spot without the walls of the city, which the Emperor Constantine, before the city had been built, had caused to be cleared and inclosed with palisades, for the purpose of celebrating there the games of the hippodrome. From that period, the people held separate assemblies, sometimes, whenever it was feasible, in that locality, and sometimes in another. They obtained the name of Johnites. About this time, a man who was either possessed of a devil, or who feigned to have one, was seized, having a poniard on his person, with the intention of assassinating John. He was apprehended by the people as one who had been hired for this plot, and led to the prefect; but John sent some bishops of his party to free him from custody before he had been questioned by torture. Some time afterwards, a slave of Elpidius the presbyter, who was an avowed enemy of the deacon, was seen running as swiftly as possible towards the episcopal residence. A passer-by endeavored to stop him, in order to ascertain the cause of so much haste; but instead of answering him, the slave plunged his poniard into him. Another person, who happened to be standing by, and who cried out at seeing the other wounded, was also wounded in a similar way by the slave; as was likewise a third bystander. All the people in the neighborhood, on seeing what had occurred, shouted that the slave ought to be arrested. He turned and fled. When those who were pursuing called out to those ahead to seize the fugitive, a man, who just then came out from the baths, strove to stop him, and was so grievously wounded that he fell down dead on the spot. At length, the people contrived to encircle the slave. They seized him, and conveyed him to the palace of the emperor, declaring that he had intended to have assassinated John, and that the crime ought: to be visited with punishment. The prefect, allayed the fury of the people by putting the delinquent into custody, and by assuring them that justice should have its course against him.


FROM this period the most zealous of the people guarded John alternately, stationing themselves about the episcopal residence by night and by day. The bishops who had condemned him complained of this conduct as a violation of the laws of the Church, declared that they could answer for the justice of the sentence that had been enacted against him, and asserted that tranquillity would never be restored among the people until he had been expelled from the city. A messenger having conveyed to him a mandate from the emperor enjoining his immediate departure, John obeyed, and escaped from the city, unnoticed by those who had been appointed to guard him. He made no other censure than that, in being sent into banishment without a legal trial or any of the forms of the law, he was treated more severely than murderers, sorcerers, and adulterers. He was conveyed in a little bark to Bithynia, and thence immediately continued his journey. Some of his enemies were apprehensive lest the people, on hearing of his departure, should pursue him, and bring him back by force, and therefore commanded the gates of the church to be closed. When the people who were in the public places of the city heard of what had occurred, great confusion ensued; for some ran to the seashore as if they would follow him, and others fled hither and thither, and were in great terror since the wrath of the emperor was expected to visit them for creating so much disturbance and tumult. Those who were within the church barred the exits still further by rushing together upon them, and by pressing upon one another. With difficulty they forced the doors open by the use of great violence; one party shattered them with stones, another was pulling them toward themselves, and was thus forcing the crowd backward into the building. Meanwhile the church was suddenly consumed on all sides with fire. The flames extended in all directions, and the grand house of the senatorial council, adjacent to the church on the south, was doomed. The two parties mutually accused each other of incendiarism. The enemies of John asserted that his partisans had been guilty of the deed from revenge, on account of the vote that had been passed against him by the council. These latter, on the other hand, maintained that they had been calumniated, and that the deed was perpetrated by their enemies, with the intention of burning them in the church. While the fire was spreading from late afternoon until the morning, and creeping forward to the material which was still standing, the officers who held John in custody conveyed him to Cucusus, a city of Armenia, which the emperor by letter had appointed as the place of residence for the condemned man. Other officers were commissioned to arrest all the bishops and clerics who had favored the cause of John, and to imprison them in Chalcedon. Those citizens who were suspected of attachment to John were sought out and cast into prison, and compelled to pronounce anathema against him.


ARSACIUS, brother of Nectarius, who had administered the bishopric before John, was, not long afterwards, ordained as bishop of Constantinople. He was of a very mild disposition, and possessed of great piety; but the reputation he had acquired as a presbyter was diminished by the conduct of some of the clergy to whom he delegated his power, and who did what they pleased in his name; for their evil deeds were imputed to him. Nothing, however, operated so much to his disadvantage as the persecution that was carried on against the followers of John. They refused to hold communion, or even to join in prayer with him, because the enemies of John were associated with him; and as they persisted, as we have before stated, in holding a church in the further parts of the city, he complained to the emperor of their conduct. The tribune was commanded to attack them with a body of soldiers, and by means of clubs and stones he soon dispersed them. The most distinguished among them in point of rank, and those who were most zealous in their adherence to John, were cast into prison. The soldiers as is usual on such occasions, went beyond their orders, and forcibly stripped the women of their ornaments, and carried off as booty their chains, their golden girdles, necklaces, and their collars of rings; they pulled off the lobes of the ear with the earrings. Although the whole city was thus filled with trouble and lamentation, the affection of the people for John still remained the same, and they refrained from appearing in public. Many of them absented themselves from the market-place and public baths, while others, not considering themselves safe in their own houses, fled the city.

Among the zealous men and excellent women who adopted this latter measure was Nicarete, a lady of Bithynia. She belonged to a noted family of the nobility, and was celebrated on account of her perpetual virginity and her virtuous life. She was the most modest of all the zealous women that we have ever known, and was well ordered in manner and speech and in behavior, and throughout her life she invariably preferred the service of God to all earthly considerations. She showed herself capable of enduring with courage and thought the sudden reversals of adverse affairs; she saw herself unjustly despoiled of the greater part of her ample patrimony without manifesting any indignation, and managed the little that remained to her with so much economy, that although she was advanced in age, she contrived to supply all the wants of her household, and to contribute largely to others. Since she loved a humane spirit, she also prepared a variety of remedies for the needs of the sick poor, and she frequently succeeded in curing patients who had derived no benefit from the skill of the customary physicians. With a devout strength which assisted her in reaching the best results, she closed her lips. To sum up all in a few words, we have never known a devoted woman endowed with such manners, gravity, and every other virtue. Although she was so extraordinary, she concealed the greater part of her nature and deeds; for by modesty of character and philosophy she was always studious of concealment. She would not accept of the office of deaconess, nor of instructress of the virgins consecrated to the service of the Church, because she accounted herself unworthy, although the honor was frequently pressed upon her by John.

After the popular insurrection had been quelled, the prefect of the city appeared in public, as if to inquire into the cause of the conflagration, and the burning of the council-hall, and punished many severely; but being a pagan, he ridiculed the calamities of the Church, and delighted in its misfortunes.


EUTROPIUS, a reader, was required to name the persons who had set fire to the church; but although he was scourged severely, although his sides and cheeks were torn with iron nails, and although lighted torches were applied to the most sensitive parts of his body, no confession could be extorted from him, notwithstanding his youth and delicacy of constitution. After having been subjected to these tortures, he was cast into a dungeon, where he soon afterwards expired.

A dream of Sisinius concerning Eutropius seems worthy of insertion in this history. Sisinius, the bishop of the Novatians, saw in his sleep a man, conspicuous for beauty and stature, standing near the altar of the church which the Novatians erected to the honor of Stephen, the proto- martyr; the man complained of the rarity of good men, and said that he had been searching throughout the entire city, and had found but one who was good, and that one was Eutropius. Astonished at what he had seen, Sisinius made known the dream to the most faithful of the presbyters of his church, and commanded him to seek Eutropius wherever he might be. The presbyter rightly conjectured that this Eutropius could be no other than he who had been so barbarously tortured by the prefect, and went from prison to prison in quest of him. At length he found him, and in conversation with him made known the dream of the bishop, and besought him with tears to pray for him. SUch are the details we possess concerning Eutropius.

Great fortitude was evinced in the midst of these calamities by Olympias, the deaconess. Being dragged for this reason before the tribunal, and interrogated by the prefect as to her motives in setting fire to the church, she replied, "My past life ought to avert all suspicion from me, for I have devoted my large property to the restoration of the temples of God." The prefect alleged that he was well acquainted with her past course of life. "Then," continued she, "you ought to appear in the place of the accuser and let another judge us." As the accusation against her was wholly unsubstantiated by proofs, and as the prefect found that he had no ground on which he could justly blame her, he changed to a milder charge as if desirous of advising her, finding fault with her and the other women, because they refused communion with his bishop, although it was possible for them to repent and to change their own circumstances. They all through fear deferred to the advice of the prefect, but Olympias said to him, "It is not just that, after having been publicly calumniated, without having had anything proved against me in the courts, I should be obliged to clear myself of charges totally unconnected with the accusation in question. Let me rather take counsel concerning the original accusation that has been preferred against me. For even if you resort to unlawful compulsion, I will not hold communion with those from whom I ought to secede, nor consent to anything that is not lawful to the pious." The prefect, finding that he could not prevail upon her to hold communion with Arsacius, dismissed her that she might consult the advocates. On another occasion, however, he again sent for her and condemned her to pay a heavy fine, for he imagined by this means she would be compelled to change her mind. But she totally disregarded the loss of her property, and quitted Constantinople for Cyzicus. Tigrius, a presbyter, was about the same period stripped of his clothes, scourged on the back, bound hand and foot, and stretched on the rack. He was a barbarian by race, and a eunuch, but not by birth. He was originally a slave in the house of a man in power, and on account of his faithful services had obtained his freedom. He was afterwards ordained as presbyter, and was distinguished by his moderation and meekness of disposition, and by his charity towards strangers and the poor. Such were the events which took place in Constantinople.

Meanwhile Siricius had died, after having administered the bishopric of Rome fifteen years. Anastasius held the same bishopric three years, and then died, and was succeeded by Innocent. Flavian, who refused his consent to the deposition of John, was also dead; and Porphyry, being appointed to succeed him in the church of Antioch, where he agreed with those who had condemned John, many of those in Syria seceded from the church in Antioch, and because they made congregations among themselves, they were subjected to many cruelties. For the purpose of enforcing fellowship with Arsacius, and with this Porphyry and Theophilus, the bishop of Alexandria, a law was established, by the zeal of the powerful at court, that those who were orthodox should not assemble outside of the churches, and those who were not in communion with them should be expelled.


ABOUT this period the dissensions by which the Church was agitated were followed, as is frequently the case, by disturbances and commotions in the state. The Huns crossed the Ister and devastated Thrace. The robbers in Isauria gathered in great numbers and ravaged cities and villages as far as Caria and Phoenicia. Stilicho, the general of Honorius, a man who had attained great power, if any one ever did, and had under his sway the flower of the Roman and of the barbarian soldiery, conceived feelings of enmity against the rulers who held office under Arcadius, and determined to set the two empires at enmity with each other. He caused Alaric, the leader of the Goths, to be appointed by Honorius to the office of general of the Roman troops, and sent him into Illyria; whither also he dispatched Jovius, the praetorian prefect, and promised to join them there with the Roman soldiers in order to add that province to the dominions of Honorius. Alaric marched at the head of his troops from the barbarous regions bordering on Dalmatia and Pannonia, and came to Epirus; and after waiting for some time there, he returned to Italy. Stilicho was prevented from fulfilling his agreement to join Alaric, by some letters which were transmitted to him from Honorius. These events happened in the manner narrated.


INNOCENT, bishop of Rome, was extremely indignant when apprised of the measures that had been adopted against John, and condemned the whole proceedings. He then turned his attention to the convocation of an oecumenical council, and wrote to John and to the clergy of Constantinople in part. Subjoined are the two letters, precisely as I found them, translated from the Latin into Greek.

"Innocent, to the beloved brother John.

"Although one conscious of his own innocence ought to expect every blessing and to ask for mercy from God, yet it seems well to us to send you a befitting letter by Cyriacus, the deacon, and to counsel you to long- suffering, lest the contumely cast upon you should have more power in subduing your courage than the testimony of a good conscience in encouraging you to hope. It is not requisite to teach you, who are the teacher and pastor of so great a people, that God always tries the best of men to see whether they will continue in the height of patience, and will not give way to any labor of suffering; and how true it is that the conscience is a firm thing against all that befalls us unjustly, and unless one be moved in these misfortunes by patience, he furnishes a ground for evil surmising. For he ought to endure everything, who first trusts in God, and then in his own conscience. Especially when an excellent and good man can exercise himself in endurance, he cannot be overcome; for the Holy Scriptures guard his thoughts, and the devout lections, which we expound to the people, abound in examples. These Scriptures assure us that almost all the saints are variously and continuously afflicted, and are tested by some investigation, and so have come to the crown of patience. Let thy conscience encourage thy love, O most honored brother; for that faculty amid tribulations possesses an encouragement for virtue. For since Christ, the Master, is observing, the purified conscience will station you in the haven of peace."

"Innocent, the bishop, to the presbyters, deacons, and all the clergy, and to the people of the church of Constantinople under John, the bishop, greeting to you, beloved brethren.

"From the letters of your love that you forwarded to me through Germanus, the presbyter, and Cassianus, the deacon, I have learned, with anxious solicitude, the scenes of evil which you have placed before our eyes. I have frequently seen during its repeated reading with what calamities and labors the faith is wearied. Only the consolation of patience heals such a state of affairs. Our God will shortly put an end to such tribulations, and they will eventually tend to your profit. But we recognized with approbation your proposition, placed at the beginning of the letter of your love; to wit, that this very consolation is necessary, and embraces many proofs of your patience; for our consolation, which we ought to have conveyed, you have anticipated in your epistle. Our Lord is wont to furnish this patience to the suffering, in order that when they fall into tribulations, the servants of Christ may encourage themselves; for they should reason within themselves that what they suffer has happened previously to the saints. And even we ourselves derive comfort from your letters, for we are not strangers to your sufferings; but we are disciplined in you. Who, indeed, can endure to witness the errors introduced by those who were bound especially to be enthusiasts for the quiet of peace and for its concord? But far from maintaining peace, they expel guiltless priests from the front seat of their own churches. John, our brother and fellow-minister and your bishop, has been the first to suffer this unjust treatment without being allowed a hearing. No accusation was brought, none was heard. What proposition was it that was nullified, so that no show of judgment might arise or be sought? Others were seated in the places of living priests, as though any who began from such discord would be able to possess anything or do anything rightly in any one's judgment. We have never known such audacities to have been done by our fathers. They rather prohibited such innovations by refusing to give power to any one to be ordained in another's place while the occupant was living, since he is unable to be a bishop who is unjustly substituted.

"With respect to the observance of canons, we declare that those defined at Nicaea are alone entitled to the obedience and recognition of the Catholic Church. If any individuals should attempt to introduce other canons, at variance with those of Nicaea, and such as are a compilation by heretics, such canons ought to be rejected by the Catholic Church, for it is not lawful to add the inventions of heretics to the Catholic canons. For they always wish to belittle the decision of the Nicene fathers through opponents and lawless men. We say, then, that the canons we have censured are not only to be disregarded, but to be condemned with the dogmas of heretics and schismatics, even as they have been formerly condemned at the council of Sardica by the bishops who were our predecessors. For it would be better, O most honored brethren, that these transactions be condemned, than that any actions should be confirmed contrary to the canons.

"What measures ought we to adopt now in the present circumstances against such deeds? It is necessary that there be a synodical investigation, and a synod we long ago said should be gathered. There are no other means of arresting the fury of the tempest. In order that we may attain this it will be profitable meanwhile for that healing to be exalted which comes by the will of the great God and of His Christ, our Lord. We shall thus behold the cessation of all the woes which have been excited by the envy of the devil, and which have served as trials for our faith. If we remain steadfast in the faith, there is nothing that we ought not to expect from the Lord. We are constantly watching for the opportunity of convening an oecumenical council, whereby, in accordance with the will of God, an end may be put to these harassing commotions. Let us, then, endure in the interval, and, fortified by the wall of patience, let us trust in the help of our God for the restoration of all things.

"We had previously been made acquainted with all that you have related concerning your trials, by our fellow-bishops Demetrius, Cyriacus, Eulysius, and Palladius, who visited Rome at different periods and are now with us; from them we had learned all the details by a complete inquiry."


Such were the letters of Innocent from which the opinion which he entertained of John may readily be inferred. About the same period some hailstones of extraordinary magnitude fell at Constantinople and in the suburbs of the city. Four days afterwards, the wife of the emperor died. These occurrences were by many regarded as indications of Divine wrath on account of the persecution that had been carried on against John. For Cyrinus, bishop of Chalcedon, one of his principal calumniators, had long previously terminated his life in the midst of great bodily agony, arising from the accident that had occurred to his foot, and the consequent necessary amputation of the leg by the physicians. Arsacius, too, died after he had presided but a very short period over the church of Constantinople. Many candidates were proposed as his successor; and four months after his decease, Atticus, a presbyter, of the clergy of Constantinople, and one of the enemies of John, was ordained. He was a native of Sebaste in Armenia. He had been instructed from his youth in the principles of monastic philosophy by monks of the Macedonian heresy. These monks, who then enjoyed a very high reputation at Sebaste for philosophy, were of the discipline of Eustathius, to whom allusion has been already made as bishop there, and a leader of the best monks. When Atticus attained the age of manhood, he embraced the tenets of the Catholic Church. He possessed more by nature than by learning, and became a participant in affairs, and was as skillful in carrying on intrigues as in evading the machinations of others. He was of a very engaging disposition, and was beloved by many. The discourses which he delivered in the church did not rise above mediocrity; and although not totally devoid of erudition, they were not accounted by his auditors of sufficient value to be preserved in writing. Being intent, if an opportunity offered itself anywhere, he exercised himself in the most approved Greek authors; but lest, in conversation about these writers, he might appear unlettered, he frequently concealed what he did know. It is said that he manifested much zeal in behalf of those who entertained the same sentiments as himself, and that he rendered himself formidable to the heterodox. When he wished he could easily throw them into alarm; but he at once transformed himself and would appear meek. Such is the information which those who knew the man have furnished.

John acquired great celebrity even in his exile. He possessed ample pecuniary resources, and being besides liberally supplied with money by Olympias, the deaconess, and others, he purchased the liberty of many captives from the Isaurian robbers, and restored them to their families. He also administered to the necessities of many who were in want; and by his kind words comforted those who did not stand in need of money. Hence he was exceedingly beloved not only in Armenia, where he dwelt, but by all the people of the neighboring countries, and the inhabitants of Antioch and of the other parts of Syria, and of Cilicia, who frequently sought his society.


INNOCENT, bishop of Rome, was very anxious, as appears by his former letter, to procure the recall of John. He sent five bishops and two presbyters of the Roman church, with the bishops who had been delegated as ambassadors to him from the East, to the emperors Honorius and Arcadius, to request the convocation of a council, and solicit them to name time and place. The enemies of John at Constantinople framed a charge as though these things were done to insult the Eastern emperor, and caused the ambassadors to be ignominiously dismissed as if they had invaded a foreign government. John was at the same time condemned by an imperial edict to a remoter place of banishment, and soldiers were sent to conduct him to Pityus; the soldiers were soon on hand, and effected the removal. It is said that during this journey, Basiliscus, the martyr, appeared to him at Comani, in Armenia, and apprised him of the day of his death. Being attacked with pain in the head, and being unable to bear the heat of the sun, he could not prosecute his journey, but closed his life in that town.



SUCH are the details that have been transmitted concerning John. Not long after his death, and three years after the elevation of Atticus to the bishopric of Constantinople, and during the consulate of Bassus and Philip, Arcadius died. He left Theodosius, his son, who was just weaned, as his successor to the empire. He also left three daughters of tender age, named Pulcheria, Arcadia, and Marina.

It appears to me that it was the design of God to show by the events of this period, that piety alone suffices for the salvation of princes; and that without piety, armies, a powerful empire, and every other resource, are of no avail. The Divine Power which is the guardian of the universe, foresaw that the emperor would be distinguished by his piety, and therefore determined that Pulcheria, his sister, should be the protector of him and of his government. This princess was not yet fifteen years of age, but had received a mind most wise and divine above her years. She first devoted her virginity to God, and instructed her sisters in the same course of life. To avoid all cause of jealousy and intrigue, she permitted no man to enter her palace. In confirmation of her resolution, she took God, the priests, and all the subjects of the Roman empire as witnesses to her self-dedication. In token of her virginity and the headship of her brother, she consecrated in the church of Constantinople, a holy table, a remarkable fabric and very beautiful to see; it was made of gold and precious stones; and she inscribed these things on the front of the table, so that it might be patent to all. After quietly resuming the care of the state, she governed the Roman empire excellently and with great orderliness; she concerted her measures so well that the affairs to be carried out were quickly decreed and completed. She was able to write and to converse with perfect accuracy in the Greek and Latin languages. She caused all affairs to be transacted in the name of her brother, and devoted great attention to bringing him up as a prince in the best possible way and with such information as was suitable to his years. She had him taught by the most skilled men, in horsemanship, and the practice of arms, and in letters. But he was systematically taught by his sister to be orderly and princely in his manners; she showed him how to gather up his robes, and how to take a seat, and how to walk; she trained him to restrain laughter, to assume a mild or a formidable aspect as the occasion might require, and to inquire with urbanity into the cases of those who came before him with petitions. But she strove chiefly, to lead him into piety, and to pray continuously; she taught him to frequent the church regularly, and to honor the houses of prayer with gifts and treasures; and she inspired him with reverence for priests and other good men, and for those who, in accordance with the law of Christianity, had devoted themselves to philosophy. She provided zealously and wisely that religion might not be endangered by the innovation of spurious dogmas. That new heresies have not prevailed in our times, we shall find to be due especially to her, as we shall subsequently see. With how much fear she worshiped God, it would take long for any one to say; and how many houses of prayer she built magnificently, and how many hostelries and monastic communities she established, the arrangement for the expenses for their perpetual support, and the provision for the inmates. If any one pleases to examine the truth from the business itself, and not to be convinced by my words, he will learn that they are not falsely described by me for my own favor, if he will investigate the testimonial documents written up by the stewards of her house, and if he will inquire from the true records whether the facts agree with my history. If these proofs alone do not satisfy him so as to make him believe, let God himself persuade him who had her in favor altogether and everywhere on account of her conduct, so that He heard her prayer readily, and frequently directed beforehand the things which ought to be done. Such indications of Divine love are not conferred upon men unless they have merited them by their works. But I willingly pass over for the present the many separate manifestations of Divine favor that were granted to the sister of the emperor as proofs that she was loved of God, lest anybody should blame me for having set out to do other things, and yet had turned to the use of encomiums. One incident relating to her seems, however, so fitting in itself and to my ecclesiastical history, and so evident a demonstration of her love for God, that I will relate it here, although it happened some time afterwards. It is as follows:—


A WOMAN by name Eusebia, who was a deaconess of the Macedonian sect, had a house and garden without the walls of Constantinople, in which she kept the holy remains of forty soldiers, who had suffered martyrdom under Licinius at Sebaste in Armenia. When she felt death approaching, she bequeathed the aforesaid place to some orthodox monks, and bound them by oath to bury her there, and to hew out separately a place above her head at the top of her coffin, and to deposit the relics of the martyrs with her, and to inform no one. The monks did so; but in order to render due honor to the martyrs secretly, according to the agreement with Eusebia, they formed a subterranean house of prayer near her tomb. But open to view, an edifice was erected above the foundation, inclosed with baked bricks, and a secret descent from it to the martyrs. Soon after, Caesar, a man among those in power, who had formerly been advanced to the dignity of consul and prefect, lost his wife, and caused her to be interred near the tomb of Eusebia; for the two ladies had been knit together by the most tender friendship, and had been of one mind on all doctrinal and religious subjects. Caesar was hence induced to purchase this place so that he might be entombed near his wife. The aforesaid monks settled elsewhere, and without divulging anything about the martyrs. After this, when the building was demolished, and when the earth and refuse were scattered about, the whole place was smoothed off. For Caesarius himself erected there a magnificent temple to God to the honor of Thyrsus, the martyr. It appears probable that God designedly willed the aforesaid place to disappear, and so long a time to elapse in order that the discovery of the martyrs might be regarded as more marvelous and a more conspicuous event, and as a proof of the Divine favor towards the discoverer. The discoverer was, in fact, no other than the Empress Pulcheria, the sister of the emperor. The admirable Thyrsus appeared to her three times, and revealed to her those concealed beneath the earth; and commanded that they should be deposited near his tomb, in order that they might share in the same position and honor. The forty martyrs themselves also appeared to her, arrayed in shining robes. But the occurrence seemed too marvelous to be credible, and altogether impossible; for the aged of clergy of that region, after having frequently prosecuted inquiries, had not been able to indicate the position of the martyrs, nor indeed had any one else. At length, when everything was hopeless, Polychronius, a certain presbyter, who had formerly been a servant in the household of Caesar, was reminded by God that the locality in question had once been inhabited by monks. He therefore went to the clergy of the Macedonian sect to inquire concerning them. All the monks were dead, with the exception of one, who seemed to have been preserved in life for the express purpose of pointing out the spot where the relics of the holy martyrs were concealed. Polychronius. questioned him closely on the subject, and finding that, on account of the agreement made with Eusebia, his answers were somewhat undecided, he made known to him the Divine revelation and the anxiety of the empress, as well as the failure of her recourses. The monk then confessed that God had declared the truth to the empress; for at the time when he was an overgrown boy, and was taught the monastic life by its aged leaders, he remembered exactly that the relics of the martyrs had been deposited near the tomb of Eusebia; but that the subsequent lapse of time, and the changes which had been carried on in that locality, deprived him of the power of recalling to his recollection whether the relics had been deposited beneath the church or in any other spot. And further said Polychronius, "I have not suffered a like lapse of memory, for I remember that I was present at the interment of the wife of Caesar, and, as well as I can judge from the relative situation of the high road, I infer that she must have been buried beneath the ambo"; this is the platform for the readers. "Therefore," subjoined the monk, "it must be near the remains of Caesar's wife that the tomb of Eusebia must be sought; for the two ladies lived on terms of the closest friendship and intimacy, and mutually agreed to be interred beside each other." When it was necessary to dig, according to the aforesaid intimations, and to track out the sacred relics, and the empress had learned the facts, she commanded them to begin the work. On digging up the earth by the ambo, the coffin of Caesar's wife was discovered according to the conjecture of Polychronius. At a short distance on the side they found the, pavement of baked bricks, and a marble tablet of equal dimensions, each the measure of the bricks, under which the coffin of Eusebin was disclosed; and dose by was an oratory, elegantly inclosed with white and purple marble. The cover of the tomb was in the form, of a holy table, and at the summit, where the relics were deposited, a small orifice was visible. A man attached to the palace, who happened to be standing by, thrust a cane which he held in his hand into the orifice; and on withdrawing the cane he held it to his nose, and inhaled a sweet odor of myrrh, which inspired the workmen and bystanders with fresh confidence. When they had eagerly opened the coffin, the remains of Eusebia were found, and near her head was the prominent part of the tomb fashioned exactly in the form of a chest, and was concealed within by its own cover; and the iron which inclosed it on each side at the edges was firmly held together by lead. In the middle, the same orifice again appeared, and still more clearly revealed the fact of the relics being concealed within. As soon as the discovery was announced, they ran to the church of the martyr, and sent for smiths to unfasten the iron bars, and easily drew off the lid. A great many perfumes were found thereunder, and among the perfumes two silver caskets were found in which lay the holy relics. Then the princess returned thanks to God for having accounted her worthy of so great a manifestation and for attaining the discovery of the holy relics. After this she honored the martyrs with the costliest casket; and on the conclusion of a public festival which was celebrated with befitting honor and with a procession to the accompaniment of psalms, and at which I was present, the relics were placed alongside of the godlike Thyrsus. And others who were present can also bear testimony that these things were done in the way described, for almost all of them still survive. And the event occurred much later, when Proclus governed the church of Constantinople.


IT is said that God frequently in many other cases revealed to the princess what was about to happen, and that the most occurred to her and her sisters as witnesses of the Divine love. They all pursue the same mode of life; they are sedulous about the priests and the houses of prayer, and are munificent to needy strangers and the poor. These sisters generally take their meals and walks together, and pass their days and their nights in company, singing the praises of God. As is the custom with exemplary women, they employ themselves in weaving and in similar occupations. Although princesses, born and educated in palaces, they avoid levity and idleness, which they think unworthy of any who profess virginity, so they put such indolence far from their own life. For this reason the mercy of God is manifested and is conquering in behalf of their house; for He increases the emperor in years and government; every conspiracy and war concocted against him has been overthrown of itself.


ALTHOUGH the Persians had prepared to take up arms, they were induced to conclude a truce with the Romans for a hundred years?

Stilicho, the general of the troops of Honorius, was suspected of having conspired to proclaim his son Eucherius emperor of the East, and was, in consequence, slain by the army at Ravenna. He had, at a former period, while Arcadius was still living, conceived bitter feelings of enmity against his officers, and was hence impelled to bring the two empires into collision. He caused Alaric, the leader of the Goths, to secure the office of general of the Romans, and advised him to seize Illyria; and, having sent forward Jovian, the appointed prefect, he agreed to join him shortly with Roman troops, and to reduce its subjects under the rule of Honorius. Alaric quitted the barbarous region bordering on Dalmatia and Pannonia, where he had been dwelling, and marched at the head of his soldiery to Epirus; after remaining for some time in that country, he retreated to Italy, without having accomplished anything. For he was about to migrate according to the agreement, but he was restrained by the letters of Honorius. After the death of Arcadius, Honorius projected a journey to Constantinople, in behalf of his nephew, to appoint officers faithful to his security and empire; for he held his nephew in the place of his son, and he was fearful lest the boy might suffer on account of his youth, since he would be exposed to plots; but when Honorius was on the very point of setting out on this journey, Stilicho dissuaded him from his design, by proving to him that his presence was requisite in Italy, to repress the schemes of Constantine, who sought to possess himself of the sovereign power at Aries. Stilicho then took that one of the sceptres which the Romans call Labarum, obtained some letters from the emperor, with which he set out, at the head of four legions, to carry on war in the East; but a report having been spread that he had conspired against the emperor, and had formed a scheme, in conjunction with those in power, to raise his son to the throne, the troops rose up in sedition, and slew the praetorian prefect of Italy and of Gaul, the military commanders, and the chief officers of the court. Stilicho himself was slain by the soldiers at Ravenna. He had attained almost absolute power; and all men, so to speak, whether Romans or barbarians, were under his control. Thus perished Stilicho, on a suspicion of having conspired against the emperors. Eucherius, his son, was also slain.


IT happened about the same time that the Huns, who were encamped in Thrace, retreated disgracefully and cast off many of their number although they had neither been attacked nor pursued. Uldis, the leader of the barbarous tribes who dwell near the Ister, crossed that river at the head of a large army, and encamped on the frontiers of Thrace. He took possession by treachery of a city of Moesia, called Castra Martis, and thence made incursions into the rest of Thrace, and insolently refused to enter into terms of alliance with the Romans. The prefect of the Thracian soldiers made propositions of peace to him, but he replied by pointing to the sun, and declaring that it would be easy to him, if he desired to do so, to subjugate every region of the earth that is enlightened by that luminary. But while Uldis was uttering menaces of this description, and was ordering as large a tribute as he pleased, and that on this condition peace could be established with the Romans or the war would continue, — when affairs were so helpless, God gave manifest proofs of special favor towards the present reign; for, shortly afterwards, the immediate attendants and the leaders of the tribes of Uldis were discussing the Roman form of government the philanthropy of the emperor, and his promptitude and liberality in rewarding the best and good men. It was not without God that they turned to the love of the points so discussed and seceded to the Romans, to whose camp they joined themselves, together with the troops ranged under themselves. Finding himself thus abandoned, Uldis escaped with difficulty to the opposite bank of the river. Many of his troops were slain; and among others the whole of the barbarous tribe called the Sciri. This tribe had been very strong in point of numbers before falling into this misfortune. Some of them were killed; and others were taken prisoners, and conveyed in chains to Constantinople. The governors were of opinion that, if allowed to remain together, they would probably make a revolution. Some of them were, therefore, sold at a low price; while others were given away as slaves for presents, upon condition that they should never be permitted to return to Constantinople, or to Europe, but be separated by the sea from the places familiar to them. Of these, a number was left unsold; and they were ordered to settle in different places. I have seen many in Bithynia, near Mount Olympus, living apart from one another, and cultivating the hills and valleys of that region.


THUS was the Eastern Empire preserved from the evils of war, and governed with high order, contrary to all expectations, for its ruler was still young. In the meantime, the Western Empire fell a prey to disorders, because many tyrants arose. After the death of Stilicho, Alaric, the leader of the Goths, sent an embassy to Honorius to treat of peace; but without avail. He advanced to Rome, and laid siege to it; and by posting a large army of barbarians on the banks of the Tiber, he effectually prevented the transmission of all provisions into the city from Portus. After the siege had lasted some time, and fearful ravages had been made in the city by famine and pestilence, many of the slaves, and most of the barbarians by race within the walls, deserted to Alaric. Those among the senators who still adhered to pagan superstition, proposed to offer sacrifices in the Capitol and the other temples; and certain Tuscans, who were summoned by the prefect of the city, promised to drive out the barbarians with thunder and lightning; they boasted of having performed a similar exploit at Larnia, a city of Tuscany, which Alaric had passed by for Rome, and had not taken. The event, however, proved that no advantage could be derived from these persons for the city. All persons of good sense were aware that the calamities which this siege entailed upon the Romans were indications of Divine wrath sent to chastise them for their luxury, their debauchery, and their manifold acts of injustice towards each other, as well as towards strangers. It is said that, when Alaric was marching against Rome, a good monk of Italy besought him to spare the city, and not to become the author of so many calamities. Alaric, in reply, assured him that he did not feel disposed to commence the siege, but that some resistless influence compelled and commanded him to go against Rome; and this he eventually did. While he was besieging the city, the inhabitants presented many gifts to him, and for some time he raised the siege, when the Romans agreed to persuade the emperor to enter into a treaty of peace with him.


ALTHOUGH ambassadors were dispatched to treat of peace, the enemies of Alaric at the court of the emperor sedulously guarded against the conclusion of any treaty with him. But after this, when an embassy had been sent to him by Innocent, bishop of Rome, and Alaric was summoned by a letter of the emperor, he repaired to the city of Ariminum, which is two hundred and ten stadia distant from Ravenna.

He encamped beyond the walls of the city; and Jovius, the prefect of Italy, held a conference with him and conveyed his demands to the emperor, one of which was, that he might be appointed by an edict to the generalship of the cavalry and infantry. The emperor gave full power to Jovius to grant Alaric as much money and provision as he might desire, but refused ever to confer this dignity upon him. Jovius unadvisedly awaited the messenger from the palace, in the camp of Alaric; and commanded the decision of the emperor to be read in the presence of all the barbarians. On finding that the dignity was denied him, Alaric was enraged at the result, ordered the trumpets to be sounded, and marched towards Rome. Jovius, apprehensive of being suspected by the emperor of siding with Alaric, committed a still greater act of imprudence by taking an oath on the safety of the emperor, and compelling the principal officers to swear that they would never consent to any terms of peace with Alaric. The barbarian chief, however, soon after changed his mind, and sent word he did not desire any post of dignity, but was willing to act as an ally of the Romans, provided that they would grant him a certain quantity of corn, and some territory of secondary importance to them, in which he might establish himself.


After having sent some bishops as ambassadors, on two different occasions, to treat on this subject, but without effect, Alaric returned to Rome, and besieged the city; he took possession of one part of Portus, and compelled the Romans to recognize Attalus, then prefect of the city, as their king. When the Romans had been nominated for the other offices, Alaric was appointed general of the cavalry and infantry, and Ataulphus, the brother of his wife, was raised to the command of the force called the domestic cavalry. Attalus assembled the senators, and addressed them in a long and very elaborate discourse, in which he promised to restore the ancient customs of the senate, and also to bring Egypt and the other Eastern provinces under the sway of Italy. Such was the boastfulness of a man, who was not destined to bear the name of sovereign during the space of a single year. He was deceived by the representations of some diviners, who assured him that he would be able to conquer Africa without a battle; he disobeyed Alaric, who urged him to send a moderate force to Carthage, to slay the officers of Honorius, in case of their attempting any resistance. He also refused to follow the counsels of John, to whom he had given the command of the royal cohorts about his own person, and who advised him to entrust Constans, on his proposed departure for Libya, with a document which they call edict, as though sent by Honorius, by which Heraclean might be dispossessed of office; he had been entrusted. with the rule of the soldiers in Africa. Had this artifice been adopted, it would probably have proved successful, for the designs of Attalus were unknown in Libya. But as soon as Constans had set sail for Carthage, according to the advice of the diviners, Attalus was so weak in mind that he did not think it doubtful, but believed that the Africans would be his subjects, according to the prediction of the diviners, and marched at the head of his army towards Ravenna. When it was announced that Attalus had reached Ariminum, with an army composed partly of Roman and partly of barbarian troops, Honorius wrote to him to acknowledge him as emperor, and deputed the highest officers of his court to wait upon him, and offer him a share in the empire. Attalus, however, refused to share power with another, and sent word that Honorius might choose an island or any spot of ground that he pleased for his private residence, and that he would be allowed every imperial service. The affairs of Honorius were reduced to so critical a condition, that ships were kept in readiness to convey him, if it were necessary, to his nephew, when an army of four thousand men which had started from the west arrived unexpectedly during the night at Ravenna; Honorius caused the walls of the city to be guarded by this reinforcement, for he distrusted the native troops as inclined to treachery.

In the meantime Heraclean had put Constans to death, and had ranged troops along the ports and coasts of Africa to hinder the merchant vessels from going to Rome. When, as a consequence, a famine seized the Romans, they sent a deputation to Attalus about it. Being at a loss what measures to adopt, he returned to Rome to consult the senate. The famine was so grievous that chestnuts were used by the people to supply the place of corn, and some persons were suspected of having partaken of human flesh. Alaric advised that five hundred barbarians should be sent into Africa against Heraclean, but the senators and Attalus objected that Africa ought not to be entrusted to barbarians. It then became evident to Alaric that God disapproved of the rule of Attalus; and finding that it would be futile to labor for a matter which was beyond his power, and after receiving certain pledges, he agreed with Honorius to deprive Attalus of his sovereignty. All the parties concerned assembled together without the walls of the city, and Attalus threw aside the symbols of imperial power. His officers also threw aside their girdles, and Honorius granted pardon to all for these occurrences, and each was to hold the honor and office which he had first had. Attalus retired with his son to Alaric, for he thought his life would not be in safety as yet, if he continued to dwell among the Romans.


The failure which had attended the designs of Attalus was a source of deep displeasure the pagans and Christians of the Arian heresy. The pagans had inferred from the known predilections and early education of Attalus, that he would openly maintain their superstitions, and restore their ancient temples, their festivals, and their altars. The Arians imagined that, as soon as he found his reign firmly established, Attalus would reinstate them in the supremacy over the churches which they had enjoyed during the reigns of Constantius and of Valens; for he had been baptized by Sigesarius, bishop of the Goths, to the great satisfaction of Alaric and the Arian party.

Soon after, Alaric stationed himself among the Alps, at a distance of about sixty stadia from Ravenna, and held a conference with the emperor concerning the conclusion of a peace. Saros, a barbarian by birth, and highly practiced in the art of war, had only about three hundred men with him, but all well disposed and most efficient. He was suspicious of Alaric on account of their former enmity, and reasoned that a treaty between the Romans and Goths would be of no advantage to him. Suddenly advancing with his own troops, he slew some of the barbarians. Impelled by rage and terror at this incident, Alaric retraced his steps, and returned to Rome, and took it by treachery. He permitted each of his followers to seize as much of the wealth of the Romans as he was able, and to plunder all the houses; but from respect towards the Apostle Peter, he commanded that the large and very spacious church erected around his. tomb should be an asylum. This was the only cause which prevented the entire demolition of Rome; and those who were there saved, and they were many, rebuilt the city.


IT is obvious that the capture of so great a city as Rome must have been attended with many remarkable circumstances. I shall, therefore, now proceed to the narration of such events as seem worthy of a place in ecclesiastical history. I shall recount a pious action performed by a barbarian, and record the bravery of a Roman lady for the preservation of her chastity. The barbarian and the lady were both Christians, but not of the same heresy, the former being an Arian, and the latter a zealous follower of the Nicene doctrines. A young man of Alaric's soldiers saw this very beautiful woman, and was conquered by her loveliness, and tried to drag her into intercourse; but she drew back, and exerted herself that she might not suffer pollution. He drew his sword, and threatened to slay her; but he was restrained by the passion which he entertained toward her, and merely inflicted a slight wound on her neck. The blood flowed in abundance, and she offered her neck to the sword; for she preferred to die in her chastity than to survive, after having consorted lawfully with a husband, and then to be attempted by another man. When the barbarian repeated his purpose, and followed it with more fearful threats, he accomplished nothing further; struck with wonder at her chastity, he conducted her to the church of Peter the apostle, and gave six pieces of gold for her support to the officers who were guarding the church, and commanded them to keep her for her husband.


During this period many tyrants rebelled against Honorius in the Western government. Some fell upon one another, while others were apprehended in a marvelous way, and so evidenced that the Divine love toward Honorius was not common. The soldiers in Britain were the first to rise up in sedition, and they proclaimed Mark as tyrant. Afterwards, however, they slew Mark, and proclaimed Gratian. Within four months subsequently they killed Gratian, and elected Constantine in his place, imagining that, on account of his name, he would be able to reduce the empire firmly under his authority; and for no other reason than this, several other persons of the same name were elected to the tyranny. Constantine passed over from Britain to Bononia, a maritime city of Gaul; and after inducing all the troops in Gaul and Aquitania to espouse his cause, he reduced to obedience l the inhabitants of the regions extending to the mountains which divide Italy from Gaul, and which the Romans have named the Cottian Alps. He then sent his oldest son, Constans, whom he had already nominated Caesar, and whom he afterwards proclaimed emperor, into Spain. Constans, after making himself master of this province, and appointing his own governors over it, commanded that Didymus and Verinian, relatives of Honorius, should be loaded with chains, and brought before him. Didymus and Verinian had at first differed among themselves, but a reconciliation was effected between them, when they found themselves menaced by the same danger. They combined their forces, which consisted. chiefly of armed peasants and slaves. They attacked Lusitania in common, and slew many of the soldiers sent by the tyrant for their capture.


The troops of Constans were shortly afterwards strengthened by reinforcements, and Didymus and Verinian, with their wives, were taken prisoners, and were eventually put to death. Their brothers, Theodosiolus and Lagodius, who were living in other provinces, fled the country; the former escaped to Italy, to the Emperor Honorius; the latter fled to the East, to Theodosius. After these transactions, Constans returned to his father, after he had posted a guard of his own soldiers for the road to Spain; for he did not permit the Spaniards to act as guard, according to the ancient custom, a privilege for which they had petitioned. This precaution was probably afterwards the cause of the ruin of the country; for when Constantine was deprived of his power, the barbarous races of the Vandals, Suevi, and Alani took confidence and conquered the road, and took possession of many forts and cities in Spain and Gaul, and arrested the officers of the tyrant.

In the meantime, Constantine, who still thought that matters would go according to his purpose, caused his son to be proclaimed emperor instead of Caesar, and determined to possess himself of Italy. With this view, he crossed the Cottian Alps, and entered Liverona, a city of Liguria. He was on the point of crossing the Po, when he was compelled to retrace his steps, upon being informed of the death of Alavicus. This Alavicus was the commander of the troops of Honorius, and being suspected of conspiring to place the entire Western government under the domination of Constantine, he was slain when returning from a procession, in which, according to custom, it was his office to march in advance of the emperor. Immediately after this occurrence, the emperor descended from horseback, and publicly returned thanks to God for having delivered him from one who had openly conspired against him. Constantine fled and seized Aries, and Constans, his son, hastened from Spain, and sought refuge in the same city.

On the decline of the power of Constantine, the Vandals, Suevi, and Alani eagerly took the Pyrenees when they heard that it was a prosperous and most abundant region. And since those who had been entrusted by Constans with the guard of the passage had neglected their duty, the invaders passed by into Spain.


Meanwhile Gerontius, from being the most efficient of the generals of Constantine, became his enemy; and believing that Maximus, his intimate friend, was well qualified for the tyranny, he invested him with the imperial robe, and permitted him to reside in Tarracona. Gerontius then marched against Constantine, and took care to put Constans, the son of Constantine, to death at Vienna.

As soon as Constantine heard of the usurpation of Maximus, he sent one of his generals, named Edovicus, beyond the Rhine, to levy an army of Franks and Alemanni; and he sent his son Constans to guard Vienna and the neighboring towns. Gerontius then advanced upon Aries and laid siege to it; but directly, when the army of Honorius had come to hand against the tyrant, under the command of Constantius, the father of that Valentinian who subsequently became emperor of Rome, Gerontius retreated precipitately with a few soldiers; for the greater number of his troops deserted to the army of Constantius. The Spanish soldiery conceived an utter contempt for Gerontius, on account of his retreat, and took counsel how to slay him. They, gathered in close ranks and attacked his house at night; but he, with one Alanus, his friend, and a few servants, ascended to the top of the house, and did such execution with their arrows that no less than three hundred of the soldiers fell. When the stock of arrows was exhausted, the servants made their escape by letting themselves down secretly from the building; and Gerontius, although he might have been saved in a similar fashion, did not choose to do so, because he was restrained by his affection for Nonnichia, his wife. At daybreak of the next day, the soldiers cast fire into the house; when he saw that there was no hope of safety left, he cut off the head of his companion, Alanus, in compliance with his wish. After this, his own wife was lamenting, and with tears was pressing herself with the sword, pleading to die by the hand of her husband before she should be subjected to others, and was supplicating for this last gift from him. And this woman by her courage showed herself worthy of her religion, for she was a Christian, and she died thus mercifully; she handed down to time a record of herself, too strong for oblivion. Gerontius then struck himself thrice with his sword; but perceiving that he had not received a mortal wound, he drew forth his poniard, which he wore at his side, and plunged it into his heart.


ALTHOUGH the city of Aries was closely besieged by the army of Honorius, Constantine still resisted the siege, because Edovicus was announced as at hand with many allies. This frightened the generals of Honorius beyond measure. Then they determined to return to Italy, and to carry on the war there. When they had united on this plan, Edovicus was announced as in the neighborhood, so they crossed the river Rhone. Constantius, who commanded the infantry, quietly awaited the approach of the enemy, while Ulphilas, the fellow-general of Constantius, remained not far off in ambush with his cavalry. The enemy passed by the army of Ulphilas, and were about to engage with the troops of Constantius, when a signal was given, and Ulphilas suddenly appeared and assaulted the enemy from the rear. Their flight was immediate. Some escaped, some were slain, while others threw down their arms and asked for pardon, and were spared. Edovicus mounted his horse and fled to the lands of one Ecdicius, a landed proprietor, to whom he had formerly rendered some important service, and whom he therefore imagined to be his friend. Ecdicius, however, struck off his head, and presented it to the generals of Honorius, in hope of receiving some great reward and honor. Constantius, on receiving the head, proclaimed that the public thanks were due to Ecdicius for the deed of Ulphilas; but when Ecdicius was eager to accompany him he commanded him to depart, for he did not consider the companionship of a malicious host to be good for himself or the army. And the man who had dared to commit the most unholy murder of a friend and a guest who was in an unfortunate situation, — this man went away, as the proverb says, gaping with emptiness.


After this victory the troops of Honorius again laid siege to the city. When Constantine heard of the death of Edovicus he cast aside his purple robe and imperial ornaments, and repaired to the church, where he caused himself to be ordained as presbyter. Those within the walls, having first received oaths, opened the gates, and their Fives were spared. From that period the whole province returned to its allegiance to Honorius, and has since been obedient to the rulers of his appointment. Constantine, with his son Julian, was sent into Italy, but he was waylaid and killed. Not long afterwards Jovianus and Maximus, the tyrants above mentioned, Saros, and many others who had conspired against Honorius, were unexpectedly slain.


This is not the proper place to enter into the details concerning the deaths of the tyrants; but I considered it necessary to allude to the circumstance in order to show that to insure the stability of imperial power, it is sufficient for an emperor to serve God with reverence, which was the course pursued by Honorius. Galla Placidia, his sister, born of the same father as himself, dwelt with him, and likewise distinguished herself by real zeal in the maintenance of religion and of the churches. After Constantius, who was a brave and able general, had destroyed the tyrant Constantine, the emperor rewarded him by giving him his sister in marriage; he also bestowed upon him the ermine and purple, and admitted him to a share in the government. Constantius did not long survive the promotion; he died soon after, and left two children, Valentinian, who succeeded Honorius, and Honoria. Meanwhile the Eastern Empire was free from wars, and contrary to all opinion, its affairs were conducted with great order, for the ruler was still a youth. It seems as if God openly manifested His favor towards the present emperor, not only by disposing of warlike affairs in an unexpected way, but also by revealing the sacred bodies of many persons who were of old most distinguished for piety; among other relics, those of Zechariah, the very ancient prophet, and of Stephen, who was ordained deacon by the apostles, were discovered; and it seems incumbent upon me to describe the mode, since the discovery of each was marvelous and divine.


I SHALL first speak of the relics of the prophet. Caphar-Zechariah is a village of the territory of Eleutheropolis, a city of Palestine. The land of this district was cultivated by Calemerus, a serf; he was well disposed to the owner, but hard, discontented, and unjust towards his neighboring peasants. Although he possessed these defects of character, the prophet stood by him in a dream, and manifested himself; pointing out a particular garden, he said to him, "Go, dig in that garden at the distance of two cubits from the hedge of the garden by the road leading to the city of Bitheribis. You will there find two coffins, the inner one of wood, the other of lead. Beside the coffins you will see a glass vessel full of water, and two serpents of moderate size, but tame, and perfectly innoxious, so that they seem to be used to being handled." Calemerus followed the directions of the prophet at the designated place and zealously applied himself to the task. When the sacred depository was disclosed by the afore-mentioned signs, the divine prophet appeared to him, clad in a white stole, which makes me think that he was a priest. At his feet outside of the coffin was lying a child which had been honored with a royal burial; for on its head was a golden crown, its feet were encased in golden sandals, and it was arrayed in a costly robe. The wise men and priests of the time were greatly perplexed about this child, who and whence he might be and for what reason he had been so clothed. It is said that Zechariah, the superior of a monastic community at Gerari, found an ancient document written in Hebrew, which had not been received among the canonical books. In this document it was stated that when Zechariah the prophet had been put to death by Joash, king of Judah, the family of the monarch was soon visited by a dire calamity; for on the seventh day after the death of the prophet, one of the sons of Joash, whom he tenderly loved, suddenly expired. Judging that this affliction was a special manifestation of Divine wrath, the king ordered his son to be interred at the feet of the prophet, as a kind of atonement for the crime against him. Such are the particulars which I have ascertained on the subject.

Although the prophet had lain under the earth for so many generations, he appeared sound; his hair was closely shorn, his nose was straight; his beard moderately grown, his head quite short, his eyes rather sunken, and concealed by the eyebrows.

Taken from "The Early Church Fathers and Other Works" originally published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Co. in English in Edinburgh, Scotland, beginning in 1867. (NPNF II/II, Schaff and Wace). The digital version is by The Electronic Bible Society, P.O. Box 701356, Dallas, TX 75370, 214-407-WORD.

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