Fathers' Historical writings 47

The Ecclesiastical History of Theodoret

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Book I.

Prologue.—Design of the History.

48 When artists paint on panels and on walls the events of ancient history, they alike delight the eye, and keep bright for many a year the memory of the past. Historians substitute books for panels, bright description for pigments, and thus render the memory of past events both stronger and more permanent, for the painter’s art is ruined by time. For this reason I too shall attempt to record in writing events in ecclesiastical history hitherto omitted, deeming it indeed not right to look on without an effort while oblivion robs1 noble deeds and useful stories of their due fame. For this cause too I have been frequently urged by friends to undertake this work. But when I compare my own powers with the magnitude of the undertaking, I shrink from attempting it. Trusting, however, in the bounty of the Giver of all good, I enter upon a task beyond my own strength.

Eusebius of Palestine2 has written a history of the Church from the time of the holy Apostles to the reign of Constantine, the prince beloved of God. I shall begin my history from the period at which his terminates3 .

Chapter I.—Origin of the Arian Heresy.

After the overthrow of the wicked and impious tyrants, Maxentius, Maximinus, and Licinius, the surge which those destroyers, like hurricanes, had roused was hushed to sleep; the whirlwinds were checked, and the Church henceforward began to enjoy a settled calm. This was established for her by Constantine, a prince deserving of all praise, whose calling, like that of the divine Apostle, was not of men, nor by man, but from heaven. He enacted laws prohibiting sacrifices to idols, and commanding churches4 to be erected. He appointed Christians to be governors of the provinces, ordering honour to be shown to the priests, and threatening with death those who dared to insult them. By some the churches which had been destroyed were rebuilt; others erected new ones still more spacious and magnificent. Hence, for us, all was joy and gladness, while our enemies were overwhelmed with gloom and despair. The temples of the idols were closed; but frequent assemblies were held, and festivals celebrated, in the churches, But the devil, full of all envy and wickedness, the destroyer of mankind, unable to bear the sight of the Church sailing on with favourable winds, stirred up plans of evil counsel, eager to sink the vessel steered by the Creator and Lord of the Universe. When he began to perceive that the error of the Greeks had been made manifest, that the various tricks of the demons had been detected, and that the greater number of men worshipped the Creator, instead of adoring, as heretofore, the creature, he did not dare to declare open war against our God and Saviour; but having found some who, though dignified with the name of Christians, were yet slaves to ambition and vainglory, he made them fit instruments for the execution of his designs, and by their means drew others back into their old error, not indeed by the former method of setting up the worship of the creature, but by bringing it about that the Creator and Maker of all should be reduced to a level with the creature. I shall now proceed to relate where and by what means he sowed these tares.

Alexandria is an immense and populous city, charged with the leadership not only of Egypt, but also of the adjacent countries, the Thebaid and Libya. After Peter5 , the victorious champion of the faith, had, during the sway of the aforesaid impious tyrants, obtained the crown of martyrdom, the Church in Alexandria was ruled for a short time by Achillas6 . He was succeeded by Alexander7 , who proved himself a noble defender of the doctrines of the gospel. At that time, Arius, who had been enrolled in the list of the presbytery, and entrusted with the exposition of the Holy Scriptures, fell a prey to the assaults of jealousy, when he saw that the helm of the high priesihood was committed to Alexander. Stung by this passion, he sought opportunities for dispute and contention; and, although he perceived that Alexander’s irreproachable conduct forbade his bringing any charges against him, envy would not allow him to rest. In him the enemy of the truth found an instrument whereby to stir and agitate the angry waters of the Church, and persuaded him to oppose the apostolical doctrine of Alexander. While the Patriarch, in obedience to the Holy Scriptures, taught that the Son is of equal dignity with the Father, and of the same substance with God who begat Him, Arius, in direct opposition to the truth, affirmed that the Son of God is merely a creature or created being, adding the famous dictum, “There once was a time when He was not8 ;” with other opinions which may be learned from his own writings. He taught these false doctrines perseveringly, not only in the church, but also in general meetings and assemblies; and he even went from house to house, endeavouring to make men the slaves of his error. Alexander, who was strongly attached to the doctrines of the Apostles, at first tried by exhortations and counsels to convince him of his error; but when he saw him playing the madman9 and making public declaration of his impiety, he deposed him from the order of the presbytery, for he heard the law of God loudly declaring, “If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee10 .”

Chapter II.—List of the Principal Bishops.

Of the church of Rome at this period Silvester11 held the reins. His predecessor in the see was Miltiades12 , the successor of that Marcellinus13 who had so nobly distinguished himself during the persecution.

In Antioch, after the death of Tyrannus14 , when peace began to be restored to the churches, Vitalis15 received the chief authority, and restored the church in the “Palaea16 ” which had been destroyed by the tyrants. He was succeeded by Philogonius17 , who completed all that was wanting in the work of restoration: he had, during the time of Licinius, signalised himself by his zeal for religion.

After the administration of Hermon18 , the government of the church in Jerusalem was committed to Macarius19 , a man whose character was equal to his name, and whose mind was adorned by every kind of virtue.

At this same period also, Alexander, illustrious for his apostolical gifts, governed the church of Constantinople20 .

It was at this time that Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, perceiving that Arius, enslaved by the lust of power, was assembling those who had been taken captive by his blasphemous doctrines, and was holding private meetings, communicated an account of his heresy by letter to the rulers of the principal churches. That the authenticity of my history may not be suspected, I shall now insert in my narrative the letter which he wrote to his namesake, containing, as it does, a clear account of all the facts I have mentioned. I shall also subjoin the letter of Arius, together with the other letters which are necessary to the completeness of this narrative, that they may at once testify to the truth of my work, and make the course of events more clear.

49 The following letter was written by Alexander of Alexandria, to the bishop of the same name as himself).

Chapter III.—The Epistle of Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria to Alexander, Bishop of Constantinople.

“To his most revered and likeminded brother Alexander, Alexander sendeth greeting in the Lord.

“Impelled by avarice and ambition, evil-minded persons have ever plotted against the wellbeing of the most important dioceses. Under various pretexts, they attack the religion of the Church; and, being maddened by the devil, who works in them, they start aside from all piety according to their own pleasure, and trample under foot the fear of the judgment of God. Suffering as I do from them myself, I deem it necessary to inform your piety, that you may be on your guard against them, lest they or any of their party should presume to enter your diocese (for these cheats are skilful in deception), or should circulate false and specious letters, calculated to delude one who has devoted himself to the simple and undefiled faith.

“Arius and Achillas have lately formed a conspiracy, and, emulating the ambition of Colluthus, have gone far beyond him21 . He indeed sought to find a pretext for his own pernicious line of action in the charges he brought against them. But they, beholding his making a trade of Christ for lucre22 , refused to remain any longer in subjection to the Church; but built for themselves caves, like robbers, and now constantly assemble in them, and day and night ply slanders there against Christ and against us. They revile every godly apostolical doctrine, and in Jewish fashion have organized a gang to fight against Christ, denying His divinity, and declaring Him to be on a level with other men. They pick out every passage which refers to the dispensation of salvation, and to His humiliation for our sake; they endeavour to collect from them their own impious assertion, while they evade all those which declare His eternal divinity, and the unceasing23 glory which He possesses with the Father. They maintain the ungodly doctrine entertained by the Greeks and the Jews concerning Jesus Christ; and thus, by every means in their power, hunt for their applause. Everything which outsiders ridicule in us they officiously practise. They daily excite persecutions and seditions against us. On the one hand they bring accusations against us before the courts, suborning as witnesses certain unprincipled women whom they have seduced into error. On the other they dishonour Christianity by permitting their young women to ramble about the streets. Nay, they have had the audacity to rend the seamless garment of Christ, which the soldiers dared not divide.

“When these actions, in keeping with their course of life, and the impious enterprise which had been long concealed, became tardily known to us, we unanimously ejected them from the Church which worships the divinity of Christ. They then ran hither and thither to form cabals against us, even addressing themselves to our fellow-ministers who were of one mind with us, under the pretence of seeking peace and unity with them, but in truth endeavouring by means of fair words, to sweep some among them away into their own disease. They ask them to write a wordy letter, and then read the contents to those whom they have deceived, in order that they may not retract, but be confirmed in their impiety, by finding that bishops agree with and support their views. They make no acknowledgment of the evil doctrines and practices for which they have been expelled by us, but they either impart them without comment, or carry on the deception by fallacies and forgeries. Thus concealing their destructive doctrine by persuasive and meanly truckling language, they catch the unwary, and lose no opportunity of calumniating our religion. Hence it arises that several have been led to sign their letter, and to receive them into communion, a proceeding on the part of our fellow-ministers which I consider highly reprehensible; for they thus not only disobey the apostolical rule, but even help to inflame their diabolical action against Christ. It is on this account, beloved brethren, that without delay I have stirred myself up to inform you of the unbelief of certain persons who say that “There was a time when the Son of God was not24 ;” and “He who previously had no existence subsequently came into existence; and when at some time He came into existence He became such as every other man is.” God, they say, created all things out of that which was non-existent, and they include in the number of creatures, both rational and irrational, even the Son of God. Consistently with this doctrine they, as a necessary consequence, affirm that He is by nature liable to change, and capable both of virtue and of vice, and thus, by their hypothesis of his having been created out of that which was non-existent, they overthrow the testimony of the Divine Scriptures, which declare the immutability of the Word and the Divinity of the Wisdom of the Word, which Word and Wisdom is Christ. ‘We are also able,’ say these accursed wretches, ‘to become like Him, the sons of God; for it is written,—I have nourished and brought up children25 .’ When the continuation of this text is brought before them, which is, ‘and they have rebelled against Me,’ and it is objected that these words are inconsistent with the Saviour’s nature, which is immutable, they throw aside all reverence, and affirm that God foreknew and foresaw that His Son would not rebel against Him, and that He therefore chose Him in preference to all others. They likewise assert that He was not chosen because. He had by nature any thing superior to the other sons of God; for no man, say they, is son of God by nature, nor has any peculiar relation to Him. He was chosen, they allege, because, though mutable by nature, His painstaking character suffered no deterioration. As though, forsooth, even if a Paul and a Peter made like endeavours, their sonship would in no respects differ from His.

“To establish this insane doctrine they insult the Scriptures, and bring forward what is said in the Psalms of Christ, ‘Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity, therefore thy God hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows26 .’ Now that the Son of God was not created out of the non-existent27 , and that there never was a time in which He was not, is expressly taught by Jn the Evangelist, who speaks of Him as ‘the only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father28 .’ This divine teacher desired to show that the Father and the Son are inseparable; and, therefore, he said, ‘that the Son is in the bosom of the Father.’ Moreover, the same Jn affirms that the Word of God is not classed among things created out of the non-existent, for, he says that ‘all things were made by Him29 ,’ and he also declares His individual personality30 in the following words: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. …All things were made by Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made31 .’ If, then, all things were made by Him, how is it that He who thus bestowed existence on all, could at any period have had no existence himself? The Word, the creating power, can in no way be defined as of the same nature as the things created, if indeed He was in the beginning, and all things were made by Him, and were called by Him out of the non-existent into being. ‘That which is32 ’ must be of an opposite nature to, and essentially different from, things created out of the non-existent. This shows, likewise, that there is no separation between the Father and the Son, and that the idea of separation cannot even be conceived by the mind; while the fact that the world was created out of the non-existent involves a later and fresh genesis of its essential nature33 , all things having been endowed with such an origin of existence by the Father through the Son. John, the most pious apostle, perceiving that the word ‘was’ applied to the Word of God34 was far beyond and above the intelligence of created beings, did not presume to speak of His generation or creation, nor yet dared to name the Maker and the creature in equivalent syllables. Not that the Son of God is unbegotten, for the Father alone is unbegotten; but that the ineffable personality of the only-begotten God is beyond the keenest conception of the evangelists and perhaps even of angels. Therefore, I do not think men ought to be considered pious who presume to investigate this subject, in disobedience to the injunction, ‘Seek not what is too difficult for thee, neither enquire into what is too high for thee35 .’ For if the knowledge of many other things incomparably inferior is beyond the capacity of the human mind, and cannot therefore be attained, as has been said by Paul, ‘Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him36 ,’ and as God also said to Abraham, that the stars could not be numbered by him37 ; and it is likewise said, ‘Who shall number the grains of sand by the sea-shore, or the drops of rain38 ?’ how then can any one but a madman presume to enquire into the nature of the Word of God? It is said by the Spirit of prophecy, ‘Who shall declare His generation39 ?’ And, therefore, our Saviour in His kindness to those men who were the pillars of the whole world, desiring to relieve them of the burden of striving after this knowledge, told them that it was beyond their natural comprehension, and that the Father alone could discern this most divine mystery; ‘No man,’ said He, ‘knoweth the Son but the Father, and no man knoweth the Father save the Son40 .’ It was, I think, concerning this same subject that the Father said, ‘My secret is for Me and for Mine41 .’

“But the insane folly of imagining that the Son of God came into being out of that which had no being, and that His sending forth took place in time, is plain from the words ‘which l had no being,’ although the foolish are incapable of perceiving the folly of their own utterances. For the phrase ‘He was not’ must either have reference to time, or to some interval in the ages. If then it be true that all things were made by Him, it is evident that every age, time, all intervals of time, and that ‘when’ in which ‘was not’ has its place, were made by Him. And is it not absurd to say that there was a time when He who created all time, and ages, and seasons, with which the ‘was not’ is confused, was not? For it would be the height of ignorance, and contrary indeed to all reason, to affirm that the cause of any created thing can be posterior to that caused by it. The interval during which they say the Son was still unbegotten of the Father was, according to their opinion, prior to the wisdom of God, by whom all things were created. They thus contradict the Scripture which declares Him to be ‘the firstborn of every creature42 .’ In consonance with this doctrine, Paul with his usual mighty voice cries concerning Him; ‘whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds43 . ‘For by Him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him: and He is before all things’44 .’ Since the hypothesis implied in the phrase ‘out of the non-existent’ is manifestly impious, it follows that the Father is always Father. And He is Father from the continual presence of the Son, on account of whom He is called45 Father. And the Son being ever present with Him, the Father is ever perfect, wanting in no good thing, for He did not beget His only Son in time, or in any interval of time, nor out of that which had no previous existence.

“Is it not then impious to say that there was a time when the wisdom of God was not? Who saith, ‘I was by Him as one brought up with Him: I was daily His delight46 ?’ Or that once the power of God was not, or His Word, or anything else by which the Son is known, or the Father designated, defective? To assert that the brightness of the Father’s glory ‘once did not exist,’ destroys also the original light of which it is the brightness47 ; and if there ever was a time in which the image of God was not, it is plain that He Whose image He is, is not always: nay, by the non-existence of the express image of God’s Person, He also is taken away of whom this is ever the express image. Hence it may be seen, that the Sonship of our Saviour has not even anything in common with the sonship of men. For just as it has been shown that the nature of His existence cannot be expressed by language, and infinitely surpasses in excellence all things to which He has given being, so His Sonship, naturally partaking in His paternal Divinity, is unspeakably different from the sonship of those who, by His appointment, have been adopted as sons. He is by nature immutable, perfect, and all-sufficient, whereas men are liable to change, and need His help. What further advance can be made by the wisdom of God48 ? What can the Very Truth, or God the Word, add to itself? How can the Life or the True Light in any way be bettered? And is it not still more contrary to nature to suppose that wisdom can be susceptible of folly? that the power of God can be united with weakness? that reason itself can be dimmed by unreasonableness, or that darkness can be mixed with the true light? Does not the Apostle say, ‘What communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial49 ?’ and Solomon, that ‘the way of a serpent upon a rock50 ’ was ‘too wonderful’ for the human mind to comprehend, which ‘rock,’ according to St. Paul, is Christ51 . Men and angels, however, who are His creatures, have received His blessing, enabling them to exercise themselves in virtue and in obedience to His commands, that thus they may avoid sin. And it is on this account that our Lord being by nature the Son of the Father, is worshipped by all; and they who have put off the spirit of bondage, and by brave deeds and advance in virtue have received the spirit of adoption through the kindness of Him Who is the Son of God by nature, by adoption also become sons.

“His true, peculiar, natural, and special Sonship was declared by Paul, who, speaking of God, says, that ‘(He spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us52 ,’ who are not by nature His sons. It was to distinguish Him from those who are not ‘His own,’ that he called Him ‘His own son.’ It is also written in the Gospel, ‘This is My beloved San in whom I am well pleased53 ;’ and in the Psalms the Saviour says, ‘The Lord said unto Me, Thou art My Son54 .’ By proclaiming natural sonship He shows that there are no other natural sons besides Himself.

“And do not these words, I begot thee ‘from the womb before the morning55 ,’ plainly show the natural sonship of the paternal birth56 of One whose lot it is, not from diligence of conduct, or exercise in moral progress, but by individuality of nature? Hence it ensues that the filiation of the only-begotten Son of the Father is incapable of fall; while the adoption of reasonable beings who are not His sons by nature, but merely on account of fitness of character, and by the bounty of God, may fall away, as it is written in the word, ‘The sons of God saw the daughters of men, and took them as wives,’ and so forth57 . And God, speaking by Isaiah, said, ‘I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against Me58 .’

50 “I have many things to say, beloved, but because I fear that I shall cause weariness by further admonishing teachers who are of one mind with myself, I pass them by. You, having been taught of God, are not ignorant that the teaching at variance with the religion of the Church which has just arisen, is the same as that propagated by Ebion59 and Artemas60 , and rivals that of Paul of Samosata, bishop of Antioch, who was excommunicated by a council of all the bishops. Lucianus61 , his successor, withdrew himself from communion with these bishops during a period of many years.

“And now amongst us there have sprung up, ‘out of the non-existent’ men who have greedily sucked down the dregs of this impiety, offsets of the same stock: I mean Arius and Achillas,. and all their gang of rogues. Three bishops62 of Syria, appointed no one knows how, by consenting to them, fire them to more fatal heat. I refer their sentence to your decision. Retaining in their memory all that they can collect concerning the suffering, humiliation, emptying of Himself63 , and so-called poverty, and everything of which the Saviour for our sake accepted the acquired name, they bring forward those passages to disprove His eternal existence and divinity, while they forget all those which declare His glory and nobility and abiding with the Father; as for instance, ‘I and My father are one64 .’ In these words the Lord does not proclaim Himself to be the Father, neither does He represent two natures as one; but that the essence of the Son of the Father preserves accurately the likeness of the Father, His nature taking off the impress of likeness to Him in all things, being the exact image of the Father and the express stamp of the prototype. When, therefore, Philip, desirous of seeing the Father, said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father,’ the Lord with abundant plainness said to him, ‘(He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father65 ,’ as though the Father were beheld in the spotless and living mirror of His image. The same idea is conveyed in the Psalms, where the saints say, ‘In Thy light we shall see light66 .’ It is on this account that ‘he who honoureth the Son, honoureth the Father67 .’ And rightly, for every impious word which men dare to utter against the Son is spoken also against the Father.

“After this no one can wonder at the false calumnies which I am about to detail, my beloved brethren, propagated by them against me, and against our most religious people. They not only set their battle in array against the divinity of Christ, but ungratefully insult us. They think it beneath them to be compared with any of those of old time, nor do they endure to be put on a par with the teachers we have been conversant with from childhood. They will not admit that any of our fellow-ministers anywhere possess even mediocrity of intelligence. They say that they themselves alone are the wise and the poor, and discoverers of doctrines, and to them alone have been revealed those truths which, say they, have never entered the mind of any other individuals under the sun. O what wicked arrogance! O what excessive folly! What false boasting, joined with madness and Satanic pride, has hardened their impious hearts! They are not ashamed to oppose the godly clearness of the ancient scriptures, nor yet does the unanimous piety of all our fellow-ministers concerning Christ blunt their audacity. Even devils will not suffer impiety like this; for even they refrain from speaking blasphemy against the Son of God.

“These then are the questions I have to raise, according to the ability I possess, with those who from their rude resources throw dust on the Christ, and try to slander our reverence for Him. These inventors of silly tales assert that we, who reject their impious and unscriptural blasphemy concerning the creation of Christ from the non-existent, teach that there are two unbegotten Beings. For these ill-instructed men contend that one of these alternatives must hold; either He must be believed to have come out of the non-existent, or there are two unbegotten Beings. In their ignorance and want of practice in theology they do not realize how vast must be the distance between the Father who is uncreate, and the creatures, whether rational or irrational, which He created out of the non-existent; and that the only-begotten nature of Him Who is the Word of God, by Whom the Father created the universe out of the non-existent, standing, as it were, in the middle between the two, was begotten of the self-existent Father, as the Lord Himself testified when He said, ‘Every one that loveth the Father, loveth also the Son that is begotten of Him68 .’

“We believe, as is taught by the apostolical Church, in an only unbegotten Father, Who of His being hath no cause, immutable and invariable, and Who subsists always in one state of being, admitting neither of progression nor of diminution; Who gave the law, and the prophets, and the gospel; of patriarchs and apostles, and of all saints, Lord: and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten not out of that which is not, but of the Father, Who is; yet not after the manner of material bodies, by severance or emanation, as Sabellius69 and Valentinus70 taught; but in an inexpressible and inexplicable manner, according to the saying which we quoted above, ‘Who shall declare His generations71 ?’ since no mortal intellect can comprehend the nature of His Person, as the Father Himself cannot be comprehended, because the nature of reasonable beings is unable to grasp the manner in which He was begotten of the Father72 .

“But those who are led by the Spirit of truth have no need to learn these things of me, for the words long since spoken by the Saviour yet sound in our ears, ‘No one knoweth who the Father is but the Son, and no one knoweth who the Son is but the Father73 .’ We have learnt that the Son is immutable and unchangeable, all-sufficient and perfect, like the Father, lacking only His “unbegotten.” He is the exact and precisely similar image of His Father. For it is clear that the image fully contains everything by which the greater likeness exists, as the Lord taught us when He said, ‘My Father is greater than I74 .’ And in accordance with this we believe that the Son always existed of the Father; for he is the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Fathers Person75 .” But let no one be led by the word ‘always’ to imagine that the Son is unbegotten, as is thought by some who have their intellects blinded: for to say that He was, that He has always been, and that before all ages, is not to say that He is unbegotten.

“The mind of man could not possibly invent a term expressive of what is meant by being unbegotten. I believe that you are of this opinion; and, indeed, I feel confident in your orthodox view that none of these terms in any way signify the unbegotten. For all the terms appear to signify merely the extension of time, and are not adequate to express the divinity and, as it were, the primaeval being of the only-begotten Son. They were used by the holy men who earnestly endeavoured to clear up the mystery, and who asked pardon from those who heard them, with a reasonable excuse for their failure, by saying ‘as far as our comprehension has reached.’ But if those who allege that what was ‘known in part’ has been ‘done away76 ’ for them, expect from human lips anything beyond human powers, it is plain that the terms ‘was,’ and ‘ever,’ and ‘before all ages,’ fall far short of this expectation. But whatever they may mean, it is not the same as ‘the unbegotten.’ Therefore His own individual dignity must be reserved to the Father as the Unbegotten One, no one being called the cause of His existence: to the Son likewise must be given the honour which befits Him, there being to Him a generation from the Father which has no beginning; we must render Him worship, as we have already said, only piously and religiously ascribing to Him the ‘was’ and the ‘ever,’ and the ‘before all ages;’ not however rejecting His divinity, but ascribing to Him a perfect likeness in all things to His Father, while at the same time we ascribe to the Father alone His own proper glory of ‘the unbegotten,’ even as the Saviour Himself says, ‘My Father is greater than I77 .’

"And in addition to this pious belief respecting the Father and the Son, we confess as the Sacred Scriptures teach us, one Holy Ghost, who moved the saints of the Old Testament, and the divine teachers of that which is called the New. We believe in one only Catholic Church, the apostolical, which cannot be destroyed even though all the world were to take counsel to fight against it, and which gains the victory over all the impious attacks of the heterodox; for we are emboldened by the words of its Master, ‘Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world78 .’ After this, we receive the doctrine of the resurrection from the dead, of which Jesus Christ our Lord became the first-fruits; Who bore a Body, in truth, not in semblance, derived from Mary the mother of God79 ; in the fulness of time sojourning among the race, for the remission of sins: who was crucified and died, yet for all this suffered no diminution of His Godhead. He rose from the dead, was taken into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.

"In this epistle I have only mentioned these things in part, deeming it, as I have said, wearisome to dwell minutely on each article, since they are well known to your pious diligence. These things we teach, these things we preach; these are the dogmas of the apostolic Church, for which we are ready to die, caring little for those who would force us to forswear them; for we will never relinquish our hope in them, though they should try to compel us by tortures.

"Arius and Achillas, together with their fellow foes, have been expelled from the Church, because they have become aliens from our pious doctrine: according to the blessed Paul, who said, ’If any of you preach any other gospel than that which you have received, let him be accursed, even though he should pretend to be an angel from heaven80 , and ‘But if any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing81 ,’ and so forth. Since, then, they have been condemned by the brotherhood, let none of you receive them, nor attend to what they say or write. They are deceivers, and propagate lies, and they never adhere to the truth. They go about to different cities with no other intent than to deliver letters under the pretext of friendship and in the name of peace, and by hypocrisy and flattery to obtain other letters in return, in order to deceive a few ‘silly women who are laden with sins82 .’ I beseech you, beloved brethren, to avoid those who have thus dared to act against Christ, who have publicly held up the Christian religion to ridicule, and have eagerly sought to make a display before judicial tribunals, who have endeavoured to excite a persecution against us at a period of the most entire peace, and who have enervated the unspeakable mystery of the generation of Christ. Unite unanimousl“y in opposition to them, as some of our fellow-ministers have already done, who, being filled with indignation, wrote to me against them, and signed our formulary83 .

“I have sent you these letters by my son Apion, the deacon; being those of (the ministers in) all Egypt and the Thebaid, also of those of Libya, and the Pentapolis, of Syria, Lycia, Pamphylia, Asia, Cappadocia, and in the other adjoining countries. Whose example you likewise, I trust, will follow. Many kindly attempts have been made by me to gain back those who have been led astray, but no remedy has proved more efficacious in restoring the laity who have been deceived by them and leading them to repentance, than the manifestation of the union of our fellow-ministers. Salute one another, with the brotherhood that is with you. I pray that you may be strong in the Lord, my beloved, and that I may receive the fruit of your love to Christ.

51 “The following are the name of those who have been anathematized as heretics: among the presbyters, Arius; among the deacons, Achillas, Euzoius, Aïthales, Lucius, Sarmates, Julius, Menas, another Arius, and Helladius.”

Alexander wrote in the same strain to Philogonius84 , bishop of Antioch, to Eustathius85 , who then ruled the church of the Beroeans, and to all those who defended the doctrines of the Apostles. But Arius could not endure to keep quiet, but wrote to all those whom he believed to agree with him in opinion. His letter to Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, is a clear proof that the divine Alexander wrote nothing that was false concerning him. I shall here insert his letter, in order that the names of those who were implicated in his impiety may become generally known.

Chapter IV.—The Letter of Arius to Eusebius, Bishop of Nicomedia.

“To his very dear lord, the man of God, the faithful and orthodox Eusebius, Arius, unjustly persecuted by Alexander the Pope86 , on account of that all-conquering truth of which you also are a champion, sendeth greeting in the Lord.

“Ammonius, my father, being about to depart for Nicomedia, I considered myself bound to salute you by him, and withal to inform that natural affection which you bear towards the brethren for the sake of God and His Christ, that the bishop greatly wastes and persecutes us, and leaves no stone unturned87 against us. He has driven us out of the city as atheists, because we do not concur in what he publicly preaches, namely, God always, the Son always; as the Father so the Son; the Son Co-exists unbegotten with God; He is everlasting; neither by thought nor by any interval does God precede the Son; always God, always Son; he is begotten of the unbegotten; the Son is of God Himself. Eusebius, your brother bishop of Caesarea, Theodotus, Paulinus, Athanasius, Gregorius, Aetius, and all the bishops of the East, have been condemned because they say that God had an existence prior to that of His Son; except Philogonius, Hellanicus, and Macarius, who are unlearned men, and who have embraced heretical opinions. Some of them say that the Son is an eructation, others that He is a production, others that He is also unbegotten. These are impieties to which we cannot listen, even though the heretics threaten us with a thousand deaths. But we say and believe, and have taught, and do teach, that the Son is not unbegotten, nor in any way part of the unbegotten; and that He does not derive His subsistence from any matter; but that by His own will and counsel He has subsisted before time, and before ages, as perfect God, only begotten and unchangeable, and that before He was begotten, or created, or purposed, or established, He was not. For He was not unbegotten. We are persecuted, because we say that the Son has a beginning, but that God is without beginning. This is the cause of our persecution, and likewise, because we say that He is of the non-existent88 . And this we say, because He is neither part of God, nor of any essential being89 . For this are we persecuted; the rest you know. I bid thee farewell in the Lord, remembering our afflictions, my fellow-Lucianist90 , and true Eusebius91 .”

Of those whose names are mentioned in this letter, Eusebius was bishop of Caesarea92 , Theodotus of Laodicea, Paulinus of Tyre, Athanasius of Anazarbus, Gregorius of Berytus, and Aetius of Lydda. Lydda is now called Diospolis. Arius prided himself on having these men of one mind with himself. He names as his adversaries, Philogonius, bishop of Antioch, Hellanicus, of Tripolis, and Macarius, of Jerusalem. He spread calumnies against them because they said that the Son is eternal, existing before all ages, of equal honour and of the same substance with the Father.

When Eusebius received the epistle, he too vomited forth his own impiety, and wrote to Paulinus, chief93 of the Tyrians, in the following words.

Chapter V.—The Letter of Eusebius, Bishop of Nicomedia, to Paulinus, Bishop of Tyre.

“To my lord Paulinus, Eusebius sendeth greeting in the Lord.

“The zeal of my lord Eusebius in the cause of the truth, and likewise your silence concerning it, have not failed to reach our ears. Accordingly, if, on the one hand, we rejoiced on account of the zeal of my lord Eusebius; on the other we are grieved at you, because even the silence of such a man appears like a defeat of our cause. Hence, as it behoves not a wise man to be of a different opinion from others, and to be silent concerning the truth, stir up, I exhort you, within yourself the spirit of wisdom to write, and at length begin what may be profitable to yourself and to others, specially if you consent to write in accordance with Scripture, and tread in the tracks of its words and will.

“We have never heard that there are two unbegotten beings, nor that one has been divided into two, nor have we learned or believed that it has ever undergone any change of a corporeal nature; but we affirm that the unbegotten is one and one also that which exists in truth by Him, yet was not made out of His substance, and does not at all participate in the nature or substance of the unbegotten, entirely distinct in nature and in power, and made after perfect likeness both of character and power to the maker. We believe that the mode of His beginning not only cannot be expressed by words but even in thought, and is incomprehensible not only to man, but also to all beings superior to man. These opinions we advance not as having derived them from our own imagination, but as having deduced them from Scripture, whence we learn that the Son was created, established, and begotten in the same substance and in the same immutable and inexpressible nature as the Maker; and so the Lord says, ‘God created me in the beginning of His way; I was set up from everlasting; before the hills was I brought forth94 .’

52 “If He had been from Him or of Him, as a portion of Him, or by an emanation of His substance, it could not be said that He was created or established; and of this you, my lord, are certainly not ignorant. For that which is of the unbegotten could not be said to have been created or founded, either by Him or by another, since it is unbegotten from the beginning. But if the fact of His being called the begotten gives any ground for the belief that, having come into being of the Father’s substance, He also has from the Father likeness of nature, we reply that it is not of Him alone that the Scriptures have spoken as begotten, but that they also thus speak of those who are entirely dissimilar to Him by nature. For of men it is said, ‘I have begotten and brought up sons, and they have rebelled against me95 ;’ and in another place, ‘Thou hast forsaken God who begat thee96 ;’ and again it is said, ‘Who begat the drops of dew97 ?’ This expression does not imply that the dew partakes of the nature of God, but simply that all things were formed according to His will. There is, indeed, nothing which is of His substance, yet every thing which exists has been called into being by His will. He is God; and all things were made in His likeness. and in the future likeness of His Word, being created of His free will. All things were made by His means by God. All things are of God.

“When you have received my letter, and have revised it according to the knowledge and grace given you by God, I beg you will write as soon as possible to my lord Alexander. I feel confident that if you would write to him, you would succeed in bringing him over to your opinion. Salute all the brethren in the Lord. May you, my lord, be preserved by the grace of God, and be led to pray for us.”

It is thus that they wrote to each other, in order to furnish one another with weapons against the truths98 . And so when the blasphemous doctrine had been disseminated in the churches of Egypt and of the East, disputes and contentions arose in every city, and in every village, concerning theological dogmas. The common people looked on, and became judges of what was said on either side, and some applauded one party, and some the other. These were, indeed, scenes fit for the tragic stage, over which tears might have been shed. For it was not, as in bygone days, when the church was attacked by strangers and by enemies, but now natives of the same country, who dwelt under one roof, and sat down at one table, fought against each other not with spears, but with their tongues. And what was still more sad, they who thus took up arms against one another were members of one another, and belonged to one body.

Chapter VI.—General Council of Nicaea.

The emperor, who possessed the most profound wisdom, having heard of these things, endeavoured, as a first step, to stop up their fountain-head. He therefore despatched a messenger renowned for his ready wit to Alexandria with letters, in the endeavour to extinguish the dispute, and expecting to reconcile the disputants. But his hopes having been frustrated, he proceeded to summon the celebrated council of Nicaea99 ; and pledged his word that the bishops and their officials should be furnished with asses, mules, and horses for their journey at the public expense. When all those who were capable of enduring the fatigue of the journey had arrived at Nicaea, he went thither himself, with both the wish of seeing the multitude of bishops, and the yearning desire of maintaining unanimity amongst them. He at once arranged that all their wants should be liberally supplied. Three hundred and eighteen bishops were assembled. The bishop of Rome100 , on account of his very advanced age, was absent, but he sent two presbyters101 to the council, with authority to agree to what was done.

At this period many individuals were richly endowed with apostolical gifts; and many, like the holy apostle, bore in their bodies the marks of the Lord Jesus Christ102 . James, bishop of Antioch, a city of Mygdonia, which is called Nisibis by the Syrians and Assyrians, raised the dead and restored them to life, and performed many other wonders which it would be superfluous to mention again in detail in this history, as I have already given an account of them in my work, entitled “Philotheus103 .” Paul, bishop of Neo-Caesarea, a fortress situated on the banks of the Euphrates, had suffered from the frantic rage of Licinius. He had been deprived of the use of both hands by the application of a red-hot iron, by which the nerves which give motion to the muscles had been contracted and rendered dead. Some had had the right eye dug out, others had lost the right arm. Among these was Paphnutius of Egypt. In short, the Council looked like an assembled army of martyrs. Yet this holy and celebrated gathering was not entirely free from the element of opposition; for there were some, though so few as easily to be reckoned, of fair surface, like dangerous shallows, who really, though not openly, supported the blasphemy of Arius.

When they were all assembled104 , the emperor ordered a great hall to be prepared for their accommodation in the palace, in which a sufficient number of benches and seats were placed; and having thus arranged that they should be treated with becoming dignity, he desired the bishops to enter in, and discuss the subjects proposed. The emperor, with a few attendants, was the last to enter the room; remarkable for his lofty stature, and worthy of admiration for personal beauty, and for the still more marvellous modesty which dwelt on his countenance. A low stool was placed for him in the middle of the assembly, upon which, however, he did not seat himself until he had asked the permission of the bishops. Then all the sacred assembly sat down around him. Then forthwith rose first the great Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, who, upon the translation of Philogonius, already referred to, to a better life, had been compelled reluctantly to become his successor by the unanimous suffrages of the bishops, priests, and of the Christ-loving laity. He crowned the emperor’s head with the flowers of panegyric, and commended the diligent attention he had manifested in the regulation of ecclesiastical affairs.

The excellent emperor next exhorted the Bishops to unanimity and concord; he recalled to their remembrance the cruelty of the late tyrants, and reminded them of the honourable peace which God had, in his reign and by his means, accorded them. He pointed out how dreadful it was, aye, very dreadful, that at the very time when their enemies were destroyed, and when no one dared to oppose them, they should fall upon one another, and make their amused adversaries laugh, especially as they were debating about holy things, concerning which they had the written teaching of the Holy Spirit. “For the gospels” (continued he), “the apostolical writings, and the oracles of the ancient prophets, clearly teach us what we ought to believe concerning the divine nature. Let, then, all contentious disputation be discarded; and let us seek in the divinely-inspired word the solution of the questions at issue.” These and similar exhortations he, like an affectionate son, addressed to the bishops as to fathers, labouring to bring about their unanimity in the apostolical doctrines. Most members of the synod, won over by his arguments, established concord among themselves, and embraced sound doctrine. There were, however, a few, of whom mention has been already made, who opposed these doctrines, and sided with Arius; and amongst them were Menophantus, bishop of Ephesus, Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis, Theognis, bishop of Nicaea, and Narcissus, bishop of Neronias, which is a town of the second Cilicia, and is now called Irenopolis; also Theonas, bishop of Marmarica, and Secundus, bishop of Ptolemais in Egypt105 . They drew up a formulary of their faith, and presented it to the council. As soon as it was read it was torn to pieces, and was declared to be spurious and false. So great was the uproar raised against them, and so many were the reproaches cast on them for having betrayed religion, that they all, with the exception of Secundus and Theonas, stood up and took the lead in publicly renouncing Arius. This impious man, having thus been expelled from the Church, a confession of faith which is received to this day was drawn up by unanimous consent; and, as soon as it was signed, the council was dissolved.

Chapter VII.—Confutation of Arianism Deduced from the Writings of Eustathius and Athanasius.

The above-named bishops, however, did not consent to it in sincerity, but only in appearance. This was afterwards shewn by their plotting against those who were foremost in zeal for religion, as well as by what these latter have written about them. For instance, Eustathius, the famous bishop of Antioch, who has been already mentioned, when explaining the text in the Proverbs, ‘The Lord created me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old106 ,’ wrote against them, and refuted their blasphemy.

107 “I Will now proceed to relate how these different events occurred. A general council was summoned at Nicaea, and about two hundred and seventy bishops were convened. There were, however, so many assembled that I cannot state their exact number, neither, indeed, have I taken any great trouble to ascertain this point. When they began to inquire into the nature of the faith, the formulary of Eusebius was brought forward, which contained undisguised evidence of his blasphemy. The reading of it before all occasioned great grief to the audience, on account of its departure from the faith, while it inflicted irremediable shame on the writer. After the Eusebian gang had been clearly convicted, and the impious writing had been torn up in the sight of all, some amongst them by concert, under the pretence of preserving peace, imposed silence on all the ablest speakers. The Ariomaniacs, fearing lest they should be ejected from the Church by so numerous a council of bishops, sprang forward to anathematize and condemn the doctrines condemned, and unanimously signed the confession of faith. Thus having retained possession of their episcopal seats through the most shameful deception, although they ought rather to have been degraded, they continue, sometimes secretly, and sometimes openly, to patronize the condemned doctrines, plotting against the truth by various arguments. Wholly bent upon establishing these plantations of tares, they shrink from the scrutiny of the intelligent, avoid the observant, and attack the preachers of godliness. But we do not believe that these atheists can ever thus overcome the Deity. For though they ‘gird themselves’ they ‘shall be broken in pieces,’ according to the solemn prophecy of Isaiah108 .”

53 These are the words of the great Eustathius. Athanasius, his fellow combatant, the champion of the truth, who succeeded the celebrated Alexander in the episcopate, added the following, in a letter addressed to the Africans.

“The bishops convened in council being desirous of refuting the impious assertions invented by the Arians, that the Son was created out of that which was non-existent109 , that He is a creature and created being110 , that there was a period in which He was not111 , and that He is mutable by nature, and being all agreed in propounding the following declarations, which are in accordance with the holy Scriptures; namely, that the Son is by nature only-begotten of God, Word, Power, and sole Wisdom of the Father; that He is, as Jn said, ‘the true God112 ,’ and, as Paul has written, ‘the brightness of the glory, and the express image of the person of the Father113 ,’ the followers of Eusebius, drawn aside by their own vile doctrine, then began to say one to another, Let us agree, for we are also of God; ‘There is but one God, by whom are all things114 ; ‘Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new, and all things are of God’115 .’ They also dwelt particularly upon what is contained in ‘The Shepherd116 :’ ‘Believe above all that there is one God, who created and fashioned all things, and making them to be out of that which is not.’

“But the bishops saw through their evil design and impious artifice, and gave a clearer elucidation of the words ‘of God,’ and wrote, that the Son is of the substance of God; in order that while the creatures, which do not in any way derive their existence of or from themselves, are said to be of God, the Son alone is said to be of the substance of the Father; this being peculiar to the only-begotten Son, the true Word of the Father. This is the reason why the bishops wrote, that He is of the substance of the Father.

“But when the Arians, who seemed few in number, were again interrogated by the Bishops as to whether they admitted ‘that the Son is not a creature, but Power, and sole Wisdom, and eternal unchangeable117 Image of the Father; and that He is very God,’ the Eusebians were noticed making signs to one another to shew that these declarations were equally applicable to us. For it is said, that we are ‘the image and glory of God118 ;’ and ‘for always we who live119 :’ there are, also, they said, many powers; for it is written—‘All the power of God went out of the land of Egypt120 .’ The canker-worm and the locust are said to be ‘a great power121 .’ And elsewhere it is written,The God of powers is with us, the God of Jacob helper122 .’ To which may be added that we are God’s own not simply, but because the Son called us ‘brethren123 .’ The declaration that Christ is ‘the true God’ does not distress us, for, having come into being, He is true.

“Such was the corrupt opinion of the Arians; but on this the bishops, having detected their deceitfulness in this matter, collected from Scripture those passages which say of Christ that He is the glory, the fountain, the stream, and the express image of the person; and they quoted the following words: ‘In thy light we shall see light124 ;’ and likewise, ‘I and the Father are one125 .’ They then, with still greater clearness, briefly declared that the Son is of one substance with the Father; for this, indeed, is the signification of the passages which have been quoted. The complaint of the Arians, that these precise words are not to be found in Scripture, is proved groundless by their own practice, for their own impious assertions are not taken from Scripture; for it is not written that the Son is of the non-existent, and that there was a time when He was not: and yet they complain of having been condemned by expressions which, though not actually in Scripture, are in accordance with true religion. They themselves, on the other hand, as though they had found their words on a dunghill, uttered things verily of earth. The bishops, on the contrary, did not find their expressions for themselves; but, received their testimony from the fathers, and wrote accordingly. Indeed, there were bishops of old time, nearly one hundred and thirty years ago, both of the great city of Rome and of our own city126 , who condemned those who asserted that the Son is a creature, and that He is not of one substance with the Father. Eusebius, the bishop of Caesarea, was acquainted with these facts; he, at one time, favoured the Arian heresy, but he afterwards signed the confession of faith of the Council of Nicaea. He wrote to the people of his diocese, maintaining that the word ‘consubstantial’ was ‘used by illustrious bishops and learned writers as a term for expressing the divinity of the Father and of the Son127 .’”

(So these men concealed their unsoundness through fear of the majority, and gave their assent to the decisions of the council, thus drawing upon themselves the condemnation of the prophet, for the God of all cries unto them, “This people honour Me with their lips, but in their hearts they are far from Me128 .” Theonas and Secundus, however, did not like to take this course, and were excommunicated by common consent as men who esteemed the Arian blasphemy above evangelical doctrine. The bishops then returned to the council, and drew up twenty laws to regulate the discipline of the Church.

Chapter VIII.—Facts Relating to Meletius the Egyptian, from Whom Originated the Meletian Schism, Which Remains to This Day.—Synodical Epistle Respecting Him.

After Meletius129 had been ordained bishop, which was not long before the Arian controversy, he was convicted of certain crimes by the most holy Peter, bishop of Alexandria, who also received the crown of martyrdom. After being deposed by Peter he did not acquiesce in his deposition, but filled the Thebaid and the adjacent part of Egypt with tumult and disturbance, and rebelled against the primacy of Alexandria. A letter was written by the council to the Church of Alexandria, stating what had been decreed against his revolutionary practices. It was as follows:—

Synodical Epistle.

“To the Church of Alexandria which, by the grace of God, is great and holy, and to the beloved brethren in Egypt, Libya, and Pentapolis, the bishops who have been convened to the great and holy council of Nicaea, send greeting in the Lord.

“The great and holy council of Nicaea having been convened by the grace of God, and by the most religious emperor, Constantine, who summoned us from different provinces and cities, we judge it requisite that a letter be sent from the whole Holy Synod to inform you also what questions have been mooted and debated, and what has been decreed and established.

54 “In the first place, the impious doctrines of Arius were investigated before our most religious emperor Constantine; and his impiety was unanimously anathematized, as well as the blasphemous language and views which he had propounded, alleging that the Son of God was out of what was not, that before He was begotten He was not, that there was a period in which He was not, and that He can, according to His own freewill, be capable either of virtue or of vice. The holy council anathematized all these assertions, and even refused so much as to listen to such impious and foolish opinions, and such blasphemous expressions. The final decision concerning him you already know, or will soon hear; but we will not mention it now, lest we should appear to trample upon a man who has already received the recompense due to his sins. Such influence has his impiety obtained as to involve Theonas, bishop of Marmarica, and Secundus, bishop of Ptolemais, in his ruin, and they have shared his punishment.

“But after Egypt had, by the grace of God, been delivered from these false and blasphemous opinions, and from persons who dared to raise discord and division among a hitherto peaceable people, there yet remained the question of the temerity of Meletius, and of those ordained by him. We now inform you, beloved brethren, of the decrees of the council on this subject. It was decided by the holy council, that Meletius should be treated with clemency, though, strictly speaking, he was not worthy of even the least concession. He was permitted to remain in his own city, but was divested of all power, whether of nomination or of ordination, neither was he to shew himself in any province or city for these purposes: but only to retain the bare name of his office. Those who had received ordination at his hands were to submit to a more religious re-ordination; and were to be admitted to communion on the terms of retaining their ministry, but of ranking in every diocese and church below those who had been ordained before them by Alexander, our much-honoured fellow-minister Thus they would have no power of choosing or nominating others to the ministry, according to their pleasure, or indeed of doing anything with out the consent of the bishops of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, who are under Alexander. But they who, by the grace of God, and in answer to your prayers, have been detected in no schism, and have continued spotless in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, are to have the power of electing, and of nominating men worthy of the clerical office, and are permitted to do whatsoever is in accordance with law and the authority of the Church. If it should happen, that any of those now holding an office in the Church should die, then let these recently admitted be advanced to the honours of the deceased, provided only that they appear worthy, and that the people choose them, and that the election be confirmed and ratified by the catholic bishop of Alexandria. The same privilege has been conceded to all the others. With respect to Meletius, however, an exception has been made, both on account of his former insubordination, and of the rashness and impetuosity of his disposition; for if the least authority were accorded to him, he might abuse it by again exciting confusion. These are the chief points which relate to Egypt, and to the holy Church of Alexandria. Whatever other canons were made, or dogmas decreed, you will hear of them from Alexander, our most-honoured fellow-minister and brother, who will give you still more accurate information, because he himself directed, as well as participated in, every thing that took place.

“We also give you the good news that, according to your prayers, the celebration of the most holy paschal feast was unanimously rectified, so that our brethren of the East, who did not previously keep the festival at the same time as those of Rome, and as yourselves, and, indeed, all have done from the beginning, will henceforth celebrate it with you. Rejoice, then, in the success of our undertakings, and in the general peace and concord, and in the extirpation of every heresy, and receive with still greater honour and more fervent love, Alexander, our fellow-minister and your bishop, who imparted joy to as by his presence, and who, at a very advanced age, has undergone so much fatigue for the purpose of restoring peace among you. Pray for us all, that what has been rightly decreed may remain steadfast, through our Lord Jesus Christ, being done, as we trust, according to the good pleasure of God and the Father in the Holy Ghost, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

Notwithstanding the endeavours of that divine assembly of bishops to apply this medicine to the Meletian disease, vestiges of his infatuation remain even to this day; for there are in some districts bodies of monks who refuse to follow sound doctrine, and observe certain vain points of discipline, agreeing with the infatuated views of the Jews and the Samaritans.

Chapter IX.—The Epistle of the Emperor Constantine, Concerning the Matters Transacted at the Council, Addressed to Those Bishops Who Were Not Present.

The great emperor also wrote an account of the transactions of the council to those bishops who were unable to attend. And I consider it worth while to insert this epistle in my work, as it clearly evidences the piety of the writer.

“Constantinus Augustus to the Churches.

“Viewing the common public prosperity enjoyed at this moment, as the result of the great power of divine grace, I am desirous above all things that the blessed members of the Catholic Church should be preserved in one faith, in sincere love, and in one form of religion, towards Almighty God. But, since no firmer or more effective measure could be adopted to secure this end, than that of submitting everything relating to our most holy religion to the examination of all, or most of all, the bishops, I convened as many of them as possible, and took my seat among them as one of yourselves; for I would not deny that truth which is the source of my greatest joy, namely, that I am your fellow-servant. Every point obtained its due investigation, until the doctrine pleasing to the all-seeing God, and conducive to unity, was made clear, so that no room should remain for division or controversy concerning the faith.

“The commemoration of the most sacred paschal feast being then debated, it was unanimously decided, that it would be well that it should be everywhere celebrated upon the same day. What can be more fair, or more seemly, than that that festival by which we have received the hope of immortality should be carefully celebrated by all, on plain grounds, with the same order and exactitude? It was, in the first place, declared improper to follow the custom of the Jews in the celebration of this holy festival, because, their hands having been stained with crime, the minds of these wretched men are necessarily blinded. By rejecting their custom, we establish and hand down to succeeding ages one which is more reasonable, and which has been observed ever since the day of our Lord’s sufferings. Let us, then, have nothing in common with the Jews, who are our adversaries. For we have received from our Saviour another way. A better and more lawful line of conduct is inculcated by our holy religion. Let us with one accord walk therein, my much-honoured brethren, studiously avoiding all contact with that evil way. They boast that without their instructions we should be unable to commemorate the festival properly. This is the highest pitch of absurdity. For how can they entertain right views on any point who, after having compassed the death of the Lord, being out of their minds, are guided not by sound reason, but by an unrestrained passion, wherever their innate madness carries them. Hence it follows that they have so far lost sight of truth, wandering as far as possible from the correct revisal, that they celebrate a second Passover in the same year. What motive can we have for following those who are thus confessedly unsound and in dire error? For we could never tolerate celebrating the Passover twice in one year. But even if all these facts did not exist, your own sagacity would prompt you to watch with diligence and with prayer, lest your pure minds should appear to share in the customs of a people so utterly depraved. It must also be borne in mind, that upon so important a point as the celebration of a feast of such sanctity, discord is wrong. One day has our Saviour set apart for a commemoration of our deliverance, namely, of His most holy Passion. One hath He wished His Catholic Church to be, whereof the members, though dispersed throughout the most various parts of the world, are yet nourished by one spirit, that is, by the divine will. Let your pious sagacity reflect how evil and improper it is, that days devoted by some to fasting, should be spent by others in convivial feasting; and that after the paschal feast, some are rejoicing in festivals and relaxations, while others give themselves up to the appointed fasts. That this impropriety should be rectified, and that all these diversities of commemoration should be resolved into one form, is the will of divine Providence, as I am convinced you will all perceive. Therefore, this irregularity must be corrected, in order that we may no more have any thing in common with those parricides and the murderers of our Lord. An orderly and excellent form of commemoration is observed in all the churches of the western, of the southern, and of the northern parts of the world, and by some of the eastern; this form being universally commended, I engaged that you would be ready to adopt it likewise, and thus gladly accept the rule unanimously adopted in the city of Rome, throughout Italy, in all Africa, in Egypt, the Spains, the Gauls, the Britains, Libya, Greece, in the dioceses of Asia, and of Pontus, and in Cilicia, taking into your consideration not only that the churches of the places above-mentioned are greater in point of number, but also that it is most pious that all should unanimously agree in that course which accurate reasoning seems to demand, and which has no single point in common with the perjury of the Jews.

“Briefly to summarize the whole of the preceding, the judgment of all is, that the holy Paschal feast should be held on one and the same day; for, in so holy a matter, it is not becoming that any difference of custom should exist, and it is better to follow the opinion which has not the least association with error and sin. This being the case, receive with gladness the heavenly gift and the plainly divine command; for all that is transacted in the holy councils of the bishops is to be referred to the Divine will. Therefore, when you have made known to all our beloved brethren the subject of this epistle, regard yourselves bound to accept what has gone before, and to arrange for the regular observance of this holy day, so that when, according to my long-cherished desire, I shall see you face to face, I may be able to celebrate with you this holy festival upon one and the same day; and may rejoice with you all in witnessing the cruelty of the devil destroyed by our efforts, through Divine grace, while our faith and peace and concord flourish throughout the world. May God preserve you, beloved brethren.”

Chapter X.—The Daily Wants of the Church Supplied by the Emperor, and an Account of His Other Virtues.

55 Thus did the emperor write to the absent. To those who attended the council, three hundred and eighteen in number he manifested great kindness, addressing them with much gentleness, and presenting them with gifts. He ordered numerous couches to be prepared for their accommodation and entertained them all at one banquet. Those who were most worthy he received at his own table, distributing the rest at the others. Observing that some among them bad had the right eye torn out, and learning that this mutilation had been undergone for the sake of religion, he placed his lips upon the wounds, believing that he would extract a blessing from the kiss. After the conclusion of the feast, he again presented other gifts to them. He then wrote to the governors of the provinces, directing that provision-money should be given in every city to virgins and widows, and to those who were consecrated to the divine service; and he measured the amount of their annual allowance more by the impulse of his own generosity than by their need. The third part of the sum is distributed to this day. Julian impiously withheld the whole. His successor130 conferred the sum which is now dispensed, the famine which then prevailed having lessened the resources of the state. If the pensions were formerly triple in amount to what they are at present, the generosity of the emperor can by this fact be easily seen.

I do not account it right to pass over the following circumstance in silence. Some quarrelsome individuals wrote accusations against certain bishops, and presented their indictments to the emperor. This occurring before the establishment of concord, he received the lists, formed them into a packet which he sealed with his ring, and ordered them to be kept safely. After the reconciliation had been effected, he brought out these writings, and burnt them in their presence, at the same time declaring upon oath that he had not read a word of them. He said that the crimes of priests ought not to be made known to the multitude, lest they should become an occasion of offence, and lead them to sin without fear. It is reported also that he added that if he were to detect a bishop in the very act of committing adultery, he would throw his imperial robe over the unlawful deed, lest any should witness the scene, and be thereby injured. Thus did he admonish all the priests, as well as confer honours upon them, and then exhorted them to return each to his own flock.

Chapter XI.

I shall here insert the letter respecting the faith, written by Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, as it describes the effrontery of the Arians, who not only despise our fathers, but reject their own: it contains a convincing proof of their madness. They certainly honour Eusebius, because he adopted their sentiments, but yet they openly contradict his writings. He wrote this epistle to some of the Arians, who were accusing him, it seems, of treachery. The letter itself explains the writer’s object.

Epistle of Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, which he wrote from Nicaea when the great Council was assembled.

“You will have probably learnt from other sources what was decided respecting the faith of the church at the general council of Nicaea, for the fame of great transactions generally outruns the accurate account of them: but lest rumours not in strict accordance with the truth should reach you, I think it necessary to send to you, first, the formulary of faith originally proposed by us, and, next, the second, published with additions made to our terms. The following is our formulary, which was read in the presence of our most pious emperor, and declared to be couched in right and proper language.

The Faith put forth by us.

“‘As in our first catechetical instruction, and at the time of our baptism, we received from the bishops who were before us and as we have learnt from the Holy Scriptures, and, alike as presbyters, and as bishops, were wont to believe and teach; so we now believe and thus declare our faith. It is as follows:—

“‘We believe in one God, Father Almighty, the Maker of all things, visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, God of God, Light of Light, Life of Life, Only-begotten Son, First-born of every creature, begotten of the Father before all worlds; by Whom all things were made; Who for our salvation was incarnate, and lived among men131 . He suffered and rose again the third day, and ascended to the Father; and He will come again in glory to judge the quick and the dead. We also believe in one Holy Ghost.

“‘We believe in the being and continual existence of each of these; that the Father is in truth the Father; the Son in truth the Son; the Holy Ghost in truth the Holy Ghost; as our Lord, when sending out His disciples to preach the Gospel, said, ‘Go forth and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost132 .’ We positively affirm that we hold this faith, that we have always held it, and that we adhere to it even unto death, condemning all ungodly heresy. We testify, as before God the Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we have thought thus from the heart, and from the soul, ever since we have known ourselves; and we have the means of showing, and, indeed, of convincing you, that we have always during the past thus believed and preached.’

“When this formulary had been set forth by us, there was no room to gainsay it; but our beloved emperor himself was the first to testify that it was most orthodox, and that he coincided in opinion with it; and he exhorted the others to sign it, and to receive all the doctrine it contained, with the single addition of the one word—‘consubstantial.’ He explained that this term implied no bodily condition or change133 , for that the Son did not derive His existence from the Father either by means of division or of abscission, since an immaterial, intellectual, and incorporeal nature could not be subject to any bodily condition or change134 . These things must be understood as bearing a divine and mysterious signification. Thus reasoned our wisest and most religious emperor. The addition of the word consubstantial has given occasion for the composition of the following formulary:—

56 The Creed published by the Council.

“‘We believe in one God, Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father; only-begotten, that is, of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, Very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father: by Whom all things were made both in heaven and on earth: Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate, and was made man; He suffered, and rose gain the third day; He ascended into heaven, and is coming to judge both quick and dead. And we believe in the Holy Ghost. The holy Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes all who say that there was a time when the Son of God was not; that before He was begotten He was not; that He was made out of the non-existent; or that He is of a different essence and of a different substance135 from the Father; and that He is susceptible of variation or change.’

“When they had set forth this formulary, we did not leave without examination that passage in which it is said that the Son is of the substance of the Father, and consubstantial with the Father. Questions and arguments thence arose, and the meaning of the terms was exactly tested. Accordingly they were led to confess that the word consubstantial signifies that the Son is of the Father, but not as being a part of the Father. We deemed it right to receive this opinion; for that is sound doctrine which teaches that the Son is of the Father, but not part of His substance. From the love of peace, and lest we should fall from the true belief, we also accept this view, neither do we reject the term ‘consubstantial.’ For the same reason we admitted the expression, ‘begotten, but not made;’ for they alleged that the word ‘made’ applies generally to all things which were created by the Son, to which the Son is in no respect similar; and that consequently He is not a created thing, like the things made by Him, but is of a substance superior to all created objects. The Holy Scriptures teach Him to be begotten of the Father, by a mode of generation which is incomprehensible and inexplicable to all created beings. So also the term ‘of one substance with the Father,’ when investigated, was accepted not in accordance with bodily relations or similarity to mortal beings. For it was also shown that it does not either imply division of substance, nor abscission, nor any modification or change or diminution in the power of the Father, all of which are alien from the nature of the unbegotten Father. It was concluded that the expression ‘being of one substance with the Father,’ implies that the Son of God does not resemble, in any one respect, the creatures which He has made; but that to the Father alone, who begat Him, He is in all points perfectly like: for He is of the essence and of the substance136 of none save of the Father. This interpretation having been given of the doctrine, it appeared right to us to assent to it, especially as we were aware that of the ancients some learned and celebrated bishops and writers have used the term ‘consubstantial’ with respect to the divinity of the Father and of the Son.

“These are the circumstances which I had to communicate respecting the published formulary of the faith. To it we all agreed, not without investigation, but, after having subjected the views submitted to us to thorough examination in the presence of our most beloved emperor, for the above reasons we all acquiesced in it. We also allowed that the anathema appended by them to their formulary of faith should be accepted, because it prohibits the use of words which are not scriptural; through which almost all the disorder and troubles of the Church have arisen. And since no passage of the inspired Scripture uses the terms ‘out of the non-existent,’ or that ‘there was a time when He was not,’ nor indeed any of the other phrases of the same class, it did not appear reasonable to assert or to teach such things. In this opinion, therefore, we judged it right to agree; since, indeed, we had never, at any former period, been accustomed to use such terms137 . Moreover, the condemnation of the assertion that before He was begotten He was not, did not appear to involve any incongruity, because all assent to the fact that He was the Son of God before He was begotten according to the flesh. And here our emperor, most beloved by God, began to reason concerning His divine origin, and His existence before all ages. He was virtually in the Father without generation138 , even before He was actually begotten, the Father having always been the Father, just as He has always been a King and a Saviour, and, virtually, all things, and has never known any change of being or action.

“We have thought it requisite, beloved brethren, to transmit you an account of these circumstances, in order to show you what examination and investigation we bestowed on all the questions which we had to decide; and also to prove how at one time we resisted firmly, even to the last hour, when doctrines improperly expressed offended us, and, at another time, we, without contention, accepted the articles which contained nothing objectionable, when after a thorough and candid investigation of their signification, they appeared perfectly comformable with what had been confessed by us in the formulary of faith which we had published.”

Chapter XII.—Confutation of the Blasphemies of the Arians of Our Time, from the Writings of Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea.

Eusebius clearly testifies that the aforesaid term “consubstantial” is not a new one, nor the invention of the fathers assembled at the council; but that, from the very first139 it has been handed down from father to son. He states that all those then assembled unanimously received the creed then published; and he again bears testimony to the same fact in another work, in which he highly extols the conduct of the great Constantine. He writes as follows140 :—

“The emperor having delivered this discourse in Latin, it was translated into Greek by an interpreter, and then he gave liberty of speech to the leaders of the council. Some at once began to bring forward complaints against their neighbours, while others had recourse to recriminations and reproaches. Each party had much to urge, and at the beginning the debate waxed very violent. The emperor patiently and attentively listened to all that was advanced, and gave furl attention to what was urged by each party in turn. He calmly endeavoured to reconcile the conflicting parties; addressing them mildly in Greek, of which language he was not ignorant, in a sweet and gentle manner. Some he convinced by argument, others he put to the blush; he commended those who had spoken well, and excited all to unanimity; until, at length, he reduced them all to oneness of mind and opinion on all the disputed points, so that they all agreed to hold the same faith, and to celebrate the festival of Salvation upon the same day. What had been decided was committed to writing, and was signed by all the bishops.”

Soon after the author thus continues the narrative:—

“When matters had been thus arranged, the emperor gave them permission to return to their own dioceses. They returned with great joy, and have ever since continued to be of the one opinion, agreed upon in the presence of the emperor, and, though once widely separated, now united together, as it were, in one body. Constantine, rejoicing in the success of his efforts, made known these happy results by letter to those who were at a distance. He ordered large sums of money to be liberally distributed both among the inhabitants of the country and of the cities, in order that the twentieth anniversary of his reign might be celebrated with public festivities.”

Although the Arians impiously gainsay the statements of the other fathers, yet they ought to believe what has been written by this father, whom they have been accustomed to admire. They ought, therefore, to receive his testimony to the unanimity with which the confession of faith was signed by all. But, since they impugn the opinions of their own leaders, they ought to become acquainted with the most foul and terrible manner of the death of Arius and with all their powers to flee from the impious doctrine of which he was the parent. As it is likely that the mode of his death is not known by all, I shall here relate it.

57 Chapter XIII.—Extract from the Letter of Athanasius on the Death of Arius141 .

After Arius had remained a long time in Alexandria, he endeavoured riotously to obtrude himself again into the assemblies of the Church, professing to renounce his impiety, and promising to receive the confession of faith drawn up by the fathers. But not succeeding in obtaining the confidence of the divine Alexander, nor of Athanasius, who followed142 Alexander alike in the patriarchate and in piety, he, helped and encouraged by Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, betook himself to Constantinople. The intrigues upon which he then entered, and their punishment by the righteous Judge are all best narrated by the excellent Athanasius, in his letter to Apion143 . I shall therefore now insert this passage in my work. He writes:—

“I was not at Constantinople when he died; but Macarius, the presbyter, was there, and from him I learnt all the circumstances. The emperor Constantine was induced by Eusebius and his party to send for Arius. Upon his arrival, the emperor asked him whether he held the faith of the Catholic church. Arius then swore that his faith was orthodox, and presented a written summary of his belief; concealing, however, the reasons of his ejection from the Church by the bishop Alexander, and making a dishonest use of the language of Holy Scripture. When, therefore, he had declared upon oath that he did not hold the errors for which he had been expelled from the Church by Alexander, Constantine dismissed him, saying, ‘If thy faith is orthodox, thou hast well sworn; but if thy faith is impious and yet thou hast sworn, let God from heaven judge thee.’ When he quitted the emperor, the partizans of Eusebius, with their usual violence, desired to conduct him into the church; but Alexander, of blessed memory, bishop of Constantinople, refused his permission, alleging that the inventor of the heresy ought not to be admitted into communion. Then at last the partizans of Eusebius pronounced the threat: ‘As, against your will, we succeeded in prevailing on the emperor to send for Arius, so now, even if you forbid it, shall Arius join in communion144 with us in this church to-morrow.’ It was on Saturday that they said this. The bishop Alexander, deeply grieved at what he had heard, went into the church and poured forth his lamentations, raising his hands in supplication to God, and throwing himself on his face on the pavement in the sanctuary145 , prayed. Macarius went in with him, prayed with him, and heard his prayers. He asked one of two things. ‘If Arius,’ said he, ‘is to be joined to the Church to-morrow, let me Thy servant departs and do not destroy the pious with the impious. If Thou wilt spare Thy Church, and I know that Thou dost spare her, look upon the words of the followers of Eusebius, and give not over Thy heritage to destruction and to shame. Remove Arius, lest if he come into the Church, heresy seem to come in with him, and impiety be hereafter deemed piety.’ Having thus prayed, the bishop left the church deeply anxious, and then a horrible and extraordinary catastrophe ensued. The followers of Eusebius had launched out into threats, while the bishop had recourse to prayer. Arius, emboldened by the protection of his party, delivered many trifling and foolish speeches, when he was suddenly compelled by a call of nature to retire, and immediately, as it is written, ‘falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst146 ,’ and gave up the ghost, being deprived at once both of communion and of life. This, then, was the end of Arius147 . The followers of Eusebius were covered with shame, and buried him whose belief they shared. The blessed Alexander completed the celebration, rejoicing with the Church in piety and orthodoxy, praying with all the brethren and greatly glorifying God. This was not because he rejoiced at the death of Arius—God forbid; for ‘it is appointed unto all men once to die148 ;’ but because the event plainly transcended any human condemnation. For the Lord Himself passing judgment upon the menaces of the followers of Eusebius, and the prayer of Alexander, condemned the Arian heresy, and shewed that it was unworthy of being received into the communion of the Church; thus manifesting to all that, even if it received the countenance and support of the emperor, and of all men, yet by truth itself it stood condemned.”

These were the first fruits, reaped by Arius, of those pernicious seeds which he had himself sown, and formed the prelude to the punishments that awaited him hereafter. His impiety was condemned by his punishment.

I shall now turn my narrative to the piety of the emperor. He addressed a letter to all the subjects of the Roman empire, exhorting them to renounce their former errors, and to embrace the doctrines of our Saviour, and trying to guide them to this truth. He stirred up the bishops in every city to build churches, and encouraged them not only by his letter, but also by presenting them with large sums of money, and defraying all the expenses of building. This his own letter sets forth, which was after this manner:—

Chapter XIV.—Letter Written by the Emperor Constantine Respecting the Building of Churches149 .

“Constantinus Augustus, the great and the victorious, to Eusebius.

“I am well aware, and am thoroughly convinced, my beloved brother, that as the servants of our Saviour Christ have been suffering up to the present time from nefarious machinations and tyrannical persecutions, the fabrics of all the churches must have either fallen into utter ruin from neglect, or, through apprehension of the impending iniquity, have been reduced below their proper dignity. But now that freedom is restored, and that dragon150 , through the providence of God, and by our instrumentality, thrust out from the government of the Empire, I think that the divine power has become known to all, and that those who hitherto, from fear or from incredulity or from depravity, have lived in error, will now, upon becoming acquainted with Him who truly is, be led into the true and correct manner of life. Exert yourself, therefore, diligently in the reparation of the churches under your own jurisdiction, and admonish the principal bishops, priests, and deacons of other places to engage zealously in the same work; in order that all the churches which still exist may be repaired or enlarged, and that new ones may be built wherever they are required. You, and others through your intervention, can apply to magistrates151 and to provincial governments152 , for all that may be necessary for this purpose; for they have received written injunctions to render zealous obedience to whatever your holiness may command. May God preserve you, beloved brother.”

Thus the emperor wrote to the bishops in each province respecting the building of churches. From his letter to Eusebius of Palestine, it is easily learnt what measures he adopted to obtain copies of the Holy Bible153 .

Chapter XV.—The Epistle of Constantine Concerning the Preparation of Copies of the Holy Scriptures.

“Constantinus Augustus, the great and the victorious, to Eusebius.

58 “In the city154 which bears our name, a great number of persons have, through the providential care of God the Saviour, united themselves to the holy Church. As all things there are in a state of rapid improvement, we deemed it most important that an additional number of churches should be built. Adopt joyfully the mode of procedure determined upon by us, which we have thought expedient to make known to your prudence, namely, that you should get written, on fine parchment, fifty volumes155 , easily legible and handy for use; these you must have transcribed by skilled calligraphers, accurately acquainted with their art. I mean, of course, copies of the Holy Scriptures, which, as you know, it is most necessary that the congregation of the Church should both have and use. A letter has been sent from our clemency to the catholicus156 of the diocese, in order that he may be careful that everything necessary for the undertaking is supplied. The duty devolving upon you is to take measures to ensure the completion of these manuscripts within a short space of time. When they are finished, you are authorised by this letter to order two public carriages for the purpose of transmitting them to us; and thus the fair manuscripts will be easily submitted to our inspection. Appoint one of the deacons of your church to take charge of this part of the business; when he comes to us, he shall receive proofs of our benevolence. May God preserve you, beloved brother.”

What has been already said is enough to shew, nay to clearly prove, how great zeal the emperor manifested on the matters of religion. I will, however, add his noble acts with regard to the Sepulchre of our Saviour. For having learnt that the idolaters, in their frantic rage, had heaped earth over the Lord’s tomb, eager thus to destroy all remembrance of His Salvation, and had built over it a temple to the goddess of unbridled lust, in mockery of the Virgin’s birth, the emperor ordered the foul shrine to be demolished, and the soil polluted with abominable sacrifices to be carried away and thrown out far from the city, and a new temple of great size and beauty to be erected on the site. All this is clearly set forth in the letter which he wrote to the president157 of the church of Jerusalem, Macarius, whom we have already mentioned as a member of the great Nicene Council, and united with his brethren in withstanding the blasphemies of Arius. The following is the letter.

Chapter XVI.—Letter from the Emperor to Macarius, Bishop of Jerusalem, Concerning the Building of the Holy Church.

“Constantinus, the victorious and the great, to Macarius.

“The grace of our Saviour is so wonderful, that no words are adequate to express the present marvel. The fact that the monument of His most holy sufferings should have remained concealed beneath the earth, during so long a course of years, until the time when, on the death of the common enemy of all, it was destined to shine forth on His liberated servants, surpasses every other subject of admiration. If all the wise men throughout the world were collected into one place, and were to endeavour to express themselves worthily of it, they could not approach within an infinite distance of it; for this miracle is as much beyond all human power of belief, as heavenly things by their nature are mightier than human. Hence it is my first and only object that, as by new miracles the faith in the truth is daily confirmed, so the minds of us all may be more earnestly devoted to the holy law, wisely, zealously, and with one accord. As my design is, I think, now generally known, I desire that you, above all, should be assured that my most intense anxiety is to decorate with beautiful edifices that consecrated spot, which by God’s command I have relieved from the burden of the foul idol which encumbered it. For from the beginning He declared it holy, and has rendered it still more holy from the time that He brought to light the proof and memorial of the sufferings of our Lord.

I trust, then, to your sagacity to take every necessary care, not only that the basilica itself surpass all others; but that all its arrangements be such that this braiding may be incomparably superior to the most beautiful structures in every city throughout the world. We have entrusted our friend Dracilianus158 , who discharges the functions of the most illustrious praefect of the province, with the superintendence of the work of the erection and decoration of the walls. He has received our orders to engage workmen and artisans, and to provide all that you may deem requisite for the building. Let us know, by letter, when you have inspected the work, what columns or marbles you consider would be most ornamental, in order that whatever you may inform us is necessary for the work may be conveyed thither from all quarters of the world. For that which is of all places the most wonderful, ought to be decorated in accordance with its dignity. I wish to learn from you whether you think that the vaulted roof of the basilica ought to be panelled159 , or to be adorned in some other way; for if it is to be panelled it may also be gilt. Your holiness must signify to the aforesaid officers, as soon as possible, what workmen and artificers, and what sums of money, are requisite; and let me know promptly not only about the marbles and columns, but also about the panelled ceiling, if you decide that this will be the most beautiful mode of construction. May God preserve you, beloved brother160 .”

Chapter XVII.—Helena161 , Mother of the Emperor Constantine.—Her Zeal in the Erection of the Holy Church.

The bearer of these letters was no less illustrious a personage than the mother of the emperor, even she who was glorious in her offspring, whose piety was celebrated by all; she who brought forth that great luminary and nurtured him in piety. She did not shrink from the fatigue of the journey on account of her extreme old age, but undertook it a little before her death, which occurred in her eightieth year162 ).

When the empress beheld the place where the Saviour suffered, she immediately ordered the idolatrous temple, which had been there erected163 , to be destroyed, and the very earth on which it stood to be removed. When the tomb, which had been so long concealed, was discovered, three crosses were seen buried near the Lord’s sepulchre. All held it as certain that one of these crosses was that of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that the other two were those of the thieves who were crucified with Him. Yet they could not discern to which of the three the Body of the Lord had been brought nigh, and which had received the outpouring of His precious Blood. But the wise and holy Macarius, the president of the city, resolved this question in the following manner. He caused a lady of rank, who had been long suffering from disease, to be touched by each of the crosses, with earnest prayer, and thus discerned the virtue residing in that of the Saviour. For the instant this cross was brought near the lady, it expelled the sore disease, and made her whole.

The mother of the emperor, on learning the accomplishment of her desire, gave orders that a portion of the nails should be inserted in the royal helmet, in order that the head of her son might be preserved from the darts of his enemies164 . The other portion of the nails she ordered to be formed into the bridle of his horse, not only to ensure the safety of the emperor, but also to fulfil an ancient prophecy; for long before Zechariah, the prophet, had predicted that “There shall be upon the bridles of the horses Holiness unto the Lord Almighty165 .”

She had part of the cross of our Saviour conveyed to the palace166 . The rest was enclosed in a covering of silver, and committed to the care of the bishop of the city, whom she exhorted to preserve it carefully, in order that it might be transmitted uninjured to posterity167 . She then sent everywhere for workmen and for materials, and caused the most spacious and most magnificent churches to be erected. It is unnecessary to describe their beauty and grandeur; for all the pious, if I may so speak, hasten thither and behold the magnificence of the buildings168 .

59 This celebrated and admirable empress performed another action worthy of being remembered. She assembled all the women who had vowed perpetual virginity, and placing them on couches, she herself fulfilled the duties of a handmaid, serving them with food and handing them cups and pouring out wine, and bringing a basin and pitcher, and pouring out water to wash their hands.

After performing these and other laudable actions, the empress returned to her son, and not long after, she joyfully entered upon the other and a better life, after having given her son much pious advice and her fervent parting blessing. Alter her death, those honours were rendered to her memory which her stedfast and zealous service to God deserved169 .

Chapter XIII.—The Unlawful Translation of Eusebius, Bishop of Nicomedia.

The Arian party did not desist from their evil machinations. They had only signed the confession of faith for the purpose of disguising themselves in sheeps’-skins, while they were acting the part of wolves. The holy Alexander, of Byzantium, for the city was not yet called Constantinople, who by his prayer had pierced Arius to the heart, had, at the period to which we are referring, been translated to a better life. Eusebius, the propagator of impiety, little regarding the definition which, only a short time previously, he with the other bishops had agreed upon, without delay quitted Nicomedia and seized upon the see of Constantinople, in direct violation of that canon170 which prohibits bishops and presbyters from being translated from one city to another. But that those who carry their infatuation so far as to deny the divinity of the only-begotten Son of God, should likewise violate the other laws, cannot excite surprise. Nor was this the first occasion that he made this innovation; for, having been originally entrusted with the see of Berytus, he leapt from thence to Nicomedia. Whence he was expelled by the synod, on account of his manifest impiety, as was likewise Theognis, bishop of Nicaea. This is related a second time in the letters of the emperor Constantine; and I shall here insert the close of the letter which he wrote to the Nicomedians.

Chapter XIX.—Epistle of the Emperor Constantine Against Eusebius and Theognis, Addressed to the Nicomedians.

“Who has taught these doctrines to the innocent multitude? It is manifestly Eusebius, the co-operator in the cruelty of the tyrants. For that he was the creature171 of the tyrant has been clearly shown; and, indeed, is proved by the slaughter of the bishops, and by the fact that these victims were true bishops. The relentless persecution of the Christians proclaims this fact aloud.

“I shall not here say anything of the insults directed against me, by which the conspiracies of the opposite faction were mainly carried out. But he went so far as to send spies to watch me, and scarcely refrained from raising troops in aid of the tyrant. Let not any one imagine that I allege what I am not prepared to prove. I am in possession of clear evidence; for I have caused the bishops and presbyters belonging to his following to be seized. But I pass over all these facts. I only mention them for the purpose of making these persons ashamed of their conduct, and not from any feeling of resentment.

“There is one thing I fear, one thing which causes me anxiety, and that is to see you charged as accomplices; for you are influenced by the doctrines of Eusebius, and have thus been led away from the truth. But your cure will be speedy, if, after obtaining a bishop who holds pure and faithful doctrines, you will but look unto God. This depends upon you alone; and you would, no doubt, have thus acted long ago, had not the aforesaid Eusebius come here, strongly supported by those then in power, and overturned all discipline.

“As it is necessary to say something more about Eusebius, your patience will remember that a council was held in the city of Nicaea, at which, in obedience to my conscience, I was present, being actuated by no other motive than the desire of producing unanimity among all, and before all else of proving and dispelling the mischief which originated from the infatuation of Arius of Alexandria, and was straightway strengthened by the absurd and pernicious machinations of Eusebius. But, beloved and much-honoured brethren, you know not how earnestly and how disgracefully Eusebius, although convicted by the testimony of his own conscience, persevered in the support of the false doctrines which had been universally condemned. He secretly sent persons to me to petition on his behalf, and personally intreated my assistance in preventing his being ejected from his bishopric, although his crimes had been fully detected. God, who, I trust, will continue His goodness towards you and towards me, is witness to the truth of what I say. I was then myself deluded and deceived by Eusebius, as you shall well know. In everything he acted according to his own desire, his mind being full of every kind of secret evil.

“Omitting the relation of the rest of his misdeeds, it is well that you should be informed of the crime which he lately perpetrated in concert with Theognis, the accomplice of his folly. I had sent orders for the apprehension of certain individuals in Alexandria who had deserted our faith, and by whose means the firebrand of dissension was kindled. But these good gentlemen, forsooth, bishops, whom, by the clemency of the council, I had reserved for penitence, not only received them under their protection, but also participated in their evil deeds. Hence I came to the determination to punish these ungrateful men, by apprehending and banishing them to some far-distant region.

“It is now your duty to look unto God with that same faith which it is clear that you have ever held, and in which it is fitting you should abide. So let us have cause of rejoicing in the appointment of pure, orthodox, and beneficent bishops. If any one should make mention of those destroyers, or presume to speak in their praise, let him know that his audacity will be repressed by the authority which has been committed to me as the servant of God. May God preserve you, beloved brethren!”

60 The above-mentioned bishops were then deposed and banished. Amphion172 was entrusted with the church of Nicomedia, and Chrestus173 with that of Nicaea. But the exiled bishops, employing their customary artifices, abused the benevolence of the emperor, renewed the previous contests, and regained their former power.

Chapter XX.—The Artful Machinations of Eusebius and His Followers Against the Holy Eustathius, Bishop of Antioch.

Eusebius, as I have already stated, seized the diocese of Constantinople by force. And thus having acquired great power in that city, frequently visiting and holding familiar intercourse with the emperor, he gained confidence and formed plots against those who were foremost in the support of the truth. He at first feigned a desire of going to Jerusalem, to see the celebrated edifices there erected: and the emperor, who was deceived by his flattery, allowed him to set out with the utmost honour, providing him with carriages, and the rest of his equipage and retinue. Theognis, bishop of Nicaea, who, as we have before said, was his accomplice in his evil designs, travelled with him. When they arrived at Antioch, they put on the mask of friendship, and were received with the utmost deference. Eustathius, the great champion of the faith, treated them with fraternal kindness. When they arrived at the holy places, they had an interview with those who were of the same opinions as themselves, namely, Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, Patrophilus, bishop of Scythopolis, Aetius, bishop of Lydda, Theodotus, bishop of Laodicea, and others who had imbibed the Arian sentiments; they made known the plot they had hatched to them, and went with them to Antioch. The pretext for their journey was, that due honour might be rendered to Eusebius; but their real motive was their war against religion. They bribed a low woman, who made a traffic of her beauty, to sell them her tongue, and then repaired to the council, and when all the spectators had been ordered to retire, they introduced the wretched woman. She held a babe in her arms, of which she loudly and impudently affirmed that Eustathius was the father. Eustathius, conscious of his innocence, asked her whether she could bring forward any witness to prove what she had advanced. She replied that she could not: yet these equitable judges admitted her to oath, although it is said in the law, that “at the mouth of two or three witnesses shall the matter be established174 ;” and the apostle says, “against an elder receive not any accusation but before two or three witnesses175 .” But they despised these divine laws, and admitted the accusation against this great man without any witnesses. When the woman had again declared upon oath that Eustathius was the father of the babe, these truth-loving judges condemned him as an adulterer. When the other bishops, who upheld the apostolical doctrines, being ignorant of all these intrigues, openly opposed the sentence, and advised Eustathius not to submit to it, the originators of the plot promptly repaired to the emperor, and endeavoured to persuade him that the accusation was true, and the sentence of deposition just; and they succeeded in obtaining the banishment of this champion of piety and chastity, as an adulterer and a tyrant. He was conducted across Thrace to a city of Illyricum176 .

Chapter XXI.—Bishops of Heretical Opinions Ordained in Antioch After the Banishment of St. Eustathius177 .

Eulalius was first consecrated in place of Eustathius. But Eulalius surviving his elevation only a short period, it was intended that Eusebius of Palestine should be translated to this bishopric. Eusebius, however, refused the appointment, and the emperor forbade its being conferred on him. Next Euphronius was put forward, who also dying, after a lapse of only one year and a few months, the see was conferred on Flaccillus178 . All these bishops secretly clung to the Arian heresy. Hence it was that most of those individuals, whether of the clergy or of the laity, who valued the true religion, left the churches and formed assemblies among themselves. They were called Eustathians, since it was after the banishment of Eustathius that they began to hold their meetings. The wretched woman above-mentioned was soon after attacked by a severe and protracted illness, and then avowed the imposture in which she had been engaged, and made known the whole plot, not only to two or three, but to a very large number of priests. She confessed that she had been bribed to bring this false and impudent charge, but yet that her oath was not altogether false, as a certain Eustathius, a coppersmith, was the father of the babe. Such were some of the crimes perpetrated in Antioch by this most excellent faction.

Chapter XXII.—Conversion of the Indians179 .

At this period, the light of the knowledge of God was for the first time shed upon India. The courage and the piety of the emperor had become celebrated throughout the world; and the barbarians, having learnt by experience to choose peace rather than war, were able to enjoy intercourse with one another without fear. Many persons, therefore, set out on long journeys; some for the desire of making discoveries, others from a spirit of commercial enterprise. About this period a native of Tyre180 , acquainted with Greek philosophy, desiring to penetrate into the interior of India, set off for this purpose with his two young nephews. When he had accomplished the object of his wishes, he embarked for his own country. The ship being compelled to put in to land in order to obtain a fresh supply of water, the barbarians fell upon her, drowned some of the crew, and took the others prisoners. The uncle was among the number of those who were killed, and the lads were conducted to the king. The name of the one was Aedesius, and of the other Frumentius. The king of the country, in course of time, perceiving their intelligence, promoted them to the superintendence of his household. If any one should doubt the truth of this account, let him recal to mind the history of Joseph in the kingdom of Egypt, and also the history of Daniel, and of the three champions of the truth, who, from being captives, became princes of Babylon. The king died; but these young men remained with his son, and were advanced to still greater power. As they had been brought up in the true religion, they exhorted the merchants who visited the country to assemble, according to the custom of Romans181 , to take part in the divine liturgy. After a considerable time they solicited the king to reward their services by permitting them to return to their own country. They obtained his permission, and safely reached Roman territory. Aedesius directed his course towards Tyre, but Frumentius, whose religious zeal was greater than the natural feeling of affection for his relatives, proceeded to Alexandria, and informed the bishop of that city that the Indians were deeply anxious to obtain spiritual light. Athanasius then held the rudder of that church; he heard the story, and then “Who,” said he, “better than you yourself can scatter the mists of ignorance, and introduce among this people the light of Divine preaching?” After having said this, he conferred upon him the episcopal dignity, and sent him to the spiritual culture of that nation. The newly-ordained bishop left this country, caring nothing for the mighty ocean, and returned to the untilled ground of his work. There, having the grace of God to labour with him, he cheerfully and successfully played the husbandman, catching those who sought to gainsay his words by works of apostolic wonder, and thus, by these marvels, confirming his teaching, he continued each day to take many souls alive182 .

Chapter XXIII.—Conversion of the Iberians183 .

Frumentius thus led the Indians to the knowledge of God. Iberia, about the same time, was guided into the way of truth by a captive woman184 . She continued instant in prayer, allowing herself no softer bed than a sack spread upon the ground, and accounted fasting her highest luxury. This austerity was rewarded by gifts similar to those of the Apostles. The barbarians, who were ignorant of medicine, were accustomed, when attacked by disease, to go to one another’s houses, in order to ask those who had suffered in a similar way, and had got well, by what means they had been cured. In accordance with this custom, a mother who had a sick child, repaired to this admirable woman, to enquire if she knew of any cure for the disease. The latter took the child, placed it upon her bed, and prayed to the Creator of the world to be propitious to it, and cure the disease. He heard her prayer, and made it whole. This extraordinary woman hence obtained great celebrity; and the queen, who was suffering from a severe disease, hearing of her by report, sent for her. The captive held herself in very low estimation, and would not accept the invitation of the queen. But the queen, forced by her sore need, and careless of her royal dignity, herself ran to the captive. The latter made the queen lie down upon her mean bed, and once again applied to her disease the efficacious remedy of prayer. The queen was healed, and offered as rewards for her cure, gold, silver, tunics, and mantles, and such gifts as she thought worthy of possession, and such as royal munificence should bestow. The holy woman told her that she did not want any of these, but that she would deem her greatest reward to be the queen’s knowledge of true religion. She then, as far as in her lay, explained the Divine doctrines, and exhorted her to erect a church in honour of Christ who had made her whole. The queen then returned to the palace, and excited the admiration of her consort, by the suddenness of her cure; she then made known to him the power of that God whom the captive adored, and besought him to acknowledge the one only God, and to erect a church to Him, and to lead all the nation to worship Him. The king was greatly delighted with the miracle which had been performed upon the queen, but he would not consent to erect a church. A short time after he went out hunting, and the loving Lord made a prey of him as He did of Paul; for a sudden darkness enveloped him and forbade him to move from the spot; while those who were hunting with him enjoyed the customary sunlight, and he alone was bound with the fetters of blindness. In his perplexity he found a way of escape, for calling to mind his former unbelief, he implored the help of the God of the captive woman, and immediately the darkness was dispelled. He then went to the marvellous captive, and asked her to shew him how a church ought to be built. He who once filled Bezaleel with architectural skill, graciously enabled this woman to devise the plan of a church. The woman set about the plan, and men began to dig and build. When the edifice was completed, the roof put on, and every thing supplied except the priests, this admirable woman found means to obtain these also. For she persuaded the king to send an embassy to the Roman emperor asking for teachers of religion. The king accordingly despatched an embassy for the purpose. The emperor Constantine, who was warmly attached to the cause of religion, when informed of the purport of the embassy, gladly welcomed the ambassadors, and selected a bishop endowed with great faith, wisdom, and virtue, and presenting him with many gifts, sent him to the Iberians, that he might make known to them the true God. Not content with having granted the requests of the Iberians, he of his own accord undertook the protection of the Christians in Persia; for, learning that they were persecuted by the heathens, and that their king himself, a slave to error, was contriving various cunning plots for their destruction, he wrote to him, entreating him to embrace the Christian religion himself, as well as to honour its professors. His own letter will render his earnestness in the cause the plainer.

Chapter XXIV.—Letter Written by the Emperor Constantine to Sapor185 , the King of Persia, Respecting the Christians.

“In protecting the holy faith I enjoy the light of truth, and by following the light of truth I attain to fuller knowlege of the faith. Therefore, as facts prove, I recognize that most holy worship as teaching the knowledge of the most holy God. This service I profess. With the Power of this God for my ally, beginning at the furthest boundaries of the ocean, I have, one after another, quickened every part of the world with hope. Now all the peoples once enslaved by many tyrants, worn by their daily miseries, and almost extinct, have been kindled to fresh life by receiving the protection of the State.

61 “The God I reverence is He whose emblem my dedicated troops bear on their shoulders, marching whithersoever the cause of justice leads them, and rewarding me by their splendid victories. I confess that I reverence this God with eternal remembrance. Him, who dwelleth in the highest heavens, I contemplate with pure and unpolluted mind. On Him I call on bended knees, shunning all abominable blood, all unseemly and illomened odours, all fire of incantation186 , and all pollution by which unlawful and shameful error has destroyed whole nations and hurled them down to hell.

“God does not permit those gifts which, in His beneficent Providence, He has bestowed upon men for the supply of their wants to be perverted according to every man’s desire. He only requires of men a pure mind and a spotless soul, and by these He weighs their deeds of virtue and piety. He is pleased with gentleness187 and modesty; He loves the meek188 , and hates those who excite contentions; He loves faith, chastises unbelief; He breaks all power of boasting189 , and punishes the insolence of the proud190 . Men exalted with pride He utterly overthrows, and rewards the humble191 and the patient192 according to their deserts. Of a just sovereignty He maketh much, strengthens it by His aid, and guards the counsels of Princes with the blessing of peace.

“I know that I am not in error, my brother, when I confess that this God is the Ruler and the Father of all men, a truth which many who preceded me upon the imperial throne were so deluded by error as to attempt to deny. But their end was so dreadful that they have become a fearful warning to all mankind, to deter others from similar iniquity193 . Of these I count that man one whom the wrath of God, like a thunderbolt, drove hence into your country, and who made notorious the memorial of his shame which exists in your own land194 . Indeed it appears to have been well ordered that the age in which we live should be distinguished by the open and manifest punishments inflicted on such persons. I myself have witnessed the end of those who have persecuted the people of God by unlawful edicts. Hence it is that I more especially thank God for having now, by His special Providence, restored peace to those who observe His law, in which they exalt and rejoice.

“I am led to expect future happiness and security whenever God in His goodness unites all men in the exercise of the one pure and true religion. You may therefore well understand how exceedingly I rejoice to hear that the finest provinces of Persia are adorned abundantly with men of this class; I mean Christians; for it is of them I am speaking. All then is well with you and with them, for you will have the Lord of all merciful and beneficent to you. Since then you are so mighty and so pious, I commend the Christians to your care, and leave them in your protection. Treat them, I beseech you, with the affection that befits your goodness. Your fidelity in this respect will confer on yourself and on us inexpressible benefits.”

This excellent emperor felt so much solicitude for all who had embraced the true religion, that he not only watched over those who were his own subjects, but also over the subjects of other sovereigns. For this reason he was blessed with the special protection of God, so that although he held the reins of the whole of Europe and of Africa, and the greater part of Asia, his subjects were all well disposed to his rule, and obedient to his government. Foreign nations submitted to his sway, some by voluntary submission, others overcome in war. Trophies were everywhere erected, and the emperor was styled Victorious.

The praises of Constantine have, however, been proclaimed by many other writers. We must resume the thread of our history. This emperor, who deserves the highest fame, devoted his whole mind to matters worthy of the apostles, while men who had been admitted to the sacerdotal dignity not only neglected to edify the church, but endeavoured to uproot it from the very foundations. They invented all manner of false accusations against those who governed the church in accordance with the doctrines taught by the apostles, and did their best to depose and banish them. Their envy was not satisfied by the infamous falsehood which they had invented against Eustathius, but they had recourse to every artifice to effect the overthrow of another great bulwark of religion. These tragic occurrences I shall now relate as concisely as possible.

Chapter XXV.—An Account of the Plot Formed Against the Holy Athanasius.

Alexander, that admirable bishop, who had successfully withstood the blasphemies of Arius, died five months after the council of Nicaea, and was succeeded in the episcopate of the church of Alexandria by Athanasius. Trained from his youth in sacred studies, Athanasius had attracted general admiration in each ecclesiastical office that he filled. He had, at the general council, so defended the doctrines of the apostles, that while he won the approbation of all the champions of the truth, its opponents learned to look on their antagonist as a personal foe and public enemy. He had attended the council as one of the retinue of Alexander, then a very young man, although he was the principal deacon195 .

When those who had denied the only-begotten Son of God heard that the helm of the Church of Alexandria had been entrusted to his hands knowing as they did by experience his zeal for the truth, they thought that his rule would prove the destruction of their authority. They, therefore, resorted to the following machinations against him. In order to avert suspicion, they bribed some of the adherents of Meletius, who, although deposed by the council of Nicaea, had persevered in exciting commotions in the Thebaid and in the adjacent part of Egypt, and persuaded them to go to the emperor, and to accuse Athanasius of levying a tax upon Egypt196 , and giving the gold collected to a certain man who was preparing to usurp the imperial power197 . The emperor being deceived by this story, Athanasius was brought to Constantinople. Upon his arrival he proved that the accusation was false, and had the charge given him by God restored to him. This is shown by a letter from the emperor to the Church of Alexandria of which I shall transcribe only the concluding paragraph.

A Portion of the Letter from the Emperor Constantine to the Alexandrians.

“Believe me, my brethren, the wicked men were unable to effect anything against your bishop. They surely could have had no other design than to waste our time, and to leave themselves no place for repentance in this life. Do you, therefore, help yourselves, and love that which wins your love198 ; and exert all your power in the expulsion of those who wish to destroy your concord. Look unto God, and love one another. I joyfully welcomed Athanasius your bishop; and I have conversed with him as with one whom I know to be a man of God.”

62 Chapter XXVII.—Another Plot Against Athanasius.

The calumniators of Athanasius, however, did not desist from their attempts. On the contrary, they devised so bold a fiction against him, that it surpassed every invention of the ancient writers of the tragic or comic stage. They again bribed individuals of the same party, and brought them before the emperor, vociferously accusing that champion of virtue of many abominable crimes. The leaders of the party were Eusebius, Theognis, and Theodorus, bishop of Perinthus, a city now called Heraclea199 . After having accused Athanasius of crimes which they described as too shocking to be tolerated, or even listened to, they persuaded the emperor to convene a council at Caesarea in Palestine, where Athanasius had many enemies, and to command that his cause should be there tried. The emperor, utterly ignorant of the plot that had been devised, was persuaded by them to give the required order.

But the holy Athanasius, well aware of the malevolence of those who were to try him, refused to appear at the council. This served as a pretext to those who opposed the truth to criminate him still further; and they accused him before the emperor of contumacy and arrogance. Nor were their hopes altogether frustrated; for the emperor, although exceedingly forbearing, became exasperated by their representations, and wrote to him in an angry manner, commanding him to repair to Tyre. Here the council was ordered to assemble, from the suspicion, as I think, that Athanasius had an apprehension of Caesarea on account of its bishop. The emperor wrote also to the council in a style consistent with his devoted piety. His letter is as follows.

Chapter XXVIII.—Epistle of the Emperor Constantine to the Council of Tyre200 .

“Constantinus Augustus to the holy council assembled in Tyre.

“In the general prosperity which distinguishes the present time, it seems right that the Catholic Church should likewise be exempt from trouble, and that the servants of Christ should be freed from every reproach.

“But certain individuals instigated by the mad desire of contention, not to say leading a life unworthy of their profession, are endeavoring to throw all into disorder. This appears to me to be the greatest of all possible calamities. I beseech you, therefore, in post haste, as the phrase goes, to assemble together, without any delay, in formal synod; so that you may support those who require your assistance, heal the brethren who are in danger, restore unanimity to the divided members, and rectify the disorders of the Church while time permits; and thus restore to those great provinces the harmony which, alas! the arrogance of a few men has destroyed. I believe every one would admit that you could not perform anything so pleasing in the sight of God, so surpassing all my prayers as well as your own, or so conducive to your own reputation, as to restore peace.

“Do not ye therefore delay, but when you have come together with all that sincerity and fidelity which our Saviour demands of all His servants, almost in words that we can hear, endeavour with redoubled eagerness to put a fitting end to these dissensions.

“Nothing shall be omitted on my part to further the interests of our religion. I have done all that you recommended in your letters. I have sent to those bishops whom you specified, directing them to repair to the council for the purpose of deliberating with you upon ecclesiastical matters. I have also sent Dionysius201 , a man of consular rank, to counsel those who are to sit in synod with you, and to be himself an eye witness of your proceedings, and particularly of the order and regularity that is maintained. If any one should dare on the present occasion also to disobey our command, and refuse to come to the council, which, however, I do not anticipate, an officer will be despatched immediately to send him into banishment by imperial order, that he may learn not to oppose the decrees enacted by the emperor for the support of truth.

“All that now devolves upon your holinesses is to decide with unanimous judgment, without partiality or prejudice, in accordance with the ecclesiastical and apostolical rule, and to devise suitable remedies for the offences which may have resulted from error; in order that the Church may be freed from all reproach, that my anxiety may be diminished, that peace may be restored to those now at variance, and that your renown may be increased. May God preserve you, beloved brethren.”

The bishops accordingly repaired to the council of Tyre. Amongst them were those who were accused of holding heterodox doctrines; of whom Asclepas, bishop of Gaza, was one. The admirable Athanasius also attended. I shall first dwell on the tragedy of the accusation, and shall then relate the proceedings of this celebrated tribunal.

63 Chapter XXIX.—The Council of Tyre.

Arsenius was a bishop of the Meletian faction. The men of his party put him in a place of concealment, and charged him to remain there as long as possible. They then cut off the right hand of a corpse, embalmed it, placed it in a wooden case, and carried it about everywhere, declaring that it was the hand of Arsenius, who had been murdered by Athanasius. But the all-seeing eye did not permit Arsenius to remain long in Concealment. He was first seen alive in Egypt; then in the Thebaid; afterwards he was led by Divine Providence to Tyre, where the hand of tragic fame was brought before the council. The friends of Athanasius hunted him up, and brought him to an inn, where they compelled him to lie hid for a time. Early in the morning the great Athanasius came to the council.

First of all a woman of lewd life was brought in, who deposed in a loud and impudent manner that she had vowed perpetual virginity, but that Athanasius, who had lodged in her house, had violated her chastity. After she had made her charge, the accused came forward, and with him a presbyter worthy of all praise, by name Timotheus. The court ordered Athanasius to reply to the indictment; but he was silent, as if he had not been Athanasius. Timotheus, however, addressed her thus: “Have I, O woman, ever conversed with you, or have I entered your house?” She replied with still greater effrontery, screaming aloud in her dispute with Timotheus, and, pointing at him with her finger, exclaimed, “It was you who robbed me of my virginity; it was you who stripped me of my chastity;” adding other indelicate expressions which are used by shameless women. The devisers of this calumny were put to shame, and all the bishops who were privy to it, blushed.

The woman was now being led out of the Court, but the great Athanasius protested that instead of sending her away they ought to examine her, and learn the name of the hatcher of the plot. Hereupon his accusers yelled and shouted that he had perpetrated other viler crimes, of which it was utterly impossible that he could by any art or ingenuity be cleared; and that eyes, not ears, would decide on the evidence. Having said this, they exhibited the famous box and exposed the embalmed hand to view. At this sight all the spectators uttered a loud cry. Some believed the accusation to be true; the others had no doubt of the falsehood, and thought that Arsenius was lurking somewhere or other in concealment. When at length, after some difficulty, a little silence was obtained, the accused asked his judges whether any of them knew Arsenius. Several of them replying that they knew him well, Athanasius gave orders that he should be brought before them. Then he again asked them, “Is this the right Arsenius? Is this the man I murdered? Is this the man those people mutilated after his murder by cutting off his right hand?” When they had confessed that it was the same individual, Athanasius pulled off his cloak, and exhibited two hands, both the right and the left, and said, “Let no one seek for a third hand, for man has received two hands from the Creator and no more.”

Even after this plain proof the calumniators and the judges who were privy to the crime, instead of hiding themselves, or praying that the earth might open and swallow them up, raised an uproar and commotion in the assembly, and declared that Athanasius was a sorcerer, and that he had by his magical incantations bewitched the eyes of men. The very men who a moment before had accused him of murder now strove to tear him in pieces and to murder him. But those whom the emperor had entrusted with the preservation of order saved the life of Athanasius by dragging him away, and hurrying him on board a ship202 .

When he appeared before the emperor, he described all the dramatic plot which had been got up to ruin him. The calumniators sent bishops attached to their faction into Mareotis, viz., Theognis, bishop of Nicaea, Theodorus, bishop of Perinthus, Maris, bishop of Chalcedon, Narcissus of Cilicia203 , with others of the same sentiments. Mareotis is a district near Alexandria, and derives its name from the lake Maria204 . Here they invented other falsehoods, and, forging the reports of the trial, mixed up the charges which had been shown to be false with fresh accusations, as if they had been true, and despatched them to the emperor.

Chapter XXX.—Consecration of the Church of Jerusalem.—Banishment of St. Athanasius.

All the bishops who were present at the council of Tyre, with all others from every quarter, were commanded by the emperor to proceed to Aelia205 to consecrate the churches which he had there erected. The emperor despatched also a number of officials of the most kindly disposition, remarkable for piety and fidelity, whom he ordered to furnish abundant supplies of provisions, not only to the bishops and their followers, but to the vast multitudes who flocked from all parts to Jerusalem. The holy altar was decorated with imperial hangings and with golden vessels set with gems. When the splendid festival was concluded, each bishop returned to his own diocese. The emperor was highly gratified when informed of the splendour and magnificence of the function, and blessed the Author of all good for having thus granted his petition.

Athanasius having complained of his unjust condemnation, the emperor commanded the bishops against whom this complaint was directed to present themselves at court. Upon their arrival, they desisted from urging any of their former calumnies, because they knew how clearly they could be refuted; but they made it appear that Athanasius had threatened to prevent the exportation of corn. The emperor believed what they said, and banished him to a city of Gaul called Treves206 . This occurred in the thirtieth year of the emperor’s reign207 .

Chapter XXXI.—Will of the Blessed Emperor Constantine.

A Year and a few months afterwards208 the emperor was taken ill at Nicomedia, a city of Bithynia, and, knowing the uncertainty of human life, he received the holy rite of baptism209 , which he had intended to have deferred until he could be baptized in the river Jordan.

64 (He left as heirs of the imperial throne his three sons, Constantine, Constantius, and Constans210 , the youngest.

(He ordered that the great Athanasius should return to Alexandria, and expressed this decision in the presence of Eusebius, who did all he could to dissuade him.

Chapter XXXII.—Apology for Constantine.

It ought not to excite astonishment that Constantine was so far deceived as to send so many great men into exile: for he believed the assertions of bishops of high fame and reputation, who skilfully concealed their malice. Those who are acquainted with the Sacred Scriptures know that the holy David, although he was a prophet, was deceived; and that too not by a priest, but by one who was a menial, a slave, and a rascal. I mean Ziba, who deluded the king by lies against Mephibosheth, and thus obtained his land211 . It is not to condemn the prophet that I thus speak; but that I may defend the emperor, by showing the weakness of human nature, and to teach that credit should not be given only to those who advance accusations, even though they may appear worthy of credit; but that the other party ought also to be heard, and that one ear should be left open to the accused.

Chapter XXXIII.—The End of the Holy Emperor Constantine.

The emperor was now translated from his earthly dominions to a better kingdom212 .

The body of the emperor was enclosed in a golden coffin, and was carried to Constantinople by the governors of the provinces, the military commanders, and the other officers of state, preceded and followed by the whole army, all bitterly deploring their loss; for Constantine had been as an affectionate father to them all. The body of the emperor was allowed to remain in the palace until the arrival of his sons, and high honours were rendered to it. But these details require no description here, as a full account has been given by other writers. From their works, which are easy of access, may be learnt how greatly the Ruler of all honours His faithful servants. If any one should be tempted to unbelief, let him look at what occurs now near the tomb and the statue of Constantine213 , and then he must admit the truth of what God has said in the Scriptures, “Them that honour Me I will honour, and they that despise Me shall be lightly esteemed214 .”
Book II.


Chapter I.—Return of St. Athanasius.

The divine Athanasius returned to Alexandria, after having remained two years and four months at Treves1 . Constantine, the eldest son of Constantine the Great, whose imperial sway extended over Western Gaul, wrote the following letter to the church of Alexandria.

Epistle of the Emperor Constantine, the son of Constantine the Great, to the Alexandrians.

65 “Constantinus Caesar to the people of the Catholic Church of Alexandria.

“I think that it cannot have escaped your pious intelligence that Athanasius, the interpreter of the venerated law, was opportunely sent into Gaul, in order that, so long as the savagery of these bloodthirsty opponents was threatening peril to his sacred head, he might be saved from suffering irremediable wrongs. To avoid this imminent peril, he was snatched from the jaws of his foes, to remain in a city under my jurisdiction, where he might be abundantly supplied with every necessary. Yet the greatness of his virtue, relying on the grace of God, led him to despise all the calamities of adverse fortune. Constantine, my lord and my father, of blessed memory, intended to have reinstated him in his former bishopric, and to have restored him to your piety; but as the emperor was arrested by the hand of death before his desires were accomplished, I, being his heir, have deemed it fitting to carry into execution the purpose of this sovereign of divine memory. You will learn from your bishop himself, when you see him, with how much respect I have treated him. Nor indeed is it surprising that he should have been thus treated by me. I was moved to this line of conduct by his own great virtue, and the thought of your affectionate longing for his return. May Divine Providence watch over you, beloved brethren!”

Furnished with this letter, St. Athanasius returned2 from exile, and was most gladly welcomed both by the rich and by the poor, by the inhabitants of cities, and by those of the provinces. The followers of the madness of Arius were the only persons who felt any vexation at his return. Eusebius, Theognis, and those of their faction resorted to their former machinations, and endeavoured to prejudice the ears of the young emperor against him.

I shall now proceed to relate in what manner Constantius swerved from the doctrines of the Apostles.

Chapter II.—Declension of the Emperor Constantius from the True Faith.

Constantia, the widow of Licinius, was the half-sister of Constantine3 . She was intimately acquainted with a certain priest who had imbibed the doctrines of Arius. He did not openly acknowledge his unsoundness; but, in the frequent conversations which he had with her, he did not refrain from declaring that Arius had been unjustly calumniated. After the death of her impious husband, the renowned Constantine did everything in his power to solace her, and strove to prevent her from experiencing the saddest trials of widowhood. He attended her also in her last illness4 , and rendered her every proper attention. She then presented the priest whom I mentioned to the emperor, and entreated him to receive him under his protection. Constantine acceded to her request, and soon after fulfilled his promise. But though the priest was permitted the utmost freedom of speech, and was most honourably treated, he did not venture to reveal his corrupt principles, for he observed the firmness with which the emperor adhered to the truth. When Constantine was on the point of being translated to an eternal kingdom, he drew up a will, in which he directed that his temporal dominions should be divided among his sons. None of them was with him when he was dying, so he entrusted the will to this priest alone, and desired him to give it to Constantius, who, being at a shorter distance from the spot than his brothers, was expected to arrive the first. These directions the priest executed, and thus by putting the will into his hands, became known to Constantius, who accepted him as an intimate friend, and commanded him to visit him frequently. Perceiving the weakness of Constantius, whose mind was like reeds driven to and fro by the wind, he became emboldened to declare war against the doctrines of the gospel. He loudly deplored the stormy state of the churches, and asserted it to be due to those who had introduced the unscriptural word “consubstantial” into the confession of faith, and that all the disputes among the clergy and the laity had been occasioned by it. He calumniated Athanasius and all who coincided in his opinions, and formed designs for their destruction, being used as their fellow-worker by Eusebius5 , Theognis, and Theodorus, bishop of Perinthus.

The last-named, whose see is generally known by the name of Heraclea, was a man of great erudition, and had written an exposition of the Holy Scriptures6 .

These bishops resided near the emperor, and frequently visited him; they assured him that the return of Athanasius from banishment had occasioned many evils, and had excited a tempest which had shaken not only Egypt, but also Palestine, Phoenicia, and the adjacent countries7 .

Chapter III.—Second Exile of St. Athanasius.—Ordination and Death of Gregorius.

With these and similar arguments, the bishops assailed the weak-minded emperor, and persuaded him to expel Athanasius from his church. But Athanasius obtained timely intimation of their design, and departed to the west8 The friends of Eusebius had sent false accusations against him to Julius, who was then bishop of Rome9 . In obedience to the laws of the church, Julius summoned the accusers and the accused to Rome, that the cause might be tried10 . Athanasius, accordingly, set out for Rome, but the calumniators refused to go because they saw that their falsehood would easily be detected11 . But perceiving that the flock of Athanasius was left without a pastor, they appointed over it a wolf instead of a shepherd. Gregorius, for this was his name, surpassed the wild beasts in his deeds of cruelty towards the flock: but at the expiration of six years he was destroyed by the sheep themselves. Athanasius went to Constans (Constantine, the eldest brother, having fallen in battle), and complained of the plots laid against him by the Arians, and of their opposition to the apostolical faith12 . He reminded him of his father, and how he attended in person the great and famous council which he had summoned; how he was present at its debates, took part in framing its decrees, and confirmed them by law. The emperor was moved to emulation by his father’s zeal, and promptly wrote to his brother, exhorting him to preserve inviolate the religion of their father, which they had inherited; “for,” he urged, “by piety he made his empire great, destroyed the tyrants of Rome, and subjugated the foreign nations on every side.” Constantius was led by this letter to summon the bishops from the east and from the west to Sardica13 , a city of Illyricum, and the metropolis of Dacia, that they might deliberate on the means of removing the other troubles of the church, which were many and pressing.

Chapter IV.—Paulus, Bishop of Constantinople.

66 Paulus14 , bishop of Constantinople, who faithfully maintained orthodox doctrines, was accused by the unsound Arians of exciting seditions, and of such other crimes as they usually laid to the charge of all those who preached true piety. The people, who feared the machinations of his enemies, would not permit him to go to Sardica. The Arians, taking advantage of the weakness of the emperor, procured from him an edict of banishment against Paulus, who was, accordingly, sent to Cucusus, a little town formerly included in Cappadocia, but now in Lesser Armenia. But these disturbers of the public peace were not satisfied with having driven the admirable Paulus into a desert. They sent the agents of their cruelty to despatch him by a violent death. St. Athanasius testifies to this fact in the defence which he wrote of his own flight. He uses the following words15 : “They pursued Paulus, bishop of Constantinople, and having seized him at Cucusus, a city of Cappadocia, they had him strangled, using as their executioner Philippus the prefect, who was the protector of their heresy, and the active agent of their most atrocious projects16 .”

Such were the murders to which the blasphemy of Arius gave rise. Their mad rage against the Only-begotten was matched by cruel deeds against His servants.

Chapter V.—The Heresy of Macedonius.

The Arians, having effected the death of Paulus, or rather having despatched him to the kingdom of heaven, promoted Macedonius17 in his place, who, they imagined, held the same sentiments, and belonged to the same faction as themselves, because he, like them, blasphemed the Holy Ghost. But, shortly after, they deposed him also, because he refused to call Him a creature Whom the Holy Scriptures affirm to be the Son of God. After his separation from them, he became the leader of a sect of his own. He taught that the Son of God is not of the same substance as the Father, but that He is like Him in every particular. He also openly affirmed that the Holy Ghost is a creature. These circumstances occurred not long afterwards as we have narrated them.

Chapter VI.—Council Held at Sardica.

Two hundred and fifty bishops assembled at Sardica18 , as is proved by ancient records. The great Athanasius, Asclepas, bishop of Gaza, already mentioned19 , and Marcellus20 , bishop of Ancyra, the metropolis of Galatia, who also held this bishopric at the time of the council of Nicaea, all repaired thither. The calumniators, and the chiefs of the Arian faction, who had previously judged the cause of Athanasius, also attended. But when they found that the members of the synod were staunch in their adherence to sound doctrine, they would not even enter the council, although they had been summoned to it, but fled away, both accusers and judges. All these circumstances are far more clearly explained in a letter drawn up by the council; and I shall therefore now insert it.

Synodical Letter from the Bishops assembled at Sardica, addressed to the other Bishops.

“The holy council assembled at Sardica, from Rome, Spain, Gaul, Italy, Campania, Calabria, Africa, Sardinia, Pannonia, Moesia, Dacia, Dardania, Lesser Dacia, Macedonia, Thessaly, Achaia, Epirus, Thrace, Rhodope, Asia, Caria, Bithynia, the Hellespont, Phrygia, Pisidia, Cappadocia, Pontus, the lesser Phrygia, Cilicia, Pamphylia, Lydia, the Cyclades, Egypt, the Thebaid, Libya, Galatia, Palestine and Arabia, to the bishops throughout the world, our fellow-ministers in the catholic and apostolic Church, and our beloved brethren in the Lord. Peace be unto you.

“The madness of the Arians has often led them to the perpetration of violent atrocities against the servants of God who keep the true faith; they introduce false doctrines themselves, and persecute those who uphold orthodox principles. So violent were their attacks on the faith, that they reached the ears of our most pious emperors. Through the co-operation of the grace of God, the emperors have summoned us from different provinces and cities to the holy council which they have appointed to be held in the city of Sardica, in order that all dissensions may be terminated, all evil doctrines expelled, and the religion of Christ alone maintained amongst all people. Some bishops from the east have attended the council at the solicitation of our most religious emperors, principally on account of the reports circulated against our beloved brethren and fellow-ministers, Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra in Galatia, and Asclepas, bishop of Gaza. Perhaps the calumnies of the Arians have already reached you, and they have endeavoured thus to forestall the council, and make you believe their groundless accusations of the innocent, and prevent any suspicion being raised of the depraved heresy which they uphold. But they have not long been permitted so to act. The Lord is the Protector of the churches; for them and for us all He suffered death, and opened for us the way to heaven.

“The adherents of Eusebius Maris, Theodorus, Theognis, Ursacius, Valens, Menophantus, and Stephanus, had already written to Julius, the bishop of Rome, and our fellow-minister, against our aforesaid fellow-ministers, Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra in Galatia, and Asclepas, bishop of Gaza. Some bishops of the opposite party wrote also to Julius, testifying to the innocence of Athanasius, and proving that all that had been asserted by the followers of Eusebius was nothing more than lies and slander. The refusal of the Arians to obey the summons of our beloved brother and fellow-ruler, Julius, and also the letter written by that bishop, clearly prove the falseness of their accusation. For, had they believed that what they had done and represented against our fellow-minister admitted of justification, they would have gone to Rome. But their mode of procedure in this great and holy council is a manifest proof of their fraud. Upon their arrival at Sardica, they perceived that our brethren, Athanasius, Marcellus, Asclepas, and others, were there also; they were therefore afraid to come to the test, although they had been summoned, not once or twice only, but repeatedly. There were they waited for by the assembled bishops, particularly by the venerable Hosius, one worthy of all honour and respect, on account of his advanced age, his adherence to the faith, and his labours for the church. All urged them to join the assembly and avail themselves of the opportunity of proving, in the presence of their fellow-ministers, the truth of the charges they had brought against them in their absence, both by word and by letter. But they refused to obey the summons, as we have already stated, and so by their excesses proved the falsity of their statements, and all but proclaimed aloud the plot and schemes they had formed. Men confident of the truth of their assertions are always ready to stand to them openly. But as these accusers would not appear to substantiate what they had advanced, any future allegations which they may by their usual artifices bring against our fellow-ministers, will only be regarded as proceeding from a desire of slandering them in their absence, without the courage to confront them openly.

“They fled, beloved brethren, not only because their charges were slander, but also because they saw men arrive with serious and manifold accusations against themselves. Chains and fetters were produced. Some were present whom they had exiled: others came forward as representatives of those still kept in exile. There stood relations and friends of men whom they had put to death. Most serious of all, bishops also appeared, one of whom21 exhibited the irons and the chains with which they had laden him. Others testified that death followed their false charges. For their infatuation had led them so far as even to attempt the life of a bishop; and he would have been killed had he not escaped from their hands. Theodulus22 , our fellow-minister, of blessed memory, passed hence with their calumny on his name; for, through it, he had been condemned to death. Some showed the wounds which had been inflicted on them by the sword; others deposed that they had been exposed to the miseries of famine.

67 “All these depositions were made, not by a few obscure individuals, but by whole churches; the presbyters of these churches giving evidence that the persecutors had armed the military against them with swords, and the common people with clubs; had employed judicial threats, and produced spurious documents. The letters written by Theognis, for the purpose of prejudicing the emperor against our fellow-ministers, Athanasius, Marcellus, and Asclepas, were read and attested by those who had formerly been the deacons of Theognis. It was also proved that they had stripped virgins naked, had burnt churches, and imprisoned our fellow-ministers, and all because of the infamous heresy of the Ariomaniacs. For thus all who refused to make common cause with them were treated.

“The consciousness of having committed all these crimes placed them in great straits. Ashamed of their deeds, which could no longer be concealed, they repaired to Sardica, thinking that their boldness in venturing thither would remove all suspicion of their guilt. But when they perceived the presence of those whom they had falsely accused, and of those who had suffered from their cruelty; and that likewise several had come with irrefragable accusations against them, they would not enter the council. Our fellow-ministers, on the other hand, Athanasius, Marcellus, and Asclepas, took every means to induce them to attend, by tears, by urgency, by challenge, promising not only to prove the falsity of their accusations, but also to show how deeply they had injured their own churches. But they were so overwhelmed by the consciousness of their own evil deeds, that they took to flight, and by this flight clearly proved the falsity of their accusations as well as their own guilt.

“But though their calumny and perfidy, which had indeed been apparent from the beginning, were now clearly perceived, yet we determined to examine the circumstances of the case according to the laws of truth, lest they should, from their very flight, derive pretexts for renewed acts of deceitfulness.

“Upon carrying this resolution into effect, we proved by their actions that they were false accusers, and that they had formed plots against our fellow-ministers. Arsenius, whom they declared had been put to death by Athanasius, is still alive, and takes his place among the living. This fact alone is sufficient to show that their other allegations are false.

“Although they spread a report everywhere that a chalice had been broken by Macarius, one of the presbyters of Athanasius, yet those who came from Alexandria, from Mareotis, and from other places, testified that this was not the fact; and the bishops in Egypt wrote to Julius, our fellow-minister, declaring that there was not the least suspicion that such a deed had been done. The judicial facts which the Arians assert they possess against Macarius have been all drawn up by one party; and in these documents the depositions of pagans and of catechumens were included. One of these catechumens, when interrogated, replied that he was in the church on the entry of Macarius. Another deposed that Ischyras, whom they had talked about so much, was then lying ill in his cell. Hence it appears that the mysteries could not have been celebrated at that time, as the catechumens were present, and as Ischyras was absent; for he was at that very time confined by illness. Ischyras, that wicked man who had falsely affirmed that Athanasius had burnt some of the sacred books, and had been convicted of the crime, now confessed that he was ill in bed when Macarius arrived; hence the falsehood of his accusation was clearly demonstrated. His calumny was, however, rewarded by his party; they gave him the title of a bishop, although he was not yet even a presbyter. For two presbyters came to the synod, who some time back had been attached to Meletius, and were afterwards received back by the blessed Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, and are now with Athanasius, protesting that he had never been ordained a presbyter, and that Meletius had never had any church, or employed any minister in Mareotis. Yet, although he had never been ordained a presbyter, they promote him to a bishopric, in order that his title may impose upon those who hear his false accusations23 .

“The writings of our fellow-minister, Marcellus, were also read, and plainly evinced the duplicity of the adherents of Eusebius; for what Marcellus had simply suggested as a point of inquiry, they accused him of professing as a point of faith. The statements which he had made, both before and after the inquiry, were read, and his faith was proved to be orthodox. He did not affirm, as they represented, that the beginning of the Word of God was dated from His conception by the holy Mary, or that His kingdom would have an end. On the contrary, he wrote that His kingdom had had no beginning, and would have no end. Asclepas, our fellow-minister, produced the reports drawn up at Antioch in the presence of the accusers, and of Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea, and proved his innocence by the sentence of the bishops who had presided as judges.

“It was not then without cause, beloved brethren, that, although so frequently summoned, they would not attend the council; it was not without cause that they took to flight. The reproaches of conscience constrained them to make their escape, and thus, at the same time, to demonstrate the groundlessness of their calumnies, and the truth of those accusations which were advanced and proved against them. Besides all the other grounds of complaint, it may be added that all those who had been accused of holding the Arian heresy, and had been ejected in consequence, were not only received, but advanced to the highest dignities by them. They raised deacons to the presbyterate, and thence to the episcopate; and in all this they were actuated by no other motive than the desire of propagating and diffusing their heresy, and of corrupting the true faith.

“Next to Eusebius, the following are their principal leaders; Theodorus, bishop of Heraclea, Narcissus, bishop of Neronias in Cilicia, Stephanus, bishop of Antioch, Georgius24 , bishop of Laodicea, Acacius25 , bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, Menophantus, bishop of Ephesus in Asia, Ursacius, bishop of Singidunum26 in Moesia, and Valens, bishop of Mursa27 in Pannonia. These bishops forbade those who came with them from the east to attend the holy council, or to unite with the Church of God. On their road to Sardica they held private assemblies at different places, and formed a compact cemented by threats, that, when they arrived in Sardica, they would not join the holy council, nor assist at its deliberations; arranging that, as soon as they had arrived they should present themselves for form’s sake, and forthwith betake themselves to flight. These facts were made known to us by our fellow-ministers, Macarius of Palestine28 , and Asterius of Arabia29 , who came with them to Sardica, but refused to share their unorthodoxy. These bishops complained before the holy council of the violent treatment they had received from them, and of the want of right principles evinced in all their transactions. They added that there were many amongst them who still held orthodox opinions, but that these were prevented from going to the council; and that sometimes threats, sometimes promises, were resorted to, in order to retain them in that party. For this reason they were compelled to reside together in one house; and never allowed, even for the shortest space of time, to be alone.

“It is not right to pass over in silence and without rebuke the calumnies, the imprisonments, the murders, the stripes, the forged letters, the indignities, the stripping naked of virgins, the banishments, the destruction of churches, the acts of incendiarism, the translation of bishops from small towns to large dioceses, and above all, the ill-starred Arian heresy, raised by their means against the true faith. For these causes, therefore, we declare the innocence and purity of our beloved brethren and fellow-ministers, Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra in Galatia, and Asclepas, bishop of Gaza, and of all the other servants of God who are with them; and we have written to each of their dioceses, in order that the people of each church may be made acquainted with the innocence of their respective bishops, and that they may recognise them alone and wait for their return. Men who have come down on their churches like wolves30 , such as Gregorius in Alexandria, Basilius in Ancyra, and Quintianus31 in Gaza, we charge them not even to call bishops, nor yet Christians, nor to have any communion with them, nor to receive any letters from them, nor to write to them.

“Theodorus, bishop of Heraclea in Europe, Narcissus, bishop of Neronias in Cilicia, Acacius, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, Stephanus, bishop of Antioch, Ursacius, bishop of Singidunum in Moesia, Valens, bishop of Mursa in Pannonia, Menophantus, bishop of Ephesus, and Georgius, bishop of Laodicea (for though fear kept him from leaving the East, he has been deposed by the blessed Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, and has imbibed the infatuation of the Arians), have on account of their various crimes been cast forth from their bishoprics by the unanimous decision of the holy council. We have decreed that they are not only not to be regarded as bishops, but to be refused communion with us. For those who separate the Son from the substance and divinity of the Father, and alienate the Word from the Father, ought to be separated from the Catholic Church, and alienated from all who bear the name of Christians. Let them then be anathema to you, and to all the faithful, because they have corrupted the word of truth. For the apostle’s precept enjoins, if any one should bring to you another gospel than that which ye have received, let him be accursed32 . Command that no one hold communion with them; for light can have no fellowship with darkness. Keep far off from them; for what concord has Christ with Belial? Be careful, beloved brethren, that you neither write to them nor receive their letters. Endeavour, beloved brethren and fellow-ministers, as though present with us in spirit at the council, to give your hearty consent to what is enacted, and affix to it your written signature, for the sake of preserving unanimity of opinion among all our fellow-ministers throughout the world33 .

“We declare those men excommunicate from the Catholic Church who say that Christ is God, but not the true God; that He is the Son, but not the true Son; and that He is both begotten and made; for such persons acknowledge that they understand by the term ‘begotten,’ that which has been made; and because, although the Son of God existed before all ages, they attribute to Him, who exists not in time but before all time, a beginning and an end34 .

68 “Valens and Ursacius have, like two vipers brought forth by an asp, proceeded from the Arian heresy. For they boastingly declare themselves to be undoubted Christians, and yet affirm that the Word and the Holy Ghost were both crucified and slain, and that they died and rose again; and they pertinaciously maintain, like the heretics, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are of diverse and distinct essences35 . We have been taught, and we hold the catholic and apostolic tradition and faith and confession which teach, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost have one essence, which is termed substance36 by the heretics. If it is asked, ‘What is the essence of the Son?’ we confess, that it is that which is acknowledged to be that of the Father alone; for the Father has never been, nor could ever be, without the Son, nor the Son without the Father. It is most absurd to affirm that the Father ever existed without the Son, for that this could never be so has been testified by the Son Himself, who said, ‘I am in the Father, and the Father in Me37 ;’ and ‘I and My Father are one38 .’ None of us denies that He was begotten; but we say that He was begotten before all things, whether visible or invisible; anti that He is the Creator of archangels and angels, and of the world, and of the human race. It is written, ‘Wisdom which is the worker of all things taught me39 ,’ and again, ‘All things were made by Him40 .’

“He could not have existed always if He had had a beginning, for the everlasting Word has no beginning, and God will never have an end. We do not say that the Father is Son, nor that the Son is Father; but that the Father is Father, and the Son of the Father Son. We confess that the Son is Power of the Father. We confess that the Word is Word of God the Father, and that beside Him there is no other. We believe the Word to be the true God, and Wisdom and Power. We affirm that He is truly the Son, yet not in the way in which others are said to be sons: for they are either gods by reason of their regeneration, or are called sons of God on account of their merit, and not on account of their being of one essence41 , as is the case with the Father and the Son. We confess an Only-begotten and a Firstborn; but that the Word is only-begotten, who ever was and is in the Father. We use the word firstborn with respect to His human nature. But He is superior (to man) in the new creation42 (of the Resurrection), inasmuch as He is the Firstborn from the dead.

“We confess that God is; we confess the divinity of the Father and of the Son to be one. No one denies that the Father is greater than the Son: not on account of another essence43 , nor yet on account of their difference, but simply from the very name of the Father being greater than that of the Son. The words uttered by our Lord, ‘I and My Father are one44 ,’ are by those men explained as referring to the concord and harmony which prevail between the Father and the Son; but this is a blasphemous and perverse interpretation. We, as Catholics, unanimously condemned this foolish and lamentable opinion: for just as mortal men on a difference having arisen between them quarrel and afterwards are reconciled, so do such interpreters say that disputes and dissension are liable to arise between God the Father Almighty and His Son; a supposition which is altogether absurd and untenable. But we believe and maintain that those holy words, ‘I and My Father are one,’ point out the oneness of essence45 which is one and the same in the Father and in the Son.

“We also believe that the Son reigns with the Father, that His reign has neither beginning nor end, and that it is not bounded by time, nor can ever cease: for that which always exists never begins to be, and can never cease.

“We believe in and we receive the Holy Ghost the Comforter, whom the Lord both promised and sent. We believe in It as sent.

“It was not the Holy Ghost who suffered, but the manhood with which He clothed Himself; which He took from the Virgin Mary, which being man was capable of suffering; for man is mortal, whereas God is immortal. We believe that on the third day He rose, the man in God, not God in the man; and that He brought as a gift to His Father the manhood which He had delivered from sin and corruption.

“We believe that, at a meet and fixed time, He Himself will judge all men and all their deeds.

“So great is the ignorance and mental darkness of those whom we have mentioned, that they are unable to see the light of truth. They cannot comprehend the meaning of the words: ‘that they may be one in us46 .’ It is obvious why the word ‘one’ was used; it was because the apostles received the Holy Spirit of God, and yet there were none amongst them who were the Spirit, neither was there any one of them who was Word, Wisdom, Power, or Only-begotten. ‘As Thou,’ He said, ‘and I are one, that they, may be one in us.’ These holy words, ‘that they may be one in us,’ are strictly accurate: for the Lord did not say, ‘one in the same way that I and the Father are one,’ but He said, ‘that the disciples, being knit together and united, may be one in faith and in confession, and so in the grace and piety of God the Father, and by the indulgence and love of our Lord Jesus Christ, may be able to become one.’”

From this letter may be learnt the duplicity of the calumniators, and the injustice of the former judges, as well as the soundness of the decrees. These holy fathers have taught us not only truths respecting the Divine nature, but also the doctrine of the Incarnation47 .

Constans was much concerned on hearing of the easy temper of his brother, and was highly incensed against those who had contrived this plot and artfully taken advantage of it. He chose two of the bishops who had attended the council of Sardica, and sent them with letters to his brother; he also despatched Salianus, a military commander who was celebrated for his piety and integrity, on the same embassy. The letters which he forwarded by them, and which were worthy of himself, contained not only entreaties and counsels, but also menaces. In the first place, he charged his brother to attend to all that the bishops might say, and to take cognizance of the crimes of Stephanus and of his accomplices. He also required him to restore Athanasius to his flock; the calumny of the accusers and the injustice and ill-will of his former judges having become evident. He added, that if he would not accede to his request, and perform this act of justice, he would himself go to Alexandria, restore Athanasius to his flock which earnestly longed for him, and expel all opponents.

Constantius was at Antioch when he received this letter; and he agreed to carry out all that his brother commanded.

69 Chapter VII.—Account of the Bishops Euphratas and Vincentius, and of the Plot Formed in Antioch Against Them.

The wonted opponents of the truth were so much displeased at these proceedings, that they planned a notoriously execrable and impious crime.

The two bishops resided near the foot of the mountain, while the military commander had settled in a lodging in another quarter.

At this period Stephanus held the rudder of the church of Antioch, and had well nigh sunk the ship, for he employed several tools in his despotic doings, and by their aid involved all who maintained orthodox doctrines in manifold calamities. The leader of these instruments was a young man of a rash and reckless character, who led a very infamous life. He not only dragged away men from the market-place, and treated them with blows and insult, but had the audacity to enter private houses, whence he carried off men and women of irreproachable character. But, not to be too prolix in relating his crimes, I will merely narrate his daring conduct towards the bishops; for this alone is sufficient to give an idea of the unlawful deeds of violence which he perpetrated against the citizens. He went to one of the lowest women of the town, and told her that some strangers had just arrived, who desired to pass the night with her. He took fifteen of his band, placed them in hiding among the stone walls at the bottom of the hill, and then went for the prostitute. After giving the preconcerted signal, and learning that the folk privy to the plot were on the spot, he went to the gate of the courtyard belonging to the inn where the bishops were lodging. The doors were opened by one of the household servants, who had been bribed by him. He then conducted the woman into the house, pointed out to her the door of the room where one of the bishops slept, and desired her to enter. Then he went out to call his accomplices. The door which he had pointed out happened to be that of Euphratas, the elder bishop, whose room was the outer of the two. Vincentius, the other bishop, occupied the inner room. When the woman entered the room of Euphratas, he heard the sound of her footsteps, and, as it was then dark, asked who was there. She spoke, and Euphratas was full of alarm, for he thought that it was a devil imitating the voice of a woman, and he called upon Christ the Saviour for aid. Onager, for this was the name of the leader of this wicked band (a name48 peculiarly appropriate to him, as he not only used his hands but also his feet as weapons against the pious), had in the meantime returned with his lawless crew, denouncing as criminals those who were expecting to be judges of crime themselves. At the noise which was made all the servants came running in, and up got Vincentius. They closed the gate of the courtyards, and captured seven of the gang; but Onager and the rest made off. The woman was committed to custody with those who had been seized. At the break of day the bishops awoke the officer who had come with them, and they all three proceeded together to the palace, to complain of the audacious acts of Stephanus, whose evil deeds, they said, were too evident to need either trial or torture to prove them. The general loudly demanded of the emperor that the audacious act should not be dealt with synodically, but by ordinary legal process, and offered to give up the clergy attached to the bishops to be first examined, and declared that the agents of Stephanus must undergo the torture too. To this Stephanus insolently objected, alleging that the clergy ought not to be scourged. The emperor and the principal authorities then decided that it would be better to judge the cause in the palace. The woman was first of all questioned, and was asked by whom she was conducted to the inn where the bishops were lodging. She replied, that a young man came to her, and told her that some strangers had arrived who were desirous of her company; that in the evening he conducted her to the inn; that he went to look for his band, and when he had found it, brought her in through the door of the court, and desired her to go into the chamber adjoining the vestibule. She added, that the bishop asked who was there; that he was alarmed; and that he began to pray; and that then others ran to the spot.

Chapter VIII.—Stephanus Deposed.

After the judges had heard these replies, they ordered the youngest of those who had been arrested to be brought before them. Before he was subjected to the examination by scourging, he confessed the whole plot, and stated that it was planned and carried into execution by Onager. On this latter being brought in he affirmed that he had only acted according to the commands of Stephanus. The guilt of Stephanus being thus demonstrated, the bishops then present were charged to depose him, and expel him from the Church. By his expulsion the Church was not, however, wholly freed from the plague of Arianism. Leontius, who succeeded him in his presidency, was a Phrygian of so subtle and artful a disposition, that he might be said to resemble the sunken rocks of the sea49 . We shall presently narrate more concerning him50 .

Chapter IX.—The Second Return of Saint Athanasius.

The emperor Constantius, having become acquainted with the plots formed against the bishops, wrote to the great Athanasius once, and twice, aye and thrice, exhorting him to return from the West51 . I shall here insert the second letter, because it is the shortest of the three.

Constantius Augustus the Conqueror to Athanasius.

“Although I have already apprised you by previous letters, that you can, without fear of molestation, return to our court, in order that you may, according to my ardent desire, be reinstated in your own bishopric, yet I now again despatch another letter to your gravity to exhort you to take immediately, without fear or suspicion, a public vehicle and return to us, in order that you may receive all that you desire.”

When Athanasius returned, Constantius received him with kindness, and bade him go back to the Church of Alexandria52 . But there were some attached to the court, infected with the errors of Arianism, who maintained that Athanasius ought to cede one church to those who were unwilling to hold communion with him. On this being mentioned to the emperor, and by the emperor to Athanasius, he remarked, that the imperial command appeared to be just; but that he also wished to make a request. The emperor readily promising to grant him whatever he might ask, he said that those in Antioch53 who objected to hold communion with the party now in possession of the churches wanted temples to pray in, and that it was only fair that one House of God also be assigned to them. This request was deemed just and reasonable by the emperor; but the leaders of the Arian faction resisted its being carried into execution, maintaining that neither party ought to have the churches assigned to them. Constantius on this was struck with high admiration for Athanasius, and sent him back to Alexandria54 . Gregorius was dead, having met his end at the hands of the Alexandrians themselves55 . The people kept high holiday in honour of their pastor; feasting marked their joy at seeing him again, and praise was given to God56 .Not long after Constans departed this life57 .

70 Chapter X.—Third Exile and Flight of Athanasius.

Those who had obtained entire ascendency over the mind of Constantius, and influenced him as they pleased, reminded him that Athanasius had been the cause of the differences between his brother and himself, which had nearly led to the rupture of the bonds of nature, and the kindling of a civil war. Constantius was induced by these representations not only to banish, but also to condemn the holy Athanasius to death; and he accordingly despatched Sebastianus58 , a military commander, with a very large body of soldiery to slay him, as if he had been a criminal. How the one led the attack and the other escaped will be best told in the words of him who so suffered and was so wonderfully saved.

Thus Athanasius writes in his Apology for his Flight:—“Let the circumstances of my retreat be investigated, and the testimony of the opposite faction be collected; for Arians accompanied the soldiers, as well for the purpose of spurring them on, as of pointing me out to those who did not know me. If they are not touched with sympathy at the tale I tell, at least let them listen in the silence of shame. It was night, and some of the people were keeping vigil, for a communion59 was expected. A body of soldiers suddenly advanced upon them, consisting of a general60 and five thousand armed men with naked swords, bows and arrows, and clubs, as I have already stated. The general surrounded the church, posting his men in close order, that those within might be prevented from going out. I deemed that I ought not in such a time of confusion to leave the people, but that I ought rather to be the first to meet the danger; so I sat down on my throne and desired the deacon to read a psalm, and the people to respond, ‘For His mercy endureth for ever.’ Then I bade them all return to their own houses. But now the general with the soldiery forced his way into the church, and surrounded the sanctuary in order to arrest me. The clergy and the laity who had remained clamorously besought me to withdraw. This I firmly refused to do until all the others had retreated. I rose, had a prayer offered, and directed all the people to retire. ‘It is better,’ said I, ‘for me to meet the danger alone, than for any of you to be hurt.’ When the greater number of the people had left the church, and just as the rest were following, the monks and some of the clergy who had remained came up and drew me out. And so, may the truth be my witness, the Lord leading and protecting me, we passed through the midst of the soldiers, some of whom were stationed around the sanctuary, and others marching about the church. Thus I went out unperceived, and fervently thanked God that I had not abandoned the people, but that after they had been sent away in safety, I had been enabled to escape from the hands of those who sought my life61 .”

Chapter XI.

The evil and daring deeds done by Georgius62 in Alexandria.

Athanasius having thus escaped the bloodstained hands of his adversaries, Georgius, who was truly another wolf, was entrusted with authority over the flock. He treated the sheep with more cruelty than wolf, or bear, or leopard could have shewn. He compelled young women who had vowed perpetual virginity, not only to disown the communion of Athanasius, but also to anathematize the faith of the fathers. The agent in his cruelty was Sebastianus, an officer in command of troops. He ordered a fire to be kindled in the centre of the city, and placed the virgins, who were stripped naked, close to it, commanding them to deny the faith. Although they formed a most sorrowful and pitiable spectacle for believers as well as for unbelievers, they considered that all these dishonours conferred the highest honour on them; and they joyfully received the blows inflicted on them on account of their faith. All these facts shall be more clearly narrated by their own pastor.

“About Lent, Georgius returned from Cappadocia, and added to the evils which he had been taught by our enemies. After the Easter week virgins were cast into prison, bishops were bound and dragged away by the soldiers, the homes of widows and of orphans were pillaged, robbery and violence went on from house to house, and the Christians during the darkness of night were seized and torn away from their dwellings. Seals were fixed on many houses. The brothers of the clergy were in peril for their brothers’ sake. These cruelties were very atrocious, but still more so were those which were subsequently perpetrated. In the week following the holy festival of Pentecost, the people who were keeping a fast came out to the cemetery63 to pray, because they all renounced any communion with Georgius. This vilest of men was informed of this circumstance, and he incited Sebastianus the military commander, a Manichean64 , to attack the people; and, accordingly, on the Lord’s day itself he rushed upon them with a large body of armed soldiers wielding naked swords, and bows, and arrows. He found but few Christians in the act of praying, for most of them had retired on account of the lateness of the hour. Then he did such deeds as might be expected from one who had lent his ears to such teachers. He ordered a large fire to be lighted, and the virgins to be brought close to it, and then tried to compel them to declare themselves of the Arian creed. When he perceived that they were conquering, and giving no heed to the fire, he ordered them to be stripped naked, and to be beaten until their faces for a long while were scarcely recognisable. He then seized forty men, and inflicted on them a new kind of torture. He ordered them to be scourged with branches of palm-trees, retaining their thorns; and by these their flesh was so lacerated that some because of the thorns fixed fast in them had again and again to put themselves under the surgeon’s hand; others were not able to bear the agony and died. All who survived, and also the virgins, were then banished to the Greater Oasis. They even refused to give up the bodies of the dead to their kinsfolk for burial, but flung them away unburied, and hid them just as they pleased, in order that it might appear that they had nothing to do with these cruel transactions, and were ignorant of them. But they were deceived in this foolish expectation: for the friends of the slain, while they rejoiced at the faithfulness of the deceased, deeply lamented the loss of the corpses, and spread abroad a full account of the cruelty that had been perpetrated.

“The following bishops were banished from Egypt and from Libya:—Ammonius, Muïus, Caius, Philo, Hermes, Plenius, Psinosiris, Nilammon, Agapius, Anagamphus, Marcus, Dracontius, Adelphius, another Ammonius, another Marcus, and Athenodorus; and also the presbyters Hierax and Dioscorus65 . These were all driven into exile in so cruel a manner that many died on the road, and others at the place of their banishment. The persecutors caused the death66 of more than thirty bishops. For, like Ahab, their mind was set on rooting out the truth, had it been possible67 .”

Athanasius also, in a letter addressed to the virgins68 who were treated with so much barbarity, uses the following words: “Let none of you be grieved although these impious heretics grudge you burial and prevent your corpses being carried forth. The impiety of the Arians has reached such a height, that they block up the gates, and sit like so many demons around the tombs, in order to hinder the dead from being interred.”

These and many other similar atrocities were perpetrated by Georgius in Alexandria.

The holy Athanasius was well aware that there was no spot which could be considered a place of safety for him; for the emperor had promised a very large reward to whoever should bring him alive, or his head as a proof of his death.

71 Chapter XII.—Council of Milan.

After the death of Constans, Magnentius assumed the chief authority over the Western empire; and, to repress his usurpation, Constantius repaired to Europe. But this war, severe as it was, did not put an end to the war against the Church. Constantius, who had embraced Arian tenets and readily yielded to the influence of others, was persuaded to convoke a council at Milan69 , a city of Italy, and first to compel all the assembled bishops to sign the deposition enacted by the iniquitous judges at Tyre; and then, since Athanasius had been expelled from the Church, to draw up another confession of faith. The bishops assembled in council on the receipt of the imperial letter, but they were far from acting according to its directions. On the contrary, they told the emperor to his face that what he had commanded was unjust and impious. For this act of courage they were expelled from the Church, and relegated to the furthest boundaries of the empire.

The admirable Athanasius thus mentions this circumstance in his Apology70 :—“Who,” he writes, “can narrate such atrocities as they have perpetrated? A short time ago when the Churches were in the enjoyment of peace, and when the people were assembled for prayer, Liberius71 , bishop of Rome, Paulinus, bishop of the metropolis of Gaul72 , Dionysius, bishop of the metropolis of Italy73 , Luciferus, bishop of the metropolis of the Isles of Sardinia74 , and Eusebius, bishop of one of the cities of Italy75 , who were all exemplary bishops and preachers of the truth, were seized and driven into exile, for no other cause than because they could not assent to the Arian heresy, nor sign the false accusation which had been framed against us. It is unnecessary that I should speak of the great Hosius, that aged76 and faithful confessor of the faith, for every one knows that he also was sent into banishment. Of all the bishops he is the most illustrious. What council can be mentioned in which he did not preside, and convince all present by the power of his reasoning? What Church does not still retain the glorious memorials of his protection? Did any one ever go to him sorrowing, and not leave him rejoicing? Who ever asked his aid, and did not obtain all that he desired? Yet they had the boldness to attack this great man, simply because, from his knowledge of the impiety of their calumnies, he refused to affix his signature to their artful accusations against us.”

From the above narrative will be seen the violence of the Arians against these holy men. Athanasius also gives in the same book an account of the numerous plots formed by the chiefs of the Arian faction against many others:—“Did any one,” said he, “whom they persecuted and got into their power ever escape from them without suffering what injuries they pleased to inflict? Was any one who was an object of their search found by them whom they did not subject to the most agonizing death, or else to the mutilation of all his limbs? The sentences inflicted by the judges are all attributable to these heretics; for the judges are but the agents of their will, and of their malice. Where is there a place which contains no memorial of their atrocities? If any one ever differed from them in opinion, did they not, like Jezebel, falsely accuse and oppress him? Where is there a church which has not been plunged in sorrow by their plots against its bishop? Antioch has to mourn the loss of Eustathius, the faithful and the orthodox77 . Balaneae weeps for Euphration78 ; Paltus79 and Antaradus80 for Cymatius and Carterius. Adrianople has been called to deplore the loss of the well-beloved Eutropius81 , and of Lucius his successor, who was repeatedly loaded with chains, and expired beneath their weight82 . Ancyra, Beroea, and Gaza had to mourn the absence of Marcellus83 , Cyrus84 and Asclepas85 , who, after having suffered much ill-treatment from this deceitful sect, were driven into exile. Messengers were sent in quest of Theodulus86 and Olympius87 , bishops of Thrace, as well as of me and of the presbyters of my diocese; and had they found us, we should no doubt have been put to death. But at the very time that they were planning our destruction we effected our escape, although they had sent letters to Donatus, the proconsul, against Olympius, and to Philagrius88 , against me.”

Such were the audacious acts of this impious faction against the most holy Christians. Hosius was the bishop of Cordova, and was the most highly distinguished of all those who assembled at the council of Nicaea; he also obtained the first place among those convened at Sardica.

I now desire to insert in my history an account of the admirable arguments addressed by the far-famed Liberius, in defence of the truth, to the emperor Constantius. They are recorded by some of the pious men of that period in order to stimulate others to the exercise of similar zeal in divine things. Liberius had succeeded Julius, the successor of Silvester, in the government of the church of Rome.

Chapter XIII.—Conference Between Liberius, Pope of Rome, and the Emperor Constantius89 .

Constantius.—“We have judged it right, as you are a Christian and the bishop of our city, to send for you in order to admonish you to abjure all connexion with the folly of the impious Athanasius. For when he was separated from the communion of the Church by the synod the whole world approved of the decision.”

Liberius.—“O Emperor, ecclesiastical sentences ought to be enacted with strictest justice: therefore, if it be pleasing to your piety, order the court to be assembled, and if it be seen that Athanasius deserves condemnation, then let sentence be passed upon him according to ecclesiasticaI forms. For it is not possible for us to condemn a man unheard and untried.”

Constantius.—“The whole world has condemned his impiety; but he, as he has done from the first, laughs at the danger.”

Liberius.—“Those who signed the condemnation were not eye-witnesses of anything that occurred; but were actuated by the desire of glory, and by the fear of disgrace at thy hands.”

72 The Emperor.—“What do you mean by glory and fear and disgrace?”

Liberius.—“Those who love not the glory of God, but who attach greater value to thy gifts, have condemned a man whom they have neither seen nor judged; this is very contrary to the principles of Christians.”

The Emperor.—“Athanasius was tried in person at the council of Tyre, and all the bishops of the world at that synod condemned him.”

Liberius.—“No judgment has ever been passed on him in his presence. Those who there assembled condemned him after he had retired.”

Eusebius the Eunuch90 foolishly interposed.—“It was demonstrated at the council of Nicaea that he held opinions entirely at variance with the catholic faith.”

Liberius.—“Of all those who sailed to Mareotis, and who were sent for the purpose of drawing up memorials against the accused, five only delivered the sentence against him. Of the five who were thus sent, two are now dead, namely, Theognis and Theodorus. The three others, Maris, Valens, and Ursacius, are still living. Sentence was passed at Sardica against all those who were sent for this purpose to Mareotis. They presented a petition to the council soliciting pardon for having drawn up at Mareotis memorials against Athanasius, consisting of false accusations and depositions of only one party. Their petition is still in our hands. Whose cause are we to espouse, O Emperor? With whom are we to agree and hold communion? With those who first condemned Athanasius, and then solicited pardon for having condemned him, or with those who have condemned these latter?”

Epictetus91 the Bishop.—“O Emperor, it is not on behalf of the faith, nor in defence of ecclesiastical judgments that Liberius is pleading; but merely in order that he may boast before the Roman senators of having conquered the emperor in argument.”

The Emperor (addressing Liberius).—“What portion do you constitute of the universe, that you alone by yourself take part with an impious man, and are destroying the peace of the empire and of the whole world?”

Liberius.—“My standing alone does not make the truth a whit the weaker. According to the ancient story, there are found but three men resisting a decree.”

Eusebius the Eunuch.—“You make our emperor a Nebuchadnezzar.”

Liberius.—“By no means. But you rashly condemn a man without any trial. What I desire is, in the first place, that a general confession of faith be signed, confirming that drawn up at the council of Nicaea. And secondly, that all our brethren be recalled from exile, and reinstated in their own bishoprics. If, when all this has been carried into execution, it can be shown that the doctrines of all those who now fill the churches with trouble are conformable to the apostolic faith, then we will all assemble at Alexandria to meet the accused, the accusers, and their defender, and after having examined the cause, we will pass judgment upon it.”

73 Epictitus the Bishop.—“There will not be sufficient post-carriages to convey so many bishops.”

Liberius.—“Ecclesiastical affairs can be transacted without post-carriages. The churches are able to provide means for the conveyance of their respective bishops to the sea coast92 .”

The Emperor.—“The sentence which has once been passed ought not to be revoked. The decision of the greater number of bishops ought to prevail. You alone retain friendship towards that impious man.”

Liberius.—“O Emperor, it is a thing hitherto unheard of, that a judge should accuse the absent of impiety, as if he were his personal enemy.”

The Emperor.—“All without exception have been injured by him, but none so deeply as I have been. Not content with the death of my eldest brother93 , he never ceased to excite Constans, of blessed memory, to enmity against me; but I, with much moderation, put up alike with the vehemence of both the instigator and his victim. Not one of the victories which I have gained, not even excepting those over Magnentius and Silvanus, equals the ejection of this vile man from the government of the Church.”

Liberius.—“Do not vindicate your own hatred and revenge, O Emperor, by the instrumentality of bishops; for their hands ought only to be raised for purposes of blessing and of sanctification. If it be consonant with your will, command the bishops to return to their own residences; and if it appear that they are of one mind with him who to-day maintains the true doctrines of the confession of faith signed at Nicaea, then let them come together and see to the peace of the world, in order that an innocent man may not serve as a mark for reproach.”

The Emperor.—“One question only requires to be made. I wish you to enter into communion with the churches, and to send you back to Rome. Consent therefore to peace, and sign your assent, and then you shall return to Rome.”

Liberius.—“I have already taken leave of the brethren who are in that city. The decrees of the Church are of greater importance than a residence in Rome.”

The Emperor.—“You have three days to consider whether you will sign the document and return to Rome; if not, you must choose the place of your banishment.”

Liberius.—“Neither three days nor three months can change my sentiments. Send me wherever you please.”

After the lapse of two days the emperor sent for Liberius, and finding his opinions unchanged, he commanded him to be banished to Beroea, a city of Thrace. Upon the departure of Liberius, the emperor sent him five hundred pieces of gold to defray his expenses. Liberius said to the messenger who brought them, “Go, and give them back to the emperor; he has need of them to pay his troops.” The empress94 also sent him a sum of the same amount; he said, “Take it to the emperor, for he may want it to pay his troops; but if not, let it be given to Auxentius and Epictetus, for they stand in need of it.” Eusebius the eunuch brought him other sums of money, and he thus addressed him: “You have turned all the churches of the world into a desert, and do you bring alms to me, as to a criminal? Begone, and become first a Christian95 .” He was sent into exile three days afterwards, without having accepted anything that was offered him.

74 Chapter XIV.—Concerning the Banishment and Return of the Holy Liberius.

This victorious champion of the truth was sent into Thrace, according to the imperial order. Two years after this event Constantius went to Rome. The ladies of rank urged their husbands to petition the emperor for the restoration of the shepherd to his flock: they added, that if this were not granted, they would desert them, and go themselves after their great pastor. Their husbands replied, that they were afraid of incurring the resentment of the emperor. “If we were to ask him,” they continued, “being men, he would deem it an unpardonable offence; but if you were yourselves to present the petition, he would at any rate spare you, and would either accede to your request, or else dismiss you without injury.” These noble ladies adopted this suggestion, and presented themselves before the emperor in all their customary splendour of array, that so the sovereign, judging their rank from their dress, might count them worthy of being treated with courtesy and kindness. Thus entering the presence, they besought him to take pity on the condition of so large a city, deprived of its shepherd, and made an easy prey to the attacks of wolves. The emperor replied, that the flock possessed a shepherd capable of tending it, and that no other was needed in the city. For after the banishment of the great Liberius, one of his deacons, named Felix, had been appointed bishop. He preserved inviolate the doctrines set forth in the Nicene confession of faith, yet he held communion with those who had corrupted that faith. For this reason none of the citizens of Rome would enter the House of Prayer while he was in it. The ladies mentioned these facts to the emperor. Their persuasions were successful; and he commanded that the great Liberius should be recalled from exile, and that the two bishops should conjointly rule the Church. The edict of the emperor was read in the circus, and the multitude shouted that the imperial ordinance was just; that the spectators were divided into two factions, each deriving its name from its own colours96 , and that each faction would now have its own bishop. After having thus ridiculed the edict of the emperor, they all exclaimed with one voice, “One God, one Christ, one bishop.” I have deemed it right to set down their precise words. Some time after this Christian people had uttered these pious and righteous acclamations, the holy Liberius returned, and Felix retired to another city.

I have, for the sake of preserving order, appended this narrative to what relates to the proceedings of the bishops at Milan. I shall now return to the relation of events in their due course.

Chapter XV.—Council of Ariminum97 .

When all who defended the faith had been removed, those who moulded the mind of the emperor according to their own will, flattering themselves that the faith which they opposed might be easily subverted, and Arianism established in its stead, persuaded Constantius to convene the Bishops of both East and West at Ariminum98 , in order to remove from the Creed the terms which had been devised by the Fathers to counteract the corrupt craft of Arius,—“substance99 ,” and “of one substance100 .” For they would have it that these terms had caused dissension between church and church. On their assembling in synod the partizans of the Arian faction strove to trick the majority of the bishops, especially those of cities of the Western Empire, who were men of simple and unsophisticated ways. The body of the Church, they argued again and again, must not be torn asunder for the sake of two terms which are not to be found in the Bible; and, while they confessed the propriety of describing the Son as in all things “like” the Father, pressed the omission of the word “substance” as unscriptural. The motives, however, of the propounders of these views were seen through by the Council, and they were consequently repudiated. The orthodox bishops declared their mind to the emperor in a letter; for, said they, we are sons and heirs of the Fathers of the Council of Nicaea, and if we were to have the hardihood to take away anything from what was by them subscribed, or to add anything to what they so excellently settled, we should declare ourselves no true sons, but accusers of them that begat us. But the exact terms of their confession of faith will be more accurately given in the words of their letter to Constantius.

Letter101 written to the Emperor Constantius by the Synod assembled at Ariminum.

“Summoned, we believe, at the bidding of God, and in obedience to your piety, we bishops of the Western Church assembled in synod at Ariminum in order that the faith of the Church Catholic might be set forth, and its opponents exposed. After long consideration we have found it to be plainly best for us to hold fast and guard, and by guarding keep safe unto the end, the faith established from the first, preached by Prophets, and Evangelists, and Apostles, through our Lord Jesus Christ, warden of thy empire, and champion of thy salvation. For it is plainly absurd and unlawful to make any change in the doctrines rightly and justly defined, and in matters examined at Nicaea with the cognisance of the right glorious Constantine, thy Father and Emperor, whereof the teaching and spirit was published and preached that mankind might hear and understand. This faith was destined to be the one rival and destroyer of the Arian heresy, and by it not only the Arian itself, but likewise all other heresies were undone. To this faith to add aught is verily perilous; from it to subtract aught is to run great risk. If it have either addition or loss, our foes will feel free to act as they please. Accordingly Ursacius and Valens, declared adherents and friends of the Arian dogma, were pronounced separate from our communion. To keep their place in it, they asked to be granted a locus penitentiae and pardon for all the points wherein they had owned themselves in error; as is testified by the documents written by themselves, by means of which they obtained favour and forgiveness. These events were going on at the very time when the synod was meeting at Milan, the presbyters of the church of Rome being also present. It was known that Constantine, who, though dead, is worthy of remembrance, had, with all exactitude and care, set forth the creed drawn up: and now that, after receiving Baptism, he was dead, and had passed away to the peace which he deserved. We judged it absurd for us after him to indulge in any innovation, and throw a slur on all the holy confessors and martyrs who had devised and formulated this doctrine, in that their minds have ever remained bound by the old bond of the Church. Their faith God has handed down even to the times of thy own reign, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whose grace such empire is thine that thou rulest over all the world. Yet again those pitiable and wretched men, with lawless daring, have proclaimed themselves preachers of their unholy opinion, and are taking in hand the overthrow of all the force of the truth. For when at thy command the synod assembled, then they laid bare their own disingenuous desires. For they set about trying through villany and confusion to make innovation. They got hold of certain of their own following—one Germanius102 , and Auxentius103 , and Caius104 , promoters of heresy and discord, whose doctrine, though but one, transcends a very host of blasphemies. When, however, they became aware that we were not of their way of thinking, nor in sympathy with their vicious projects, they made their way into our meeting as though to make some other proposal, but a very short time was enough to convict them of their real intentions. Therefore in order to save the management of the Church from falling from time to time into the same difficulties, and to prevent them from being confounded in whirlpools of disturbance and disorder, it has seemed the safe course to keep what has been defined aforetime fixed and unchanged, and to separate the above-named from our communion. Wherefore we have sent envoys to your clemency to signify and explain the mind of the synod as expressed in this letter. These envoys before all things we have charged to guard the truth in accordance with the old and right definitions. They are to inform your holiness, not as did Ursacius and Valens, that there will be peace if the truth be upset; for how can the destroyers of peace be agents of peace? but rather that these changes will bring strife and disturbance, as well on the rest of the cities, as on the Roman church. Wherefore we beseech your clemency to receive our envoys with kindly ears and gentle mien, and not to suffer any new thing to flout the dead. Suffer us to abide in the definition and settlement of our Fathers, whom we would unhesitatingly declare to have done all they did with intelligence and wisdom, and with the Holy Ghost. The innovation now sought to be introduced is filling the faithful with unbelief, and unbelievers with credulity105 .

“We beg you to order bishops in distant parts, who are afflicted alike by advanced age and poverty, to be provided with facilities for travelling home, that the churches be not left long deprived of their bishops.

“And yet again this one thing we supplicate, that nothing be taken from or added to the established doctrines, but that all remain unbroken, as they have been preserved by your father’s piety, and to our own day. Let us toil no longer nor be kept away from our own dioceses, but let the bishops with their own people spend their days in peace, in prayer, and in worship, offering supplication for thy empire, and health, and peace, which God shall grant thee for ever and ever. Our envoys, who will also instruct your holiness out of the sacred Scriptures, convey the signatures and salutations of the bishops.”

The letter was written, and the envoys sent, but the high officers of the Imperial Court, though they took the despatch and delivered it to their master, refused to introduce the envoys, on the ground that the sovereign was occupied with state affairs. They took this course in the hope that the bishops, annoyed at delay, and eager to return to the cities entrusted to their care, would at length be compelled themselves to break up and disperse the bulwark erected against heresy. But their ingenuity was frustrated, for the noble champions of the Faith despatched a second letter to the emperor, exhorting him to admit the envoys to audience and dissolve the synod. This letter I subjoin.

The Second Letter of the Synod to Constantius.

75 “To Constantius the Victorious, the pious emperor, the bishops assembled at Ariminum send greeting.

“Most illustrious lord and autocrat, we have received the letter of your clemency, informing us that, in consequence of occupations of state, you have hitherto been unable to see our envoys. You bid us await their return, that your piety may come to a decision on the object we have in view, and on the decrees of our predecessors. But we venture in this letter to repeat to your clemency the point which we urged before, for we have in no way withdrawn from our position. We entreat you to receive with benign countenance the letter of our humility, wherein now we make answer to your piety, and the points which we have ordered to be submitted to your benignity by our envoys. Your clemency is no less aware than we are ourselves how serious and unfitting a state of things it is, that in the time of your most happy reign so many churches should seem to be without bishops. Wherefore once again, most glorious autocrat, we beseech you that, if it be pleasing to your humanity, you will command us to return to our churches before the rigour of winter, that we may be able, with our people, as we have done and ever do, to offer most earnest prayers for the health and wealth of your empire to Almighty God, and to Christ His Son, our Lord and Saviour.”

Chapter XVI.—Concerning the Synod Held at Nica106 In Thrace, and the Confession of Faith Drawn Up There.

After this letter they107 irritated the emperor, and got the majority of the bishops, against their will, to a certain town of Thrace, of the name of Nica. Some simple men they deluded, and others they terrified, into carrying out their old contrivance for injuring the true religion, by erasing the words “Substance” and “of one Substance” from the Creed, and inserting instead of them the word “like.” I insert their formula in this history, not as being couched in proper terms, but because it convicts the faction of Arius, for it is not even accepted by the disaffected of the present time. Now, instead of “the like” they preach “the unlike108 .”

Unsound Creed put forth at Nica in Thrace.

“We believe in one only true God, Father Almighty, of Whom are all things. And in the only-begotten Son of God, Who before all ages and before every beginning was begotten of God, through Whom all things were made, both visible and invisible: alone begotten, only-begotten of the Father alone, God of God: like the Father that begat Him, according to the Scriptures, Whose generation no one knoweth except only the Father that begat Him. This Only-begotten Son of God, sent by His Father, we know to have come down from heaven, as it is written, for the destruction of sin and death; begotten of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin Mary, as it is written, according to the flesh. Who companied with His disciples, and when the dispensation was fulfilled, according to the Father’s will, was crucified, dead, and buried, and descended to the world below, at Whom Hell himself trembled. On the third day He rose from the dead and companied with His disciples forty days. He was taken up into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of His Father, and is coming at the last day of the Resurrection, in His Father’s Glory, to render to every one according to his works. And we believe in the Holy Ghost, which the Only-begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, both God and Lord, promised to send to man, the Comforter, as it is written, the Spirit of Truth. This Spirit He Himself sent after He had ascended into Heaven and sat at the right hand of the Father, from thence to come to judge both quick and dead. But the word ‘the Substance,’ which was too simply inserted by the Fathers, and, not being understood by the people, was a cause of scandal through its not being found in the Scriptures, it hath seemed good to us to remove, and that for the future no mention whatever be permitted of ‘Substance,’ on account of the sacred Scriptures nowhere making any mention of the ‘Substance’ of the Father and the Son. Nor must one ‘essence109 ’ be named in relation to the person110 of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. And we call the Son like the Father, as the Holy Scriptures call Him and teach; but all the heresies, both those already condemned, and any, if such there be, which have risen against the document thus put forth, let them be Anathema.”

This Creed was subscribed by the bishops, some being frightened and some cajoled, but those who refused to give in their adhesion were banished to the most remote regions of the world.

Chapter XVII.—Synodical Act of Damasus, Bishop of Rome, and of the Western Bishops, About the Council at Ariminum.

The condemnation of this formula by all the champions of the truth, and specially those of the West, is shewn by the letter which they wrote to the Illyrians111 . First of the signatories was Damasus, who obtained the presidency of the church of Rome after Liberius, and was adorned with many virtues112 . With him signed ninety bishops of Italy and Galatia113 , now called Gaul, who met together at Rome. I would have inserted their names but that I thought it superfluous.

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“The bishops assembled at Rome in sacred synod Damasus and Valerianus114 and the rest, to their beloved brethren the bishops of Illyria, send greeting in God.

76 “We believe that we, priests of God, by whom it is fight for the rest to be instructed, are holding and teaching our people the Holy Creed which was founded on the teaching of the Apostles, and in no way departs from the definitions of the Fathers. But through a report of the brethren in Gaul and Venetia we have learnt that certain men are fallen into heresy.

“It is the duty of the bishops not only to take precautions against this mischief, but also to make a stand against whatever divergent teaching has arisen, either from incomplete instruction, or the simplicity of readers of unsound commentators. They should be minded not to slide into slippery paths, but rather whensoever divergent counsels are carried to their ears, to hold fast the doctrine of our fathers. It has, therefore, been decided that Auxentius of Milan is in this matter specially condemned. So it is right that all the teachers of the law in the Roman Empire should be well instructed in the law, and not befoul the faith with divergent doctrines.

“When first the wickedness of the heretics began to flourish, and when, as now, the blasphemy of the Arians was crawling to the front, our fathers, three hundred and eighteen bishops, the holiest prelates in the Roman Empire, deliberated at Nicaea. The wall which they set up against the weapons of the devil, and the antidote wherewith they repelled his deadly poisons, was their confession that the Father and the Son are of one substance, one godhead, one virtue, one power, one likeness115 , and that the Holy Ghost is of the same essence116 and substance. Whoever did not thus think was judged separate from our communion. Their deliberation was worthy of all respect, and their definition sound. But certain men have intended by other later discussions to corrupt and befoul it. Yet, at the very outset, error was so far set right by the bishops on whom the attempt was made at Ariminum to compel them to manipulate or innovate on the faith, that they confessed themselves seduced by opposite arguments, or owned that they had not perceived any contradiction to the opinion of the Fathers livered at Nicaea. No prejudice could arise from the number of bishops gathered at Ariminum, since it is well known that neither the bishop of the Romans, whose opinion ought before all others to have been waited for, nor Vincentius, whose stainless episcopate had lasted so many years, nor the rest, gave in their adhesion to such doctrines. And this is the more significant, since, as has been already said, the very men who seemed to be tricked into surrender, themselves, in their wiser moments, testified their disapproval.

“Your sincerity then perceives that this one faith, which was founder at Nicaea on the authority of the Apostles, ought to be kept secure for ever. You perceive that with us, the bishops of the East, who confess themselves Catholic, and the western bishops, together glory in it. We believe that before long those who think otherwise ought without delay to be put out from our communion, and deprived of the name of bishop, that their flocks may be freed from error and breathe freely. For they cannot be expected to correct the errors of their people when they themselves are the victims of error. May the opinion of your reverence be in harmony with that of all the priests of God. We believe you to be fixed and firm in it, and thus ought we rightly to believe with you. May your charity make us glad by your reply.

“Beloved brethren, farewell.”

Chapter XVIII.—The Letter of Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Concerning the Same Council.

The great Athanasius also, in his letter to the Africans, writes thus about the council at Ariminum. “Under these circumstances who will tolerate any mention of the council of Ariminum or any other beside the Nicene? Who would not express detestation of the setting aside of the words of the Fathers, and the preference for those introduced at Ariminum by violence and party strife? Who would wish to be associated with these men—fellows who do not, forsooth, accept their own words? In their own ten or a dozen synods they have laid down, as has been narrated already, now one thing now another; and at the present time these synods, one after another, they are themselves openly denouncing. They are now suffering the fate undergone of old by the traitors of the Jews. For as is written in the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah “they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water,”117 so these men, in their opposition to the Oecumenical synod, have hewed for themselves many synods which have all proved vain and like “buds that yield no meal,”118 let us not therefore admit those who cite the council of Ariminum or any other but that of Nicaea, for indeed the very citers of Ariminum do not seem to know what was done there; if they had they would have held their tongues. For you, beloved, have learnt from your own representatives at that Council, and are consequently very well aware, that Ursacius, Valens, Eudoxius, and Auxentius, and with them Demophilus were asked to anathematize the Arian heresy, and made excuse, choosing rather to be its champions, and so were all deposed for making propositions contrary to the Nicene decrees. The bishops, on the contrary, who were the true servants of the Lord, and of the right faith,—about two hundred in number,—declared their adherence to the Nicene Council alone, and their refusal to entertain the thought of either subtraction from, or addition to, its decrees. This conclusion they have communicated to Constantius, by whose order the council assembled.

On the other hand the bishops who were deposed at Ariminum have been received by Constantius, and have succeeded in getting the two hundred who sentenced them grossly insulted, and threatened with not being allowed to return to their dioceses, and with having to undergo rigorous treatment in Thrace, and that in the winter, in order to force them to accept the innovators’ measures.

If, then, we hear any one appealing to Ariminum, show us, let us rejoin, first the sentence of deposition, and then the document drawn up by the bishops, in which they declare that they do not seek to go beyond the terms drawn up by the Nicene Fathers, nor appeal to any other council than that of Nicaea. In reality, these are just the facts they conceal, while they put prominently forward the forced confession of Thrace. They do but shew themselves friends of the Arian heresy, and strangers to the sound faith. Only let any one be willing to put side by side that great synod, and those others to which these men appeal, and he will perceive, on the one side, true religion, on the other, folly and disorder. The fathers of Nicaea met together not after being deposed, but after confessing that the Son was of the Substance of the Father. These men were deposed once, a second time, and again a third time at Ariminum, and then dared to lay down that it is wrong to attribute Substance or Essence to God. So strange and so many were the tricks and machinations concocted by the mad gang of Arius in the West against the dogmas of the Truth.

Chapter XIX.—Concerning the Cunning of Leontius, Bishop of Antioch, and the Boldness of Flavianus and Diadorus.

At Antioch Placidus was succeeded by Stephanus, who was expelled from the Church. Leontius then accepted the Primacy, but in violation of the decrees of the Nicene Council, for he had mutilated himself, and was an eunuch. The cause of his rash deed is thus narrated by the blessed Athanasius. Leontius, it seems, was the victim of slanderous statements on account of a certain young woman of the name of Eustolia.119 Finding himself prevented from dwelling with her he mutilated himself for her sake, in order that he might feel free to live with her. But he did not clear himself of suspicion, and all the more for this reason was deposed from the presbyterate. So much Athanasius has written about the rest of his earlier life. I shall now give a summary exposure of his evil conduct. Now though he shared the Arian error, he always endeavoured to conceal his unsoundness. He observed that the clergy and the rest of the people were divided into two parts, the one, in giving glory to the Son, using the conjunction “and,” the other using the preposition “through” of the Son, and applying “in” to the Holy Ghost. He himself offered all the doxology in silence, and all that those standing near him could hear was the “For ever and ever.” And had not the exceeding wickedness of his sold been betrayed by other means, it might have been said that he adopted this contrivance from a wish to promote concord among the people. But when he had wrought much mischief to the champions of the truth, and continued to give every support to the promoters of impiety, he was convicted of concealing his own unsoundness. He was influenced both by his fear of the people, and by the grievous threats which Constantius had uttered against any who had dared to say that the Son was unlike the Father. His real sentiments were however proved by his conduct. Followers of the Apostolic doctrines never received from him either ordination or indeed the least encouragement. Men, on the other hand, who sided with the Arian superstition, were both allowed perfect liberty in expressing their opinions, and were from time to time admitted to priestly office. At this juncture Aetius, the master of Eunomius, who promoted the Arian error by his speculations, was admitted to the diaconate. Flavianus and Diodorus, however, who had embraced an ascetic career, and were open champions of the Apostolic decrees, publicly protested against the attacks of Leontius against true religion. That a man nurtured in iniquity and scheming to win notoriety by ungodliness should be counted worthy of the diaconate, was, they urged, a disgrace to the Church. They further threatened that they would withdraw from his communion, travel to the western empire, and publish his plots to the world. Leontius was now alarmed, and suspended Aetius from his sacred office, but continued to show him marked favour.

77 That excellent pair Flavianus and Diodorus,120 though not vet admitted to the priesthood and still ranked with the laity, worked night and day to stimulate men’s zeal for truth. They were the first to divide choirs into two parts, and to teach them to sing the psalms of David antiphonally. Introduced first at Antioch, the practice spread in all directions, and penetrated to the ends of the earth. Its originators now collected the lovers of the Divine word and work into the Churches of the Martyrs, and with them spent the night in singing psalms to God.

When Leontius perceived this, he did not think it safe to try to prevent them, for he saw that the people were exceedingly well-disposed towards these excellent men. However, putting a colour of courtesy on his speech, he requested that they would perform this act of worship in the churches. They were perfectly well aware of his evil intent. Nevertheless they set about obeying his behest and readily summoned their choir121 to the Church, exhorting them to sing praises to the good Lord. Nothing, however, could induce Leontius to correct his wickedness, but be put on the mask of equity,122 and concealed the iniquity of Stephanus and Placidus. Men who had accepted the corruption of the faith of priests and deacons, although they had embraced a life of vile irregularity, he added to the roll; while others adorned with every kind of virtue and firm adherents of apostolic doctrines, he left unrecognised. Thus it came to pass that among the clergy were numbered a majority of men tainted with heresy, while the mass of the laity were champions of the Faith, and even professional teachers lacked courage to lay bare their blasphemy. In truth the deeds of impiety and iniquity done by Placidus, Stephanus, and Leontius, in Antioch are so many as to want a special history of their own, and so terrible as to be worthy of the lament of David; for of them too it must be said “For lo thy enemies make a murmuring and they that hate thee lift up their head. They have imagined craftily against the people and taken counsel against thy secret ones. They have said come and let us root them out that they be no more a people: and that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.”123

Let us now continue the course of our narrative.

Chapter XX.—Concerning the Innovations of Eudoxius, of Germanicia, and the Zeal of Basilius124 Of Ancyra, and of Eustathius125 Of Sebasteia Against Him.

Germanicia is a city on the coasts of Cilicia, Syria, and Cappadocia, and belongs to the province called Euphratisia. Eudoxius, the head of its church, directly, he heard of the death of Leontius, betook himself to Antioch and clutched the see, where he ravaged the vineyard of the Lord like a wild boar. He did not even attempt to hide his evil ways, like Leontius, but raged in direct attack upon the apostolic decrees, and involved in various troubles all who had the hardihood to gainsay him. Now at this time Basilius had succeeded Marcellus, and held the helm of the church of Ancyra, the capital of Galatia, and Sebastia, the chief city of Armenia, was under the guidance of Eustathius. No sooner had these bishops heard of the iniquity and madness of Eudoxius, than they wrote to inform the Emperor Constantius of his audacity. Constantius was now still tarrying in the west, and, after the death of the tyrants, was endeavouring to heal the harm they had caused. Both bishops were well known to the Emperor and had great influence with him on account of the high character they bore.

Chapter XXI.—Of the Second Council of Nicaea.

On receipt of these despatches Constantius wrote to the Antiochenes denying that he had committed the see of Antioch to Eudoxius, as Eudoxius had publicly announced. He ordered that Eudoxius be banished, and be punished for the course he had taken at the Bithynian Nicaea, where he bad ordered the synod to assemble. Eudoxius himself had persuaded the officers entrusted with authority in the imperial household to fix Nicaea for the Council. But the Supreme Ruler and Governor, who knows the future like the past, stopped the assembly by a mighty earthquake, whereby the greater part of the city was overthrown, and most of the inhabitants destroyed. On learning this the assembled bishops were seized with panic, and returned to their own churches. But I regard this as a contrivance of the divine wisdom, for in that city the doctrine of the faith of the apostles had been defined by the holy Fathers. In that same city the bishops who were assembling on this later occasion were intending to lay down the contrary. The sameness of name would have been sure to furnish a means of deception to the Arian crew, and trick unsophisticated souls. They meant to call the council “the Nicene,” and identify it with the famous council of old. But He who has care for the churches disbanded the synod.

Chapter XXII.—Of the Council Held at Seleucia in Isauria.

After a time, at the suggestion of the accusers of Eudoxius, Constantius ordered the synod to be held at Seleucia. This town of Isauria lies on the seashore and is the chief town of the district. Hither the bishops of the East, and with them those of Pontus in Asia, were ordered to assemble.126

The see of Caesarea, the capital of Palestine, was now held by Acacius, who had succeeded Eusebius. He had been condemned by the council of Sardica, but had expressed contempt for so large an assembly of bishops, and had refused to accept their adverse decision. At Jerusalem Macarius, whom I have often mentioned, was succeeded by Maximus, a man conspicuous in his struggles on behalf of religion, for he had been deprived of his right eye and maimed in his right arm.127

On his translation to the life which knows no old age, Cyrillus, an earnest champion of the apostolic decrees,128 was dignified with the Episcopal office. These men in their contentions with one another for the first place brought great calamities on the state. Acacius seized some small occasion, deposed Cyrillus, and drove him from Jerusalem. But Cyrillus passed by Antioch, which he had found without a pastor, and came to Tarsus, where he dwelt with the excellent Silvanus, then bishop of that see. No sooner did Acacius become aware of this than he wrote to Silvanus and informed him of the deposition of Cyrillus. Silvanus however, both out of regard for Cyrillus, and not without suspicion of his people, who greatly enjoyed the stranger’s teaching, refused to prohibit him from taking a part in the ministrations of the church. When however they had arrived at Seleucia, Cyrillus joined with the party of Basilius and Eustathius and Silvanus and the rest in the council. But when Acacius joined the assembled bishops, who numbered one hundred and fifty, he refused to be associated in their counsels before Cyrillus, as one stripped of his bishopric, had been put out from among them. There were some who, eager for peace, besought Cyrillus to withdraw, with a pledge that after the decision of the decrees they would enquire into his case. He would not give way, and Acacius left them and went out. Then meeting Eudoxius he removed his alarm, and encouraged him with a promise that he would stand his friend and supporter. Thus he hindered him from taking part in the council, and set out with him for Constantinople.

78 Chapter XXIII.—Of What Befell the Orthodox Bishops at Constantinople.

Constantius, on his return from the West, passed some time at Constantinople. There Acacius urged many accusations against the assembled bishops presence of the emperor, called them a set of vile characters convoked for the ruin and destruction of the churches, and so fired the imperial wrath. And not least was Constantius moved by what was alleged against Cyrillus, “for,” said Acachius, “the holy robe, which the illustrious Constantine the emperor, in his desire to honour the church of Jerusalem, gave to Macarius, the bishop of that city, to be worn when he performed the rite of divine baptism, all fashioned with golden threads as it was, has been sold by Cyrillus. It has been bought,” he continued, “by a certain stage dancer; dancing about when he was wearing it, he fell down and perished. With a man like this Cyrillus,” he went on, “they set themselves up to judge and decide for the rest of the world.” The influential party at the court made this an occasion for persuading the emperor not to summon the whole synod, for they were alarmed at the concord of the majority, but only ten leading men. Of these were Eustathius of Armenia, Basilius of Galatia, Silvanus of Tarsus, and Eleusius of Cyzicus.129

On their arrival they urged the emperor that Eudoxius should be convicted of blasphemy and lawlessness. Constantius, however, schooled by the opposite party, replied that a decision must first be come to on matters concerning the faith, and that afterwards the case of Eudoxius should be enquired into. Basilius, relying on his former intimacy, ventured boldly to object to the emperor that he was attacking the apostolic decrees; but Constantius took this ill, and told Basilius to hold his tongue, “for to you,” said he, “the disturbance of the churches is due.” When Basilius was silenced, Eustathius intervened and said, “since, sir, you wish a decision to be come to on what concerns the faith, consider the blasphemies rashly uttered against the Only Begotten by Eudoxius,” and as he spoke he produced the exposition of faith wherein, besides many other impieties, were found the following expressions: “Things that are spoken of in unlike terms are unlike in substance:” “There is one God the Father of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ through whom are all things.” Now the term “of whom” is unlike the term “through whom;” so the Son is unlike God the Father. Constantius ordered this exposition of the faith to be read, and was displeased with the blasphemy which it involved. He therefore asked Eudoxius if he had drawn it up. Eudoxius instantly repudiated the authorship, and said that it was written by Aetius. Now Aetius was he whom Leontius, in dread of the accusations of Flavianus and Diodorus, had formerly degraded from the diaconate. He had also been the supporter of Georgius, the treacherous foe of the Alexandrians, alike in his impious words and his unholy deeds. At the present time he was associated with Eunomius and Eudoxius; for, on the death of Leontius, when Eudoxius had laid violent hands on the episcopal throne of the church at Antioch, he returned from Egypt with Eunomius, and, as he found Eudoxius to be of the same way of thinking as himself, a sybarite in luxury as well as a heretic in faith, he chose Antioch as the most congenial place of abode, and both he and Eunomius were fast fixtures at the couches of Eudoxius. His highest ambition was to be a successful parasite, and he spent his whole time in going to gorge himself at one man’s table or another’s. The emperor had been told all this, and now ordered Aetius to be brought before him. On his appearance Constantius showed him the document in question and proceeded to enquire if he was the author of its language. Aetius, totally ignorant of what had taken place, and unaware of the drift of the enquiry, expected that he should win praise by confession, and owned that he was the author of the phrases in question. Then the emperor perceived the greatness of his iniquity, and forthwith condemned him to exile and to be deported to a place in Phrygia. So Aetius reaped disgrace as the fruit of blasphemy, and was cast out of the palace. Eustathius then alleged that Eudoxius too held the same views, for that Aetius had shared his roof and his table, and had drawn up this blasphemous formula in submission to his judgement. In proof of his contention that Eudoxius was concerned in drawing up the document he urged the fact that no one had attributed it to Aetius except Eudoxius himself. To this the emperor enjoined that judges must not decide on conjecture, but are bound to make exact examination of the facts. Eustathius assented, and urged that Eudoxius should give proof of his dissent from the sentiments attributed to him by anathematizing the composition of Aetius. This suggestion the emperor very readily accepted, and gave his orders accordingly; but Eudoxius drew back, and employed many shifts to evade compliance. But when the emperor waxed wroth and threatened to send him off to share the exile of Aetius, on the ground that he was a partner in the blasphemy so punished, he repudiated his own doctrine, though both then and afterwards he persistently maintained it. However, he in his turn protested against the Eustathians that it was their duty to condemn the word “Homoüsion” as unscriptural.

Silvanus on the contrary pointed out that it was their duty to reject and expel from their holy assemblies the phrases “out of the non-existent” and “creature” and “of another substance,” these terms being also unscriptural and found in the writings of neither prophets nor apostles. Constantius decided that this was right, and bade the Arians pronounce the condemnation. At first they persisted in refusing; but in the end, when they saw the emperor’s wrath, they consented, though much against the grain, to condemn the terms Silvanus had put before them. But all the more earnestly they insisted on their demand for the condemnation of the “Homoüsion.” But then with unanswerable logic Silvanus put both before the Arians and the emperor the truth that if God the Word is not of the non-Existent, He is not a Creature, and is not of another Substance. He is then of one Substance with God Who begat Him, as God of God and Light of Light, and has the same nature as the Begetter. This contention he urged with power and with truth, but not one of his hearers was convinced. The party of Acacius and Eudoxius raised a mighty uproar; the emperor was angered, and threatened expulsion from their churches. Thereupon Eleusius and Silvanus and the rest said that while authority to punish lay with the emperor, it was their province to decide on points of piety or impiety, and “we will not,” they protested, “betray the doctrine of the Fathers.”

Constantius ought to have admired both their wisdom and their courage, and their bold defence of the apostolic decrees, but he exiled them from their churches, and ordered others to be appointed in their place. Thereupon Eudoxius laid violent hands on the Church of Constantinople; and on the expulsion of Eleusius from Cyzicus, Eunomius was appointed in his place.

Chapter XXIV.—Synodical Epistle Written Against Aetius.

After these transactions the emperor ordered Aetius to be condemned by a formal Letter, and, in obedience to the command, his companions in iniquity condemned their own associate. Accordingly they wrote to Georgius, bishop of Alexandria, the letter about him to which I shall give a place in my history, in order to expose their wickedness, for they treated their friends and their foes precisely in the same way.

Copy of the Letter written by the whole council to Georgius against Aetius his deacon, on account of his iniquitous blasphemy.

To the right honourable Lord Georgius, Bishop of Alexandria, the holy Synod in Constantinople assembled, Greeting.

In consequence of the condemnation of Aetius by the Synod, on account of his unlawful and most offensive writings, he has been dealt with by the bishops in accordance with the canons of the church. He has been degraded from the diaconate and expelled from the Church, and our admonitions have gone forth that none are to read his unlawful epistles, but that on account of their unprofitable and worthless character they are to be cast aside. We have further appended an anathema on him, if he abides in his opinion, and on his supporters.

It would naturally have followed that all the bishops met together in the Synod should have felt detestation of, and approved the sentence delivered against, a man who is the author of offences, disturbances and schisms, of agitation over all the world, and of rising of church against church. But in spite of our prayers, and against all our expectation, Seras, Stephanus, Heliodorus and Theophilus and their party130 have not voted with us, and have not even consented to subscribe the sentence delivered against him, although Seras charged the aforenamed Aetius with another instance of insane arrogance, alleging that he, with still bolder impudence, had sprung forward to declare that what God had concealed from the Apostles had been now revealed to him. Even after these wild and boastful words, reported by Seras about Aetius, the aforenamed bishops were not put out of countenance, nor could they be induced to vote with us on his condemnation. We however with much long suffering bore with them131 for a great length of time, now indignant, now beseeching, now importuning them to join with us and make the decision of the Synod unanimous; and we persevered long in the hope that they might hear and agree and give in. But when in spite of all this patience we could not shame them into acceptance of our declarations against the aforesaid offender, we counted the rule of the church more precious than the friendship of men, and pronounced against them a decree of excommunication, allowing them a period of six mouths for conversion, repentance, and the expression of a desire for union and harmony with the synod. If within the given time they should turn and accept agreement with their brethren and assent to the decrees about Aetius, we decided that they should be received into the church, to the recovery of their own authority in synods, and our affection. If however they obstinately persisted, and preferred human friendship to the canons of the church and our affection, then we judged them deposed from the rank of the bishops. If they suffer degradation it is necessary to appoint other bishops in their place, that the lawful church may be duly ordered and at unity with herself, while all the bishops of every nation by uttering the same doctrine with one mind and one counsel preserve the bond of love.

79 To acquaint you with the decree of the Synod we have sent these present to your reverence, and pray that you may abide by them, and by the grace of Christ rule the churches under you aright and in peace.

Chapter XXV.—Of the Causes Which Separated the Eunomians from the Arians.

Eunomius in his writings praises Aetius, styles him a man of God, and honours him with many compliments. Yet he was at that time closely associated with the party by whom Aetius had been repudiated, and to them he owed his election to his bishopric.

Now the followers of Eudoxius and Acacius, who had assented to the decrees put forth at Nice in Thrace, already mentioned in this history, appointed other bishops in the churches of the adherents of Basilius and Eleusius in their stead. On other points I think it superfluous to write in detail. I purpose only to relate what concerns Eunomius.

For when Eunomius had seized on the see of Cyzicus in the lifetime of Eleusius, Eudoxius urged him to hide his opinions and not make them known to the party who were seeking a pretext to persecute him. Eudoxius was moved to offer this advice both by his knowledge that the diocese was sound in the faith and his experience of the anger manifested by Constantius against the party who asserted the only begotten Son of God to be a created being. “Let us” said he to Eunomius “bide our time; when it comes we will preach what now we are keeping dark; educate the ignorant; and win over or compel or punish our opponents.” Eunomius, yielding to these suggestions, propounded his impious doctrine under the shadow of obscurity. Those of his hearers who had been nurtured on the divine oracles saw clearly that his utterances concealed under their surface a foul fester of error.132

But however distressed they were they considered it less the part of prudence than of rashness to make any open protest, so they assumed a mask of heretical heterodoxy, and paid a visit to the bishop at his private residence with the earnest request that he would have regard to the distress of men borne hither and thither by different doctrines, and would plainly expound the truth. Eunomius thus emboldened declared the sentiments which he secretly held. The deputation then went on to remark that it was unfair and indeed quite wrong for the whole of his diocese to be prevented from having their share of the truth. By these and similar arguments he was induced to lay bare his blasphemy in the public assemblies of the church. Then his opponents hurried with angry fervour to Constantinople; first they indicted him before Eudoxius, and when Eudoxius refused to see them, sought an audience of the emperor and made lamentation over the ruin their bishop was wreaking among them. “The sermons of Eunomius,” they said, “are more impious than the blasphemies of Arius.” The wrath of Constantius was roused, and he commanded Eudoxius to send for Eunomius, and, on his conviction, to strip him of his bishopric. Eudoxius, of course, though again and again importuned by the accusers, continued to delay taking action. Then once more they approached the emperor with vociferous complaints that Eudoxius had not obeyed the imperial commands in any single particular, and was perfectly indifferent to the delivery of an important city to the blasphemies of Eunomius. Then said Constantius to Eudoxius, if you do not fetch Eunomius and try him, and on conviction of the charges brought against him, punish him, I shall exile you. This threat frightened Eudoxius, so he wrote to Eunomius to escape from Cyzicus, and told him he had only himself to blame because he had not followed the hints given him. Eunomius accordingly withdrew in alarm, but he could not endure the disgrace, and endeavoured to fix the guilt of his betrayal on Eudoxius, maintaining that both he and Aetius had been cruelly treated. And from that time he set up a sect of his own for all the men who were of his way of thinking and condemned his betrayal, separated from Eudoxius and joined with Eunomius, whose name they bear up to this day. So Eunomius became the founder of a heresy, and added to the blasphemy of Arius by his own peculiar guilt. He set up a sect of his own because he was a slave to his ambition, as the facts distinctly prove. For when Aetius was condemned and exiled, Eunomius refused to accompany him, though he called him his master and a man of God, but remained closely associated with Eudoxius.

But when his turn came he paid the penalty of his iniquity; he did not submit to the vote of the synod, but began to ordain bishops and presbyters, though himself deprived of his episcopal rank. These then were the deeds done at Constantinople.

Chapter XXVI.—Of the Siege of the City of Nisibis,133 And the Apostolic Conversation of Bishop Jacobus.

On war being waged against the Romans by Sapor King of Persia, Constantius mustered his forces and marched to Antioch. But the enemy were driven forth, not by the Roman army, but by Him whom the pious in the Roman host worshipped as their God. How the victory was won I shall now proceed to relate.

Nisibis, sometimes called Antiochia Mygdonia, lies on the confines of the realms of Persia and of Rome. In Nisibis Jacobus whom I named just now was at once bishop, guardian,134 and commander in chief. He was a man who shone with the grace of a truly apostolic character. His extraordinary and memorable miracles, which I have fully related in my religious history, I think it superfluous and irrelevant to enumerate again.135

One however I will record because of the subject before us. The city which Jacobus ruled was now in possession of the Romans, and besieged by the Persian Army. The blockade was prolonged for seventy days. “Helepoles”136 and many other engines were advanced to the walls. The town was begirt with a palisade and entrenchment, but still held out. The river Mygdonius flowing through the middle of the town, at last the Persians dammed its stream a considerable distance up, and increased the height of its bank on both sides so as to shut the waters in. When they saw that a great mass of water was collected and already beginning to overflow the dam, they suddenly launched it like an engine against the wall. The impact was tremendous; the bulwarks could not sustain it, but gave way and fell down. Just the same fate befell the other side of the circuit, through which the Mygdonius made its exit; it could not withstand the shock, and was carried away. No sooner did Sapor see this than he expected to capture the rest of the city, and for all that day be rested for the mud to dry and the river to become passable. Next day he attacked in full force, and looked to enter the city through the breaches that had been made. But he found the wall built up on both sides, and all his labour vain. For that holy man, through prayer, filled with valour both the troops and the rest of the townsfolk, and both built the walls, withstood the engines, and beat off the advancing foe. And all this he did without approaching the walls, but by beseeching the Lord of all within the church. Sapor, moreover, was not only astounded at the speed of the building of the walls but awed by another spectacle. For he saw standing on the battlements one of kingly mien and all ablaze with purple robe and crown. He supposed that this was the Roman emperor. and threatened his attendants with death for not having announced the imperial presence; but on their stoutly maintaining that their report had been a true one and that Constantius was at Antioch, he perceived the meaning of the vision and exclaimed “their God is fighting for the Romans.” Then the wretched man in a rage flung a javelin into the air, though he knew that be could not hit a bodiless being, but unable to curb his passion. Therefore the excellent Ephraim (he is the best writer among the Syrians) besought the divine Jacobus to mount the wall to see the barbarians and to let fly at them the darts of his curse. So the divine man consented and climbed up into a tower but when he saw the innumerable host he discharged no other curse than to that mosquitoes and gnats might be sent forth upon them, so that by means of these tiny animals they might learn the might of the Protector of the Romans. On his prayer followed clouds of mosquitoes and gnats; they filled the hollow trunks of the elephants, and the ears and nostrils of horses and other animals. Finding the attack of these little creatures past endurance they broke their bridles, unseated their riders and threw the ranks into confusion. The Persians abandoned their camp and fled head-long. So the wretched prince learned by a slight and kindly chastisement the power of the God who protects the pious, and marched his army home again, reaping for all the harvest of the siege not triumph but disgrace.

80 Chapter XXVII.—Of the Council of Antioch and What Was Done There Against the Holy Meletius.

At this time.137 Constantius was residing at Antioch. The Persian war was over; there had been a time of peace, and he once again gathered bishops together with the object of making them all deny both the formula “of one substance” and also the formula “of different substance.” On the death of Leontius, Eudoxius had seized the see of Antioch, but on his expulsion and illegal establishment, after many synods, at Constantinople, the church of Antioch had been left without a shepherd. Accordingly the assembled bishops, gathered in considerable numbers from every quarter, asserted that their primary obligation was to provide a pastor for the flock and that then with him they would deliberate on matters of faith. It fell out opportunely that the divine Meletius who was ruling a certain city of Armenia138 had been grieved with the insubordination of the people under his rule and was now living without occupation elsewhere. The Arian faction imagined that Meletius was of the same way of thinking as themselves, and an upholder of their doctrines. They therefore petitioned Constantius to commit to his hands the reins of the Antiochene church. Indeed in the hope of establishing their impiety there was no law that they did not fearlessly transgress; illegality was becoming the very foundation of their blasphemy; nor was this an isolated specimen of their irregular proceedings. On the other hand the maintainers of apostolic doctrine, who were perfectly well aware of the soundness of the great Meletius, and had clear knowledge of his stainless character and wealth of virtue, came to a common vote. and took measures to have their resolution written out and subscribed by all without delay. This document both parties as a bond of compromise entrusted to the safe keeping of a bishop who was a noble champion of the truth, Eusebius of Samosata. And when the great Meletius had received the imperial summons and arrived, forth to meet him came all the higher ranks of the priesthood, forth came all the other orders of the church, and the whole population of the city. There, too, were Jews and Gentiles all eager to see the great Meletius. Now the emperor bad charged both Meletius and the rest who were able to speak to expound to the multitude the text “The Lord formed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old” (
Pr 8,22 Pr 8, , and he ordered skilled writers to take down on the spot what each man said, with the idea that in this manner their instruction would more exact. First of all Georgius of Laodicea gave vent to his foul heresy. After him Acacius Pr 13 Pr 9 of Caesarea propounded doctrine of compromise far removed indeed from the blasphemy of the enemy, but not preserving the apostolic doctrine pure and undefiled. Then up rose the great Meletius and exhibited the unbending line of the canon of the faith, for using the truth as carpenter does his rule he avoided excess and defect. Then the multitude broke into loud applause and besought him to give them short summary of his teaching. Accordingly after showing three fingers, he withdrew two, left one, and uttered the memorable sentence, “In thought they are three but we speak as to one.” Pr 140

Against this teaching the men who had the plague of Arius in their hearts whetted their tongues, and started an ingenious slander, declaring that the divine Meletius was a Sabellian. Thus they persuaded the fickle sovereign who, like the well known Euripus,141 easily shifted his current now this way and now that, and induced him to relegate Meletius to his own home.

Euzoius, an open defender of Arian tenets, was promptly promoted to his place; the very than whom, then a deacon, the great Alexander had degraded at the same time as Arius. Now the part of the people who remained sound separated from the unsound and assembled in the apostolic church which is situated in the part of the city called the Palaea.142

For thirty years indeed after the attack made upon the illustrious Eustathius they had gone on enduring the abomination of Arianism, in the expectation of some favourable change. But when they saw impiety on the increase, and men faithful to the apostolic doctrines both openly attacked and menaced by secret conspiracy, the divine Meletius in exile, and Euzoius the champion of heresy established as bishop in his place, they remembered the words spoken to Lot, “Escape for thy life”;143 and further the law of the gospel which plainly ordains “if thy right eye offend thee pluck it out and cast it from thee.”144 The Lord laid down the same law about both hand and foot, and added, “It is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

Thus came about the division of the Church.

Chapter XXVIII.—About Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata.

The admirable Eusebius mentioned above, who was entrusted with the common resolution, when he beheld the violation of the covenant, returned to his own see. Then certain men who were uneasy about the written document, persuaded Constantius to dispatch a messenger to recover it. Accordingly the emperor sent one of the officers who ride post with relays of horses, and bring communications with great speed. On his arrival he reported the imperial message, but, “I cannot,” said the admirable Eusebius, “surrender the deed deposited with me till I am directed so to do by the whole assembly who gave it me.” This reply was reported to the emperor. Boiling with rage he sent to Eusebius again and ordered him to give it up, with the further message that he had ordered his right hand to be cut off if he refused. But he only wrote this to terrify the bishop, for the courier who conveyed the dispatch bad orders not to carry out the threat. But when the divine Eusebius opened the letter and saw tire punishment which the emperor had threatened, lie stretched out his right hand and his left, bidding the man cut off both. “The decree,” said he, “which is a clear proof of Arian wickedness, I will not give up.”

When Constantius had been informed of this courageous resolution he was struck with astonishment, and did not cease to admire it; for even foes are constrained by the greatness of bold deeds to admire their adversaries success.

At this time Constantius learned that Julian, whom he had declared Caesar of Europe, was aiming at sovereignty, and mustering an army against his master. Therefore he set out from Syria, and died in Cilicia.145 Nor had he the helper whom his Father had left him; for he had not kept intact the inheritance of his Father’s piety, and so bitterly bewailed his change of faith.
Book III.


81 Chapter I.—Of the Reign of Julianus; How from a Child He Was Brought Up in Piety and Lapsed into Impiety; And in What Manner, Though at First He Kept His Impiety Secret, He Afterwards Laid It Bare.

Constantius, as has been narrated, departed this life groaning and grieving that he had been turned away from the faith of his father. Julian heard the news of his end as he was crossing from Europe into Asia and assumed the sovereignty with delight at having now no rival.

In his earlier days, while yet a lad, Julian had, as well as Gallus1 his brother, imbibed pure and pious teaching.

In his youth and earlier manhood he continued to take in the same doctrine. Constantius, dreading lest his kinsfolk should aspire to imperial power, slew them;2 and Julian, through fear of his cousin, was enrolled in the order of Readers,3 and used to read aloud the sacred books to the people in the assemblies of the church.

(He also built a martyr’s shrine; but the martyrs, when they beheld his apostasy, refused to accept the offering; for in consequence of the foundations being, like their founder’s mind, unstable, the edifice fell down4 before it was consecrated. Such were the boyhood and youth of Julian. At the period, however, when Constantius was setting out for the West, drawn thither by the war against Magnentius, he made Gallus, who was gifted with piety which he retained to the end,5 Caesar of the East. Now Julian flung away the apprehensions which had previously stood him in good stead, and, moved by unrighteous confidence, set his heart on seizing the sceptre of empire. Accordingly, on his way through Greece, he sought out seers and soothsayers, with a desire of learning if he should get what his soul longed for. He met with a man who promised to predict these things, conducted him into one of the idol temples, introduced him within the shrine, and called upon the demons of deceit. On their appearing in their wonted aspect terror compelled Julian to make the sign of the cross upon his brow. They no sooner saw the sign of the Lord’s victory than they were reminded of their own rout, and forthwith fled away. On the magician becoming acquainted with the cause of their flight he blamed him; but Julian confessed his terror, and said that he wondered at the power of the cross, for that the demons could not endure to see its sign and ran away. “Think not anything of the sort, good sir;” said the magician, “they were not afraid as you make out, but they went away because they abominated what you did.” So he tricked the wretched man, initiated him in the mysteries, and filled him with their abominations.

(So lust of empire stripped the wretch of all true religion. Nevertheless after attaining the supreme power he concealed his impiety for a considerable time; for he was specially apprehensive about the troops who had been instructed in the principles of true religion, first by the illustrious Constantine who freed them from their former error and trained them in the ways of truth, and afterwards by his sons, who confirmed the instruction given by their father. For if Constantius, led astray by those under whose influence he lived, did not admit the term omoouvsion, at all events he sincerely accepted the meaning underlying it, for God the Word he styled true Son, begotten of his Father before the ages, and those who dared to call Him a creature he openly renounced, absolutely prohibiting the worship of idols.

I will relate also another of his noble deeds, as satisfactory proof of his zeal for divine things. In his campaign against Magnentius he once mustered the whole of his army, and counselled them to take part all together in the divine mysteries, “for,” said he, “the end of life is always uncertain, and that not least in war, when innumerable missiles are hurled from either side, and swords and battle axes and other weapons are assailing men, whereby a violent death is brought about. Wherefore it behoves each than to wear that precious robe which most of all we need in yonder life hereafter: if there be one here who would not now put on this garb let him depart hence and go home. I shall not brook to fight with men in my army who have no part nor lot in our holy rites.”6

Chapter II.—Of the Return of the Bishops and the Consecration of Paulinus.

Julian had clear information on these points, and did not make known the impiety of his soul. With the object of attracting all the bishops to acquiescence in his rule he ordered even those who had been expelled from their churches by Constantius, and who were sojourning on the furthest confines of the empire, to return to their own churches. Accordingly, on the promulgation of this edict, back to Antioch came the divine Meletius, and to Alexandria the far famed Athanasius.7

But Eusebius,8 and Hilarius9 of Italy and Lucifer10 who presided over the flock in the island of Sardinia, were living in the Thebaid on the frontier of Egypt, whither they had been relegated by Constantius. They now met with the rest whose views were the same and affirmed that the churches ought to be brought into harmony. For they not only suffered from the assaults of their opponents, but were at variance with one another. In Antioch the sound body of the church had been split in two; at one and the same time they who from the beginning, for the sake of the right worthy Eustathius, had separated from the rest, were assembling by themselves; and they who with the admirable Meletius had held aloof from the Arian faction were performing divine service in what is called the Palaea. Both parties used one confession of faith, for both parties were champions of the doctrine laid down at Nicaea. All that separated them was their mutual quarrel, and their regard for their respective leaders; and even the death of one of these did not put a stop to the strife. Eustathius died before the election of Meletius, and the orthodox party, after the exile of Meletius and the election of Euzoius, separated from the communion of the impious, and assembled by themselves; with these, the party called Eustathians could not be induced to unite. To effect an union between them the Eusebians and Luciferians sought to discover a means. Accordingly Eusebius besought Lucifer to repair to Alexandria and take counsel on the matter with the great Athanasius, intending himself to undertake the labour of bringing about a reconciliation.

Lucifer however did not go to Alexandria but repaired to Antioch. There he urged many arguments in behalf of concord on both parties. The Eustathians, led by Paulinus, a presbyter, persisted in opposition. On seeing this Lucifer took the improper course of consecrating Paulinus as their bishop.

82 This action on the part of Lucifer prolonged the feud, which lasted for eighty-five years, until the episcopate of the most praise-worthy Alexander.11

No sooner was the helm of the church at Antioch put into his hands than he tried every expedient, and brought to bear great zeal and energy for the promotion of concord, and thus joined the severed limb to the rest of the body of the church. At the time in question however Lucifer made the quarrel worse and spent a considerable time in Antioch, and Eusebius when he arrived on the spot and learnt that bad doctoring had made the malady very hard to heal, sailed away to the West.

When Lucifer returned to Sardinia he made certain additions to the dogmas of the church and those who accepted them were named after him, and for a considerable time were called Luciferians. But in time the flame of this dogma too went out and it was consigned to oblivion.12 Such were the events that followed on the return of the bishops.

Chapter III.—Of the Number and Character of the Deeds Done by Pagans Against the Christians When They Got the Power from Julian.

When Julian had made his impiety openly known the cities were filled with dissensions. Men enthralled by the deceits of idolatry took heart, opened the idols’ shrines, and began to perform those foul rites which ought to have died out from the memory of man. Once more they kindled the fire on the altars, befouled the ground with victims’ gore, and defiled the air with the smoke of their burnt sacrifices. Maddened by the demons they served they ran in corybantic13 frenzy round about the streets, attacked the saints with low stage jests, and with all the outrage and ribaldry of their impure processions.

On the other hand the partizans14 of piety could not brook their blasphemies, returned insult for insult, and tried to confute the error which their opponents honoured. In their turn the workers of iniquity took it ill; the liberty allowed them by the sovereign was an encouragement to audacity and they dealt deadly blows among the Christians.

It was indeed the duty of the emperor to consult for the peace of his subjects, but he in the depth of his iniquity himself maddened his peoples with mutual rage. The deeds dared by the brutal against the peaceable he overlooked and entrusted civil and military offices of importance to savage and impious men, who though they hesitated publicly to force the lovers of true piety to offer sacrifice treated them nevertheless with all kinds of indignity. All the honours moreover conferred on the sacred ministry by the great Constantine Julian took away.

To tell all the deeds dared by the slaves of idolatrous deceit at that time would require a history of these crimes alone, but out of the vast number of them I shall select a few instances. At Askalon and at Gaza, cities of Palestine, then of priestly rank and women who had lived all their lives in virginity were disembowelled, filled with barley, and given for food to swine. At Sebaste, which belongs to the same people, the coffin of Jn the Baptist was opened, his bones burnt, and the ashes scattered abroad.15

Who too could tell without a tear the vile deed done in Phoenicia? At Heliopolis16 by Lebanon there lived a certain deacon of the name of Cyrillus. In the reign of Constantine, fired by divine zeal, he had broken in pieces many of the idols there worshipped. Now men of infamous name, bearing this deed in mind, not only slew him, but cut open his belly and devoured his liver. Their crime was not, however, hidden from the all-seeing eye, and they suffered the just reward of their deeds; for all who had taken part in this abominable wickedness lost their teeth, which all fell out at once, and lost. too, their tongues, which rotted away and dropped from them: they were moreover deprived of sight, and by their sufferings proclaimed the power of holiness.

At the neighbouring city of Emesa17 they dedicated to Dionysus, the woman-formed, the newly erected church, and set up in it his ridiculous androgynous image. At Dorystolum,18 a famous city of Thrace, the victorious athlete Aemilianus was thrown upon a flaming pyre, by Capitolinus, governor of all Thrace. To relate the tragic fate of Marcus, however, bishop of Arethusa,19 with true dramatic dignity, would require the eloquence of an Aeschylus or a Sophocles. In the days of Constantius he had destroyed a certain idol-shrine and built a church in its place; and no sooner did the Arethusians learn the mind of Julian than they made an open display of their hostility. At first, according to the precept of the Gospel,20 Marcus endeavoured to make his escape; but when he became aware that some of his own people were apprehended in his stead, he returned and gave himself up to the men of blood. After they had seized him they neither pitied his old age nor reverenced his deep regard for virtue; but, conspicuous as he was for the, beauty alike of his teaching and of his life, first of all they stripped and smote him, laying strokes on every limb, then they flung him into filthy sewers, and, when they had dragged him out again, delivered him to a crowd of lads whom they charged to prick him without mercy with their pens.21 After this they put him into a basket, smeared him with pickle22 and honey, and hung him up in the open air in the height of summer, inviting wasps and bees to a feast. Their object in doing this was to compel him either to restore the shrine which he had destroyed, or to defray the expense of its erection. Marcus, however, endured all these grievous sufferings and affirmed that he would consent to none of their demands. His enemies, with the idea that he could not afford the money from poverty, remitted half their demand, and bade him pay the rest; but Marcus hung on high, pricked with pens, and devoured by wasps and bees, yet not only shewed no signs of pain, but derided his impious tormentors with the repeated taunt, “You are groundlings and of the earth; I, sublime and exalted.” At last they begged for only a small portion of the money; but, said he, “it is as impious to give an obole as to give all.” So discomfited they let him go, and could not refrain from admiring his constancy, for his words had taught them a new lesson of holiness.

Chapter IV.—Of the Laws Made by Julian Against the Christians.

83 Countless other deeds were dared at that time by land and by sea, all over the world, by the wicked against the just, for now without disguise the enemy of God began to lay down laws against true religion. First of all he prohibited the sons of the Galileans, for so he tried to name the worshippers of the Saviour, from taking part in the study of poetry, rhetoric, and philosophy, for said he, in the words of the proverb “we are shot with shafts feathered from our own wing,”23 for from our own books they take arms and wage war against us.

After this he made another edict ordering the Galileans to be expelled from the army.

Chapter V.—Of the Fourth Exile and Flight of the Athanasius.

At this time Athanasius, that victorious athlete of the truth, underwent another peril, for the devils could not brook the power of his tongue and prayers, and so armed their ministers to revile him. Many voices did they utter beseeching the champion of wickedness to exile Athanasius, and adding yet this further, that if Athanasius remained. not a heathen would remain, for that he would get them all over to his side. Moved by these supplications Julian condemned Athanasius not merely to exile,24 but to death. His people shuddered, but it is related that he foretold the rapid dispersal of the storm, for said he “It is a cloud which soon vanishes away.” He however withdrew as soon as he learnt the arrival of the bearers of the imperial message, and finding a boat on the bank of the river, started for the Thebaid. The officer who had been appointed for his execution became acquainted with his flight, and strove to pursue him at hot haste; one of his friends, however, got ahead, and told him that the officer was coming on apace. Then some of his companions besought him to take refuge in the desert, but he ordered the steersman to turn the boat’s head to Alexandria. So they rowed to meet the pursuer, and on came the bearer of the sentence of execution, and, said he, “How far off is Athanasius?” “Not far,” said Athanasius,25 and so got rid of his foe, while he himself returned to Alexandria and there remained in concealment for the remainder of Julian’s reign.26

Chapter VI.—Of Apollo and Daphne, and of the Holy Babylas.

Julian, wishing to snake a campaign against the Persians, dispatched the trustiest of his officers to all the oracles throughout the Roman Empire, while he himself went as a suppliant to implore the Pythian oracle of Daphne to make known to him the future. The oracle responded that the corpses lying hard by were becoming an obstacle to divination; that they must first be removed to another spot; and that then he would utter his prophecy, for, said he, “I could say nothing, if the grove be not purified.” Now at that time there were lying there the relics of the victorious martyr Babylas27 and the lads who had gloriously suffered with him, and the lying prophet was plainly stopped from uttering his wonted lies by the holy influence of Babylas. Julian was aware of this, for his ancient piety had taught him the power of victorious martyrs, and so be removed no other body from the spot, but only ordered the worshippers of Christ to translate the relics of the victorious martyrs. They marched with joy to the grove,28 put the coffin on a car and went before it leading a vast concourse of people, singing the psalms of David, while at every pause they shouted “Shame be to all them that worship molten images.”29 For they understood the translation of the martyr to mean defeat for the demon.

Chapter VII.—Of Theodorus the Confessor.

Julian could not endure the shame brought upon him by these doings, and on the following day ordered the leaders of tile choral procession to be arrested. Sallustius was prefect at this time and a servant of iniquity, but he nevertheless was anxious to persuade the sovereign not to allow the Christians who were eager for glory to attain the object of their desires. When however he saw that the emperor was impotent to master his rage, he arrested a young man adorned with the graces of a holy enthusiasm while walking in the Forum, hung him up before the world on the stocks, lacerated his back with scourges, and scored his sides with claw-like instruments of torture. And this he did all day from dawn till the day was done; and then put chains of iron on him and ordered him to be kept in ward. Next morning he informed Julian of what had been done, and reported the young man’s constancy and added that the event was for themselves a defeat and for the Christians a triumph. Persuaded of the truth of this, God’s enemy suffered no more to be so treated and ordered Theodorus30 to be let out of prison, for so was named this young and glorious combatant in truth’s battle. On being asked if he had had any sense of pain on undergoing those most bitter and most savage tortures he replied that at the first indeed he had felt some little pain, but that then had appeared to him one who continually wiped the sweat from his face with a cool and soft kerchief and bade him be of goodcourage. “Wherefore,” said he, “when the executioners gave over I was not pleased but vexed, for now there went away with them he who brought me refreshment of soul.” But the demon of lying divination at once increased the martyr’s glory and exposed his own falsehood; for a thunderbolt sent down from heaven burnt the whole shrine31 and turned the very statue of the Pythian into fine dust, for it was made of wood and gilded on the surface. Julianus the uncle of Julian, prefect of the East, learnt this by night, and riding at full speed came to Daphne, eager to bring succour to the deity whom he worshipped; but when he saw the so-called god turned into powder he scourged the officers in charge of the temple,32 for he conjectured that the conflagration was due to some Christian. But they, maltreated as they were, could not endure to utter a lie, and persisted in saying that the fire had started not from below but from above. Moreover some of the neighbouring rustics came forward and asserted that they had seen the thunderbolt come rushing down from heaven.

Chapter VIII.—Of the Confiscation of the Sacred Treasures and Taking Away of the Allowances.33

Even when the wicked had become acquainted with these events they set themselves in array against the God of all; and the prince ordered the holy vessels to be handed over to the imperial treasury. Of the great church which Constantine had built he nailed up the doors and declared it closed to the worshippers wont to assemble there. At this time it was in possession of the Arians. In company with Julianus the prefect of the East, Felix the imperial treasurer, and Elpidius, who had charge of the emperor’s private purse and property, an officer whom it is the Roman custom to call “Comes privatarum,”34 made their way into the sacred edifice. Both Felix and Elpidius, it is said, were Christians, but to please the impious emperor apostatised from the true religion. Julianus committed an act of gross indecency on the Holy Table35 and, when Euzoius endeavoured to prevent him, gave him a blow on the face, and told him, so the story goes, that it is the fate of the fortunes of Christians to have no protection from the gods. But Felix, as be gazed upon the magnificence of the sacred vessels, furnished with splendour by the munificence of Constantine and Constantius, “Behold,” said he, “with what vessels Mary’s son is served.” But it was not long before they paid the penalty of these deeds of mad and impious daring.

Chapter IX.—Of What Befell Julianus, the Emperor’s Uncle, and Felix.

84 Julianus forthwith fell sick of a painful disease; his entrails rotted away, and he was no longer able to discharge his excrements through the normal organs of excretion,36 but his polluted mouth, at the instant of his blasphemy, became the organ for their emission.

His wife, it is said, was a woman of conspicuous faith, anti thus addressed her spouse: “Husband, you ought to bless our Saviour Christ for shewing you through your castigation his peculiar power. For you would never have known who it is who is being attacked by you if with his wonted long suffering he had refrained from visiting you with these heaven-sent plagues.” Then by these words and the heavy weight of his woes the wretched man perceived the cause of his disease, and besought the emperor to restore the church to those who had been deprived of it. He could not however gain his petition, and so ended his days.

Felix too was himself suddenly struck down by a heaven-sent scourge, and kept vomiting blood from his mouth, all day and all night, for all the vessels of his body poured their convergent streams to this one organ: so when all his blood was shed he died, and was delivered to eternal death.

Such were the penalties inflicted on these men for their wickedness.

Chapter X.—Of the Son of the Priest.

A Young man who was a priest’s son, and brought up in impiety, about this time went over to the true religion. For a lady remarkable for her devotion and admitted to the order of deaconesses37 was an intimate friend of his mother. When he came to visit her with his mother, while yet a tiny lad, she used to welcome him with affection and urge him to the true religion. On the death of his mother the young man used to visit her and enjoyed the advantage of her wonted teaching. Deeply impressed by her counsels, he enquired of his teacher by what means he might both escape the superstition of his father and have part and lot in the truth which she preached. She replied that he must flee from his father, and honour rather the Creator both of his father and himself; that he must seek some other city wherein he might lie hid and escape the violence of the impious emperor; and she promised to manage this for him. Then, said tile young man, “henceforward I shall come and commit my soul to you.” Not many days afterwards Julian came to Daphne. to celebrate a public feast. With him came the young man’s father, both as a priest, and as accustomed to attend the emperor; and with their father came the young man and his brother, being appointed to the service of the temple and charged with the duty of ceremonially sprinkling the imperial viands. It is the custom for the festival of Daphne to last for seven days. On the first day the young man stood by the emperor’s couch, and according to the prescribed usage aspersed the meats, and thoroughly polluted them. Then at full speed he ran to Antioch,38 and making his way to that admirable lady, “I am come,” said he, “to you; and I have kept my promise. Do you look to the salvation of each and fulfil your pledge.” At once she arose and conducted the young man to Meletius the man of God, who ordered him to remain for awhile upstairs in the inn. His father after wandering about all over Daphne in search of the boy, then returned to the city and explored the streets and lanes, turning his eyes in all directions and longing to light upon his lad. At length he arrived at the place where the divine Meletius had his hostelry; and looking up he saw his son peeping through the lattice. He ran up, drew him along, got him down, and carried him off home. Then he first laid on him many stripes, then applied hot spits to his feet and hands and back, then shut him up in his bedroom, bolted the door on the outside, and returned to Daphne. So I myself have heard the man himself narrate in his old age, and he added further that he was inspired and filled with Divine Grace, and broke in pieces all his father’s idols, and made mockery of their helplessness. Afterwards when he bethought him of what tie had done he fared his father’s return and besought his Master Christ to nod approval of his deeds,39 break the bolts, and open the doors. “For it is for thy sake,” said he, “that I have thus suffered and thus acted.” “Even as I thus spoke.” he told me, “out fell the bolts and open flew the doors, and back I ran to my instructress. She dressed me up in women’s garments and took me with her in her covered carriage back to the divine Meletius. He handed me over to the bishop of Jerusalem, at that time Cyril, and we started by night for Palestine.” After the death of Julian this young man led his father also into the way of truth. This act he told ne with the rest. So in this fashion these hen were guided to the knowledge of God and were made partakers of Salvation.

Chapter XI.—Of the Holy Martyrs Juventinus and Maximinus.

Now Julian, with less restraint, or shall I say, less shame, began to arm himself against true religion, wearing indeed a mask of moderation, but all the while preparing gins and traps which caught all who were deceived by them in the destruction of iniquity. He began by polluting with foul sacrifices the wells in the city and in Daphne, that every man who used the fountain might be partaker of abomination. Then he thoroughly polluted the things exposed in the Forum, for bread and meat and fruit and vegetables and every kind of food were aspersed. When those who were called by the Saviour’s name saw what was done, they groaned and bewailed and expressed their abomination; nevertheless they partook, for they remembered the apostolic law, “Everything that is sold in the shambles eat, asking no question for conscience sake.”40 Two officers in the army, who were shield bearers in the imperial suite, at a certain banquet lamented in somewhat warm language the abomination of what was being done, and employed the admirable language of the glorious youths at Babylon, “Thou hast given us over to an impious Prince, an apostate beyond all the nations on the earth.”41 One of the guests gave information of this, and the emperor arrested these right worthy men and endeavoured to ascertain by questioning them what was the language they had used. They accepted the imperial enquiry as an opportunity for open speech, and with noble enthusiasm replied “Sir we were brought up in true religion; we were obedient to most excellent laws, the laws of Constantine and of his sons; now we see the world full of pollution, meats and drinks alike defiled with abominable sacrifices, and we lament. We bewail these things at home, and now before thy face we express our grief, for this is the one thing in thy reign which we take ill.” No sooner did he whom sympathetic courtiers called most mild and most philosophic hear these words than he took off his mask of moderation, and exposed the countenance of impiety. He ordered cruel and painful scourgings to be inflicted on them and deprived them of their lives; or shall we not rather say freed them from that sorrowful time and gave them crowns of victory? He pretended indeed that punishment was inflicted upon them not for the true religion for sake of which they were really slain, but because of their insolence, for he gave out that he had punished them for insulting the emperor, and ordered this report to be published abroad, thus grudging to these champions of the truth the name and honour or martyrs. The name of one was Juventinus; of the other Maximinus. The city of Antioch honoured them as defenders of true religion, and deposited them in a magnificent tomb, and up to this day they are honoured by a yearly festival.42

Other men in public office and of distinction used similar boldness of speech, and won like crowns of martyrdom.

Chapter XII.—Of Valentinianus the Great Emperor.

Valentinianus,43 who shortly afterwards became emperor, was at that time a Tribune and commanded the Hastati quartered in the palace. He made no secret of his zeal for the true religion. On one occasion when the infatuated emperor was going in solemn procession into the sacred enclosure of the Temple of Fortune, on either side of the gates stood the temple servants purifying, as they supposed, all who were coming in, with their sprinkling whisks. As Valentinianus walked before the emperor, he noticed that a drop had fallen on his own cloak and gave the attendant a blow with his fist, “for,” said he, “I am not purified but defiled.” For this deed he won two empires. On seeing what had happened Julian the accursed sent him to a fortress in the desert, and ordered him there to remain, but after the lapse of a year and a few months be received the empire as a reward of his confession of the faith, for not only in the life that is to come does the just Judge honour them that care for holy things, but sometimes even here below He bestows recompense for good deeds, confirming the hope of guerdons yet to be received by what he gives in abundance now.

85 But the tyrant devised another contrivance against the truth, for when according to ancient custom he had taken his seat upon the imperial throne to distribute gold among the ranks of his soldiery, contrary to custom he had an altar full of hot coals introduced, and incense put upon a table, an ordered each man who was to receive the gold first to throw incense on the altar, and then to take the gold from his own right hand. The majority were wholly unaware of the trap thus laid; but those who were forewarned feigned illness and so escaped this cruel snare. Others in their eagerness for the money made light of their salvation while another group abandoned their faith through cowardice.

Chapter XIII.—Of Other Confessors.

After this fatal distribution of money some of the recipients were feasting together at an entertainment. One of them who had taken the cup in his hand did not drink before making on it the sign of salvation.44

One of the guests found fault with him for this, and said that it was quite inconsistent with what had just taken place. “What,” said he, “have I done that is inconsistent?” Whereupon he was reminded of the altar and the incense, and of his denial of the faith; for these things are all contrary to the Christian profession. When they heard this the greater number of the feasters moaned and bewailed themselves, and tore out handfuls of hair from their heads. They rose from the banquet, and ran through the Forum exclaiming that they were Christians, that they had been tricked by the emperor’s contrivances, that they retracted their apostasy, and were ready to try to undo the defeat which had befallen them unwittingly. With these exclamations they ran to the palace loudly inveighing against the wiles of the tyrant, and imploring that they might be committed to the flames in order that, as they had been befouled by fire, by fire they might be made clean. All these utterances drove the villain out of his senses, and on the impulse of the moment he ordered them to be beheaded; but as they were being conducted without the city the mass of the people started to follow them, wondering at their fortitude and glorying in their boldness for the truth. When they had reached the spot where it was usual to execute criminals, the eldest of them besought the executioner that he would first cut off the head of the youngest, that he might not be unmanned by beholding the slaughter of the rest. No sooner had be, knelt down upon the ground and the headsman bared his sword, than up ran a man announcing a reprieve, and while yet afar off shouting out to stop the execution. Then the youngest soldier was distressed at his release from death. “Ah,” said he, “Romanus” (his name was Romanus) “was not worthy of being called Christ’s martyr.” What influenced the vile trickster in stopping the execution was his envy: he grudged the champions of the faith their glory. Their sentence was commuted to relegation beyond the city walls and to the remotest regions of the empire.

Chapter XIV.—Of Artemius the Duke.45 Of Publia the Deaconess and Her Divine Boldness.

Artemius46 commanded the troops in Egypt. He had obtained this command in the time of Constantine, and had destroyed most of the idols. For this reason Julian not only confiscated his property but ordered his decapitation.

These and like these were the deeds of the man whom the impious describe as the mildest and least passionate of men.

I will now include in my history the noble story of a right excellent woman, for even women, armed with divine zeal, despised the mad fury of Julian.

In those days there was a woman named Publia, of high reputation, and illustrious for deeds of virtue. For a short time she wore the yoke of marriage, and had offered its most goodly fruit to God, for from this fair soil sprang John, who for a long time was chief presbyter at Antioch, and was often elected to the apostolic see, but from time to time declined the dignity. She maintained a company of virgins vowed to virginity for life, and spent her time in praising God who had made and saved her. One day the emperor was passing by, and as they esteemed the Destroyer an object of contempt and derision, they struck up all the louder music, chiefly chanting those psalms which mock the helplessness of idols, and saying in the words of David “The idols of the nations are of silver and gold, the work of men’s hands,”47 and after describing their insensibility, they added “like them be they that make them and all those that trust in them.”48 Julian heard them, and was very angry, and told them to hold their peace while he was passing by. She did not however pay the least attention to his orders, but put still greater energy into their chaunt, and when the emperor passed by again told them to strike up “Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered.”49 On this Julian in wrath ordered the choir mistress to be brought before him; and, though he saw that respect was due to her old age, he neither compassionated her gray hairs, nor respected her high character, but told some of his escort to box both her ears, and by their violence to make her cheeks red. She however took the outrage for honour, and returned home, where, as was her wont, she kept up her attack upon him with her spiritual songs,50 just as the composer and teacher of the song laid the wicked spirit that vexed Saul.

Chapter XV.—Of the Jews; Of Their Attempt at Building, and of the Heaven-Sent Plagues that Befel Them.

Julian, who had made his soul a home of destroying demons, went his corybantic way, ever raging against true religion. He accordingly now armed the Jews too against the believers in Christ. He began by enquiring of some whom he got together why, though their law imposed on them the duty of sacrifices, they offered none. On their reply that their worship was limited to one particular spot, this enemy of God immediately gave directions for the re-erection of the destroyed temple,51 supposing in his vanity that he could falsify the prediction of the Lord, of which, in reality, he exhibited the truth.52 The Jews heard his words with delight and made known his orders to their countrymen throughout the world. They came with haste from all directions, contributing alike money and enthusiasm for the work; and the emperor made all the provisions he could, less from the pride of munificence than from hostility to the truth. He despatched also as governor a fit man to carry out his impious orders. It is said that they made mattocks, shovels, and baskets of silver. When they had begun to dig and to carry out the earth a vast multitude of them went on with the work all day, but by night the earth which had been carried away shifted back from the ravine of its own accord. They destroyed moreover the remains of the former construction, with the intention of building everything up afresh; but when they had got together thousands of bushels of chalk and lime, of a sudden a violent gale blew, and storms, tempests and whirlwinds scattered everything far and wide. They still went on in their madness, nor were they brought to their senses by the divine longsuffering. Then first came a great earthquake, fit to strike terror into the hearts of men quite ignorant of God’s dealings; and, when still they were not awed, fire running from the excavated foundations burnt up most of the diggers, and put the rest to flight. Moreover when a large number of men were sleeping at night in an adjacent building it suddenly fell down, roof and all, and crushed the whole of them. On that night and also on the following night the sign of the cross of salvation was seen brightly shining in the sky, and the very garments of the Jews were filled with crosses, not bright but black.53 When God’s enemies saw these things, in terror at the heaven-sent plagues they fled, and made their way home, confessing the Godhead of Him who had been crucified by their fathers. Julian heard of these events, for they were repeated by every one. But like Pharaoh he hardened his heart.54

86 Chapter XVI.—Of the Expedition Against the Persians.

No sooner had the Persians heard of the death of Constantius, than they took heart, proclaimed war, and marched over the frontier of the Roman empire. Julian therefore determined to muster his forces, though they were a host without a God to guard them. First he sent to Delphi, to Delos and to Dodona, and to the other oracles55 and enquired of the seers if he should march. They bade him march and promised him victory. One of these oracles I subjoin in proof of their falsehood. It was as follows. “Now we gods all started to get trophies of victory by the river beast and of them I Ares, bold raiser of the din of war, will be leader.”56 Let them that style the Pythian a God wise in word and prince of the muses ridicule the absurdity of the utterance. I who have found out its falsehood will rather pity him who was cheated by it. The oracle called the Tigris “beast” because the river and the animal bear the same name. Rising in the mountains of Armenia, and flowing through Assyria it discharges itself into the Persian gulf. Beguiled by these oracles the unhappy man indulged in dreams of victory, and after fighting with the Persians had visions of a campaign against the Galileans, for so he called the Christians, thinking thus to bring discredit on them. But, man of education as he was, he ought to have bethought him that no mischief is done to reputation by change of name, for even had Socrates been called Critias and Pythagoras Phalaris they would have incurred no disgrace from the change of name—nor yet would Nireus if he had been named Thersites57 have lost the comeliness with which nature had gifted him. Julian had learned about these things, but laid none of them to heart, and supposed that he could wrong us by using an inappropriate title. He believed the lies of the oracles and threatened to set up in our churches the statue of the goddess of lust.

Chapter XVII.—Of the Boldness of Speech of the Decurion of Beroea.58

After starting with these threats he was put down by one single Beroean. Illustrious as this man was from the fact of his holding the chief place among the magistrates, he was made yet more illustrious by his zeal. On seeing his son falling into the prevailing paganism, he drove him from his home and publicly renounced him. The youth made his way to the emperor in the near neighbourhood of the city and informed him both of his own views and of his father’s sentence. The emperor bade him make his mind easy and promised to reconcile his father to him. When he reached Beroea, he invited the men of office and of high position to a banquet. Among them was the young suppliant’s father, and both father and son were ordered to take their places on the imperial couch. In the middle of the entertainment Julian said to the father, “It does not seem to me to be right to force a mind otherwise inclined and having no wish to shift its allegiance. Your son does not wish to follow your doctrines. Do not force him. Even I, though I am easily able to compel you, do not try to force you to follow mine.” Then the father, moved by his faith in divine truth to sharpen the debate, exclaimed “Sir,” said he “are you speaking of this wretch whom God hates59 and who has preferred lies to truth?”

Once more Julian put on the mask of mildness and said “Cease fellow from reviling,” and then, turning his face to the youth, “I,” said he, “will have care for you, since I have not been able to persuade your father to do so.” I mention this circumstance with a distinct wish to point out not only this worthy man’s admirable boldness, but that very many persons despised Julian’s sway.

Chapter XVIII.—Of the Prediction of the Pedagogue.

Another instance is that of an excellent man at Antioch, entrusted with the charge of young lads, who was better educated than is usually the case with pedagogues,60 and was the intimate friend of the chief teacher of that period, Libanius the far-famed sophist.

Now Libanius61 was a heathen expecting victory and bearing in mind the threats of Julian, so one day, in ridicule of our belief he said to the pedagogue, “What is the carpenter’s son about now?” Filled with divine grace, he foretold what was shortly to come to pass. “Sophist,” said he, “the Creator of all things, whom you in derision call carpenter’s son, is making a coffin.”62

After a few days the death of the wretch was announced. He was carried out lying in his coffin. The vaunt of his threats was proved vain, and God was glorified.63

Chapter XIX.—Of the Prophecy of St. Julianus the Monk.

A Man who in the body imitated the lives of the bodiless, namely Julianus, surnamed in Syrian Sabbas, whose life I have written in my “Religious History,” continued all the more zealously to offer his prayers to the God of all, when he heard of the impious tyrant’s threats. On the very day on which Julian was slain, he heard of the event while at his prayers, although the Monastery was distant more than twenty stages from the army. It is related that while he was invoking the Lord with loud cries and supplicating his merciful Master, he suddenly checked his tears, broke into an ecstasy of delight, while his countenance was lighted up and thus signified the joy that possessed his soul. When his friends beheld this change they begged him to tell them the reason of his gladness. “The wild boar,” said he, “the enemy of the vineyard of the Lord, has paid the penalty of the wrongs he has done to Him; he lies dead. His mischief is done.” The whole company no sooner heard these words than they leaped with joy and struck up the song of thanksgiving to God, and from those that brought tidings of the emperor’s death they learnt that it was the very day and hour when the accursed man was slain that the aged Saint knew it and announced it.64

87 Chapter XX.—Of the Death of the Emperor Julian in Persia.

Julian’s folly was yet more clearly manifested by his death. He crossed the river that separates the Roman Empire from the Persian,65 brought over his army, and then forthwith burnt his boats, so making his men fight not in willing but in forced obedience.66 The best generals are wont to fill their troops with enthusiasm, and, if they see them growing discouraged, to cheer them and raise their hopes; but Julian by burning the bridge of retreat cut off all good hope. A further proof of his incompetence was his failure to fulfil the duty of foraging in all directions and providing his troops with supplies. Julian had neither ordered supplies to be brought from Rome, nor did he make any bountiful provision by ravaging the enemy’s country. He left the inhabited world behind him, and persisted in marching through the wilderness. His soldiers had not enough to eat and drink; they were without guides; they were marching astray in a desert land. Thus they saw the folly of their most wise emperor. In the midst of their murmuring and grumbling they suddenly found him who had struggled in mad rage against his Maker wounded to death. Ares who raises the war-din had never come to help him as he promised Loxias had given lying divination; he who glads him in the thunderbolts had hurled no bolt on the man who dealt the fatal blow the boasting of his threats was dashed to the ground. The name of the man who dealt that righteous stroke no one knows to this day. Some say that he was wounded by an invisible being, others by one of the Nomads who were called Ishmaelites; others by a trooper who could not endure the pains of famine in the wilderness. But whether it were man or angel who plied the steel, without doubt the doer of the deed was the minister of the will of God. It is related that when Julian had received the wound, he filled his hand with blood, flung it into the air and cried, “Thou hast won, O Galilean.” Thus he gave utterance at once to a confession of the victory and to a blasphemy. So infatuated was he.67

Chapter XXI.—Of the Sorcery at Carroe Which Was Detected After His Death. After He Was Slain the Jugglery of His Sorcery Was Detected. For Carroe is a City Which Still Retains the Relics of His False Religion.

Julian had left Edessa on his left because it was adorned with the grace of true religion, and while in his vain folly he was journeying through Carrae, he came to the temple honoured by the impious and after going through certain rites with his companions in defilement, he locked and sealed the doors, and stationed sentinels with orders to see that none came in till his return. When news came of his death, and the reign of iniquity was succeeded by one of piety, the shrine was opened, and within was found a proof of the late emperor’s manliness, wisdom, and piety.68 For there was seen a woman hung up on high by the hairs of her head, and with her hands outstretched. The villain had cut open her belly, and so I suppose learnt from her liver his victory over the Persians.69

This was the abomination discovered at Carrae.

Chapter XXII.—Of the Heads Discovered in the Palace at Antioch and the Public Rejoicings There.

It is said that at Antioch a number of chests were discovered at the palace filled with human heads, and also many wells full of corpses. Such is the teaching of the evil deities).

When Antioch heard of Julian’s death she gave herself up to rejoicing and festivity; and not only was exultant joy exhibited in the churches, and in the shrines of martyrs, but even in the theatres the victory of the cross was proclaimed and Julian’s vaticination held up to ridicule. And here I will record the admirable utterance of the men at Antioch, that it may be preserved in the memory of generations yet to come, for with one voice the shout was raised, “Maximus, thou feel, where are thy oracles? for God has conquered and his Christ.” This was said because there lived at that time a man of the name of Maximus, a pretender to philosophy, but really a worker of magic, and boasting himself to be able to foretell the future. But the Antiochenes, who had received their divine teaching from the glorious yokefellows Peter and Paul, and were full of warm affection for the Master and Saviour of all, persisted in execrating Julian to the end. Their sentiments were perfectly well known to the object of them, and so he wrote a book against them and called it “Misopogon.”70

This rejoicing at the death of the tyrant shall conclude this book of thy history, for it were to my mind indecent to connect with a righteous reign the impious sovereignty of Julian.
Book IV.


Chapter I.—Of the Reign and Piety of Jovianus.

88 After Julian was slain the generals and prefects met in council and deliberated who ought to succeed to the imperial power and effect both the salvation of the army in the campaign, and the recovery of the fortunes of Rome, now, by the rashness of the deceased Emperor, placed to use the common saying, on the razor edge of peril.1 But while the chiefs were in deliberation the troops met together and demanded Jovianus for emperor, though he was neither a general nor in the next highest rank; a man however remarkably distinguished, and for many reasons well known. His stature was great; his soul lofty. In war, and in grave struggles it was his wont to be first. Against impiety be delivered himself courageously with no fear of the tyrant’s power, but with a zeal that ranked him among the martyrs of Christ. So the generals accepted the unanimous vote of the soldiers as a divine election. The brave man was led forward and placed upon a raised platform hastily constructed. The host saluted him with the imperial titles, calling him Augustus and Caesar. With his usual bluntness, and fearless alike in the presence of the commanding officers and in view of the recent apostasy of the troops, Jovianus admirably said “I am a Christian. I cannot govern men like these. I cannot command Julian’s army trained as it is in vicious discipline. Men like these, stripped of the covering of the providence of God, will fall an easy and ridiculous prey to the foe.” On hearing this the troops shouted with one voice, “Hesitate not, O emperor; think it not a vile thing to command us. You shall reign over Christians nurtured in the training of truth; our veterans were taught in the school of Constantine himself; younger men among us were taught by Constantius. This dead man’s empire lasted but a few years, all too few to stamp its brand even on those whom it deceived.”2

Chapter II.—Of the Return of Athanasius.

Delighted with these words the emperor undertook for the future to take counsel for the safety of the state, and how to bring home the army without loss from the campaign. He was in no need of much deliberation, but at once reaped the fruit sprung from the seeds of true religion, for the God of all gave proof of His own providence, and caused all difficulty to disappear. No sooner had the Persian sovereign been made acquainted with Jovian’s accession than he sent envoys to treat for peace; nay more, he despatched provisions for the troops and gave directions for the establishment of a market for them in the desert. A truce was concluded for thirty years, and the army brought home in safety from the war.3 The first edict of the emperor on setting foot upon his own territory was one recalling the bishops from their exile, and announcing the restoration of the churches to the congregations who had held inviolate the confession of Nicaea. He further sent a despatch to Athanasius, the famous champion of these doctrines, beseeching that a letter might be written to him containing exact teaching on matters of religion. Athanasius summoned the most learned bishops to meet him, and wrote back exhorting the emperor to hold fast the faith delivered at Nicaea, as being in harmony with apostolic teaching. Anxious to benefit all who may meet with it I here subjoin the letter.4

Chapter III.—Synodical Letter to the Emperor Jovian Concerning the Faith.

To Jovianus Augustus most devout, most humane, victorious, Athanasius, and the rest of the bishops assembled, in the name of all the bishops from Egypt to Thebaid, and Libya. The intelligent preference and pursuit of holy things is becoming to a prince beloved of God. Thus may you keep your heart in truth in God’s hand and reign for many years in peace.5 Since your piety has recently expressed a wish to learn from us the faith of the Catholic Church, we have given thanks to the Lord and have determined before all to remind your reverence of the faith confessed by the fathers at Nicaea. This faith some have set at nought, and have devised many and various attacks on us, because of our refusal to submit to the Arian heresy. They have become founders of heresy and schism in the Catholic Church. The true and pious faith in our Lord Jesus Christ has been made plain to all as it is known and read from the Holy Scriptures. In this faith the martyred saints were perfected, and now departed are with the Lord. This faith was destined everywhere to stand unharmed, had not the wickedness of certain heretics dared to attempt its falsification; for Arius and his party endeavoured to corrupt it and to bring in impiety for its destruction, alleging the Son of God to be of the nonexistent, a creature, a Being made, and susceptible of change. By these means they deceived many, so that even men who seemed to be somewhat,6 were led away by them. Then our holy Fathers took the initiative, met, as we said, at Nicaea, anathematized the Arian heresy, and subscribed the faith of the Catholic Church so as to cause the putting out of the flames of heresy by proclamation of the truth throughout the world. Thus this faith throughout the whole church was known and preached. But since some men who wished to start the Arian heresy afresh have had the hardihood to set at naught the faith confessed by the Fathers at Nicaea, and others are pretending to accept it, while in reality they deny it, distorting the meaning of the omoousion and thus blaspheming the Holy Ghost, by alleging it to be a creature and a Being made through the Son’s means, we, perforce beholding the harm accruing from blasphemy of this kind to the people, have hastened to offer to your piety the faith confessed at Nicaea, that your reverence may know with what exactitude it is drawn up, and how great is the error of them whose teaching contradicts it. Know, O holiest Augustus, that this faith is the faith preached from everlasting, this is tile faith that the Fathers assembled at Nicaea confessed. With this faith all the churches throughout the world are in agreement, in Spain, in Britain,7 in Gaul, in all Italy and Campania, in Dalmatia and Mysia, in Macedonia, in all Hellas, in all the churches throughout Africa, Sardinia, Cyprus, Crete, Pamphylia and Isauria, and Lycia, those of all Egypt and Libya, of Pontus, Cappadocia and the neighbouring districts and all the churches of the East except a few who have embraced Arianism. Of all those above mentioned we know the sentiments after trial made. We have letters and we know, most pious Augustus, that though some few gainsay this faith they cannot prejudice8 the decision of the whole inhabited world.

After being long trader the injurious influence of the Arian heresy they are the more contentiously withstanding true religion. For the information of your piety, though indeed you are already acquainted with it, we have taken pains to subjoin the faith confessed at Nicaea by theae three hundred and eighteen bishops. It is as follows.

We believe in one God, Father Almighty, maker of all things visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, that is of the substance of the Father, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God: begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made both in Heaven and in earth. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from Heaven, was incarnate and was made man. He suffered and rose again the third day. He ascended into Heaven, and is coming to judge both quick and dead. And we believe in the Holy Ghost; the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes those who say there was a time when the Son of God was not; that before He was begotten He was not; that He was made out of the non-existent, or that He is of a different essence or different substance, or a creature or subject to variation or change. In this faith, most religious Augustus, all must needs abide as divine and apostolic, nor must any strive to change it by persuasive reasoning and word battles, as from the beginning did the Arian maniacs in their contention that the Son of God is of the non existent, and that there was a time when He was not, that He is created and made and subject to variation. Wherefore, as we stated, the council of Nicaea anathematized this heresy and confessed the faith of the truth. For they have not simply said that the Son is like the Father, that he may be believed not to be simply like God but very God of God. And they promulgated the term “Homooµsion” because it is peculiar to a real and true son of a true and natural father. Yet they did not separate the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, but rather glorified It together with the Father and the Son in the one faith of the Holy Trinity, because the Godhead of the Holy Trinity9 is one.

Chapter IV.—Of the Restoration of Allowances to the Churches; And of the Emperor’s Death.

When the emperor had received this letter, his former knowledge of and disposition to divine things was confirmed, and he issued a second edict wherein he ordered the amount of corn which the great Constantine had appropriated to the churches to be restored.10 For Julian, as was to be expected of one who had gone to war with our Lord and Saviour, had stopped even this maintenance, and since the famine which visited the empire in consequence of Julian’s iniquity prevented the collection of the contribution of Constantine’s enactment, Jovian ordered a third part to be supplied for the present, and promised that on the cessation of the famine he would give the whole.

After distinguishing the beginning of his reign by edicts of this kind, Jovian set out from Antioch for the Bosphorus; but at Dadastanae, a village lying on the confines of Bithynia and Galatia, he died.11 He set out on his journey from this world with the grandest and fairest support and stay, but all who had experienced the clemency of his sway were left behind in pain. So, me-thinks, the Supreme Ruler, to convict us of our iniquity, both shews us good things and again deprives us of them; so by the former means He teaches us how easily He can give us what He will; by the latter He convicts us of our unworthiness of it, and points us to the better life.

Chapter V.—Of the Reign of Valentinianus, and How He Associated Valens His Brother with Him.

89 When the troops had become acquainted with the emperor’s sudden death, they wept for the departed prince as for a father, and made Valentinian emperor in his room. It was he who smote the officer of the temple12 and was sent to the castle. He was distinguished not only for his courage, but also for prudence, temperance, justice, and great stature. He was of so kingly and magnanimous a character that, on an attempt being made by the army to appoint a colleague to share his throne, he uttered the well-known words which are universally repeated, “Before I was emperor, soldiers, it was yours to give me the reins of empire: now that I have taken them, it is mine, not yours, to take counsel for the state.” The troops were struck with admiration at what he said, and contentedly followed the guidance of his authority. Valentinian, however, sent for his brother from Pannonia, and shared the empire with him. Would that he had never done so! To Valens,13 who had not yet accepted unsound doctrines, was committed the charge of Asia and of Egypt, while Valentinian allotted Europe to himself. He journeyed to the Western provinces, and beginning with a proclamation of true religion, instructed them in all righteousness. When the Arian Auxentius, bishop of Milan, who was condemned in several councils, departed this life,14 the emperor summoned the bishops and addressed them as follows: “Nurtured as you have been in holy writ, you know full well what should be the character of one dignified by the episcopate, and how he should rule his subjects aright, not only with his lip, but with his life; exhibit himself as an example of every kind of virtue, and make his conversation a witness of his teaching. Seat now upon your archiepiscopal throne a man of such character that we who rule the realm may honestly bow our heads before him and welcomeh is reproofs,—for, in that we are men, it needs must be that we sometimes stumble,—as a physician’s healing treatment.”

Chapter VI.—Of the Election of Ambrosius, the Bishop of Milan.

Thus spoke the emperor, and then the council begged him, being a wise and devout prince, to make the choice. He then replied, “The responsibility is too great for us. You who have been dignified with divine grace, and have received illumination from above, will make a better choice.” So they left the imperial presence and began to deliberate apart. In the meanwhile the people of Milan were torn by factions, some eager that one, some that another, should be promoted. They who had been infected with the unsoundness of Auxentius were for choosing men of like opinions, while they of the orthodox party were in their turn anxious to have a bishop of like sentiments with themselves. When Ambrosius, who held the chief civil magistracy15 of the district, was apprised of the contention, being afraid lest some seditious violence should be attempted he hurried to the church; at once there was a lull in the strife. The people cried with one voice “Make Ambrose our pastor,”—although up to this time he was still16 unbaptized. News of what was being done was brought to the emperor, and he at once ordered the admirable man to be baptized and ordained, for be knew that his judgment was straight and true as the rule of the carpenter and his sentence more exact than the beam of the balance. Moreover he concluded from the agreement come to by men of opposite sentiments that the selection was divine. Ambrose then received the divine gift of holy baptism, and the grace of the archiepiscopal office. The most excellent emperor was present on the occasion and is said to have offered the following hymn of praise to his Lord and Saviour. “We thank thee, Almighty Lord and Saviour; I have committed to this man’s keeping men’s bodies; Thou hast entrusted to him their souls, and hast shown my choice to be righteous.”

Not many days after the divine Ambrosius addressed the emperor with the utmost freedom, and found fault with certain proceedings of the magistrates as improper. Valentinian remarked that this freedom was no novelty to him, and that, well acquainted with it as he was, he had not merely offered no opposition to, but had gladly concurred in, the appointment to the bishopric. “Go on,” continued the emperor, “as God’s law bids you, healing the errors of our souls.”

Such were the deeds and words of Valentinian at Milan.

Chapter VII.

Letters of the Emperors Valentinianus and Valens, written to the diocese17 of Asia about the Homooµsion, on hearing that same men in Asia and in Phrygia were in dispute about the divine decree.

Valentinian ordered a council to be held in Illyricum18 and sent to the disputants the decrees ratified by the bishops there assembled. They had decided to hold fast the creed put forth at Nicaea and the emperor himself wrote to them, associating hisbrother with him in the dispatch, urging that the decrees be kept.

The edict clearly proclaims the piety of the emperor and similarly exhibits the soundness of Valens in divine doctrines at that time. I shall therefore give it in full. The mighty emperors, ever august, augustly victorious, Valentinianus, Valens, and Gratianus,19 to the bishops of Asia, Phrygia, Carophrygia Pacatiana,20 greeting in the Lord.

A great council having met in Illyricum,21 after much discussion concerning the word of salvation, the thrice blessed bishops have declared that the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is of one substance.22 This Trinity they worship, in no wise remitting the service which has duly fallen to their lot, the worship of the great King. It is our imperial will that this Trinity be preached, so that none may say “We accept the religion of the sovereign who rules this world without regard to Him who has given us the message of salvation,” for, as says the gospel of our God which contains this judgment, “we should render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”23

What say you, ye bishops, ye champions of the Word of salvation? If these be your professions, thus then continue to love one another, and cease to abuse the imperial dignity. No longer persecute those who diligently serve God, by whose prayers both wars cease upon the earth, and the assaults of apostate angels are repelled. These striving through supplication to repel all harmful demons both know how to pay tribute as the law enjoins, and do not gainsay the power of their sovereign, but with pure minds both keep the commandment of the heavenly King, and are subject to our laws. But ye have been shewn to be disobedient. We have tried every expedient but you have given yourselves up.24 We however wish to be pure from you, as Pilate at the trial of Christ when He lived among us, was unwilling to kill Him, and when they begged for His death, turned to the East,25 asked water for his hands and washed his hands, saying I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man.26

90 Thus our majesty has invariably charged that those who are working in the field of Christ are not to be persecuted, oppressed, or ill treated; nor the stewards of the great King driven into exile; lest to-day under our Sovereign you may seem to flourish and abound, and then together with your evil counsellor trample on his covenant,27 as in the case of the blood of Zacharias,28 but he and his were destroyed by our Heavenly King Jesus Christ after (at) His coming, being delivered to death’s judgment, they and the deadly fiend who abetted them. We have given these orders to Amegetius, to Ceronius to Damasus, to Lampon and to Brentisius by word of mouth, and we have sent the actual decrees to you also in order that you nay know what was enacted in the honourable synod.

To this letter we subjoin the decrees of the synod, which are briefly as follows.

In accordance with the great and orthodox synod we confess that the Son is of one substance with the Father. And we do not so understand the term of one substance‘ as some formerly interpreted it who signed their names with feigned adhesion; nor as some who now-a-days call the drafters of the old creed Fathers, but make the meaning of the word of no effect, following the authors of the statement that “of one substance” means “like,” with the understanding that since the Son is comparable to no one of the creatures made by Him, He is like to the Father alone. For those who thus think irreverently define the Son “as a special creation of the Father,” but we, with the present synods, both at Rome and in Gaul, hold that there is one and the same substance of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in three persons, that is in three perfect essences.29 And we confess, according to the exposition of Nicaea, that the Son of God being of one substance, was made flesh of the Holy Virgin Mary, and hath tabernacled among men, and fulfilled all the economy30 for our sakes in birth, in passion, in resurrection, and in ascension into Heaven; and that He shall come again to render to us according to each man’s manner of life, in the day of judgment, being seen in the flesh, and showing forth His divine power, being God bearing flesh, and not man bearing Godhead.

Them that think otherwise we damn, as we do also them that do not honestly damn him that said that before the Son was begotten He was not, but wrote that even before He was actually begotten He was potentially in the Father. For this is true in the case of all creatures, who are not for ever with God in the sense in which the Son is ever with the Father, being begotten by eternal generation.

Such was the short summary of the emperor. I will now subjoin the actual dispatch of the synod.

Chapter VIII.—Synodical Epistle of the Synod in Illyricum Concerning the Faith.

“The bishops of Illyricum to the churches of God, and bishops of the dioceses of Asia, of Phrygia, and Carophrygia Pacatiana, greeting in the Lord.

“After meeting together and making long enquiry concerning the Word of salvation, we have set forth that the Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is of one substance. And it seemed fitting to pen a letter to you, not that we write what concerns the worship of the Trinity in vain disputation, but in humility deemed worthy of the duty.

“This letter we have sent by our beloved brother and fellow labourer Elpidius the presbyter. For not in the letters of our hands, but in the books of our Saviour Jesus Christ, is it written ‘I am of Paul and I of Apollos and I of Cephas and I of Christ. Was Paul crucified for you? Or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?’31

“It seemed indeed fitting to our humility not to pen any letter to you, on account of the great terror which your preaching causes to all the region under your jurisdiction, separating as you do the Holy Spirit from the Father and Son. We were therefore constrained to send to you our lord and fellow labourer Elpidius to ascertain if your preaching is really of this character and to carry this dispatch from the imperial government of Rome.

“Let them who do not regard the Trinity as one substance be anathema, and if any man be detected in communion with them let him be anathema.

91 “But for them that preach that the Trinity is of one substance the Kingdom of Heaven is prepared.

“We exhort you therefore brethren to teach no other doctrine, nor even hold any other and vain belief, but that always and everywhere, preaching the Trinity to be of one substance, ye may be able to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

“While writing on this point we have also been reminded to pen this letter to you about the present or future appointment of our fellow ministers as bishops, if there be any sound men among the bishops who have already discharged a public office;32 and, if not, from the order of presbyters: in like manner of the appointment of presbyters and deacons out of the actual priestly33 order that they may be in every way blameless, and not from the ranks of the senate and army.

“We have been unwilling to pen you a letter at length, because of the mission of one representative of all, our lord and fellow labourer Elpidius, to make diligent enquiry about your preaching, if it really is such as we have heard from our lord and fellow labourer Eustathius.

“In conclusion, if at any time you have been in error, put off the old man and put on the new. The same brother and fellow labourer Elpidius will instruct you how to preach the true faith that the Holy Trinity, of one substance with God the Father, together with the Son and Holy Ghost, is hallowed, glorified, and made manifest, Father in Son, Son in Father, with the Holy Ghost for or ever and ever. For since this has been made manifest, we shall manifestly be able to confess the Holy Trinity to be of one substance according to the faith set forth formerly at Nicaea which the Fathers confirmed. So long as this faith is preached we shall be able to avoid the snares of the deadly devil. When he is destroyed we shall be able to do homage to one another in letters of peace while we live in peace.

“We have therefore written to you in order that ye may know the deposition of the Ariomaniacs, who do not confess that the Son is of the substance of the Father nor the Holy Ghost. We subjoin their names,—Polychronius, Telemachus, Faustus, Asclepiades, Amantius, Cleopater.

“This we thus write to the glory of Father and Son and Holy Ghost for ever and ever, amen. We pray the Father and the Son our Saviour Jesus Christ with the Holy Ghost that you may fare well for many years.”

Chapter IX.—Of the Heresy of the Audiani.

The illustrious emperor thus took heed of the apostolic decrees, but Audaeus, a Syrian alike in race and in speech, appeared at that time as an inventor of new decrees. He had long ago begun to incubate iniquities and now appeared in his true character. At first he understood in an absurd sense the passage “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”34 From want of apprehension of the meaning of the divine Scripture he understood the Divine Being to have a human form, and conjectured it to be enveloped in bodily parts; for Holy Scripture frequently describes the divine operations under the names of human parts, since by these means the providence of God is made more easily intelligible to minds incapable of perceiving any immaterial ideas. To this impiety Audaeus added others of a similar kind. By an eclectic process he adopted some of the doctrines of Manes35 and denied that the God of the universe is creator of either fire or darkness. But these and all similar errors are concealed by the adherents of his faction.

They allege that they are separated from the assemblies of the Church. But since some of them exact a cursed usury, and some live unlawfully with women without the bond of wedlock, while those who are innocent of these practices live in free fellowship with the guilty, they hide the blasphemy of their doctrines by accounting as they do for their living by themselves. The plea is however an impudent one, and the natural result of Pharisaic teaching, for the Pharisees accused the Physician of souls and bodies in their question to the holy Apostles “How is it that your Master eateth with publicans and sinners?”36 and through the prophet, God of such men says “Which say, ‘come not near me for I am pure’ this is smoke of my wrath.”37 But this is not a tithe to refute their unreasonable error. I therefore pass on to the remainder of my narrative.38

Chapter X.—Of the Heresy of the Messaliani.

92 At this time also arose the heresy of the Messaliani. Those who translate their name into Greek call them Euchitae.39

They have also another designation which arose naturally from their mode of action. From their coming under the influence of a certain demon, which they supposed to be the advent of the Holy Ghost, they are called enthusiasts.40

Men who have become infected with this plague to its full extent shun manual labour as iniquitous; and, giving themselves over to sloth, call the imaginations of their dreams prophesyings. Of this heresy Dadoes, Sabbas, Adelphius, Hermas, and Simeones were leaders, and others besides, who did not hold aloof from the communion of the Church, alleging that neither good nor harm came of the divine food of which Christ our Master said “Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood shall live for ever.”41

In their endeavor to hide their unsoundness they shamelessly deny it even after conviction, and abjure men whose opinions are in harmony with their own secret sentiments.

Under these circumstances Letoius, who was at the head of the church of Melitine,42 a man full of divine zeal, saw that many monasteries, or, shall I rather say, brigands‘ caves, had drunk deep of this disease. He therefore burnt them, and drove out the wolves from the flock.

In like manner the illustrious Amphilochius43 to whom was committed the charge of the metropolis of the Lycaonians and who ruled all the people, no sooner learnt that this pestilence had invaded his diocese than he made it depart from his borders and freed from its infection the flocks he fed.

Flavianus,44 also, the far famed high-priest of the Antiochenes, on learning that these men were living at Edessa and attacking with their peculiar poison all with whom they came in contact, sent a company of monks, brought them to Antioch, and in the following manner convicted them in their denial of their heresy. Their accusers, he said, were calumniating them, and the witnesses giving false evidence; and Adelphius, who was a very old man, he accosted with expressions of kindness, and ordered to take a seat at his side. Then he said “We, O venerable sir, who have lived to an advanced age, have more accurate knowledge of human nature, and of the tricks of the demons who oppose us, and have learnt by experience the character of the gift of grace. But these younger men have no clear knowledge of these matters, and cannot brook to listen to spiritual teaching. Wherefore tell me in what sense you say that the opposing spirit retreats, and the grace of the Holy Ghost supervenes.” The old man was won over by these words and gave vent to all his secret venom, for he said that no benefit accrues to the recipients of Holy Baptism, and that it is only by earnest prayer that the in-dwelling demon is driven out, for that every one born into the world derives from his first father slavery to the demons just as he does his nature; but that when these are driven away, then come the Holy Ghost giving sensible and visible signs of His presence, at once freeing the body from the impulse of the passions and wholly ridding the soul of its inclination to the worse; with the result that there is no more need for fasting that restrains the body, nor of teaching or training that bridles it and instructs it how to walk aright. And not only is the recipient of this gift liberated from the wanton motions of the body, but also clearly foresees things to come, and with the eyes beholds the Holy Trinity.

In this wise the divine Flavianus dug into the foul fountain-head and succeeded in laying bare its streams. Then he thus addressed the wretched old man. “O thou that hast grown old in evil days, thy own mouth convicts thee, not I, and thou art testified against by thy own lips.” After their unsoundness had been thus exposed they were expelled from Syria, and withdrew to Pamphylia, which they filled with their pestilential doctrine.

Chapter XI.—In What Manner Valens Fell into Heresy.

I Will now pursue the course of my narrative, and will describe the beginning of the tempest which stirred up many and great billows to buffet the Church. Valens, when he first received the imperial dignity, was distinguished by his fidelity to apostolic doctrine. But when the Goths had crossed the Danube and were ravaging Thrace, be determined to assemble an army and march against them; and accordingly resolved not to take the field without the garb of divine grace, but first to protect himself with the panoply of Holy Baptism.45 In forming this resolution he acted at once well and wisely, but his subsequent conduct betrays very great feebleness of character, resulting in the abandonment of the truth. His fate was the same as that of our first father, Adam; for he too, won over by the arguments of his wife, lost his free estate and became not merely a captive but an obedient listener to woman’s wily words. His wife46 had already been entrapped in the Arian snare, and now she caught her husband, and persuaded him to fall along with her into the pit of blasphemy. Their leader and initiator was Eudoxius, who still held the tiller of Constantinople, with the result that the ship was not steered onwards but sunk47 to the bottom.

Chapter XII.—How Valens Exiled the Virtuous Bishops.

93 At the very time of the baptism of Valens Eudoxius bound the unhappy man by an oath to abide in the impiety of his doctrine, and to expel from every see the holders of contrary opinions. Thus Valens abandoned the apostolic teaching, and went over to the opposite faction; nor was it long before he fulfilled the rest of his oath; for from Antioch he expelled the great Meletius, from Samosata the divine Eusebius, and deprived Laodicea of her admirable shepherd Pelagius.48 Pelagius had taken on him the yoke of wedlock when a very young man, and in the very bridal chamber, on the first day of his nuptials, he persuaded his bride to prefer chastity to conjugal intercourse, and taught her to accept fraternal affection in the place of marriage union. Thus he gave all honour to temperance, and possessed also within himself the sister virtues moving in tune with her, and for these reasons he was unanimously chosen for the bishopric. Nevertheless not even the bright beams of his life and conversation awed the enemy of the truth. Him, too, Valens relegated to Arabia, the divine Meletius to Armenia, and Eusebius, that unflagging labourer in apostolic work to Thrace. Unflagging he was indeed, for when apprised that many churches were now deprived of their shepherds, he travelled about Syria, Phoenicia and Palestine, wearing the garb of war and covering his head with a tiara, ordaining presbyters and deacons and filling up the other ranks of the Church; and if haply he lighted on bishops with like sentiments with his own, he appointed them to empty churches.

Chapter XIII.—Of Eusebius, Bishop of Samosata, and Others.

Of the courage and prudence shewn by Eusebius after he had received the imperial edict which commanded him to depart into Thrace, I think all who have been hitherto ignorant should hear.49

The bearer of this edict reached his destination in the evening, and was exhorted by Eusebius to keep silent and conceal the cause of his coming. “For,” said the bishop, “the multitude has been nurtured in divine zeal, and should they learn why you have come they will drown you, and I shall be held responsible for your death.” After thus speaking and performing evening service, as he was wont, the old man started out alone on foot, at nightfall. He confided his intentions to one of his household servants who followed him carrying nothing but a cushion and a book. When he had reached the bank of the river (for the Euphrates runs along the very walls of the town) he embarked in a boat and told the oarsmen to row to Zeugma.50 When it was day the bishop had reached Zeugma, and Samosata was full of weeping and wailing, for the above mentioned domestic reported the orders given him to the friends of Eusebius, and told them whom he wished to travel with him, and what books they were to convey. Then all the congregation bewailed the removal of their shepherd, and the stream of the river was crowded with voyagers.

When they came where he was, and saw their beloved pastor, with lamentations and groanings they shed floods of tears, and tried to persuade him to remain, and not abandon the sheep to the wolves. But all was of no avail, and he read them the apostolic law which clearly bids us be subjects to magistrates and authorities.51 When they had heard him some brought him gold, some silver, some clothes, and others servants, as though he were starting for some strange and distant land. The bishop refused to take anything but some slight gifts from his more intimate friends, and then gave the whole company his instruction and his prayers, and exhorted them to stand up boldly for the apostolic decrees.

Then he set out for the Danube, while his friends returned to their own town, and encouraged one another as they waited for the assaults of the wolves.

In the belief that I should be wronging them were the warmth and sincerity of their faith to lack commemoration in my history I shall now proceed to describe it.

The Arian faction, after depriving the flock of their right excellent shepherd, set up another bishop in his place; but not an inhabitant of the city, were he herding in indigence or blazing in wealth, not a servant, not a handicraftsman, not a hind, not a gardener, nor man nor woman, whether young or old, came, as had been their wont, to gatherings in church. The new bishop lived all alone; not a soul looked at him, or exchanged a word with him. Yet the report is that he behaved with courteous moderation, of which the following instance is a proof. On one occasion he had expressed a wish to bathe, so his servants shut the doors of the bath, and kept out all who wished to come in. When he saw the crowd before the doors he ordered them to be thrown open, and directed that every one should freely use the bath. He exhibited the same conduct in the balls within; for on observing certain men standing by him while he bathed he begged them to share the hot water with him. They stood silent. Thinking their hesitation was due to a respect for him, he quickly arose and made his way out, but these persons had really been of opinion that even the water was affected with the pollution of his heresy, and so sent it all down the sinks, while they ordered a fresh supply to be provided for themselves. On being informed of this the intruder departed from the city, for he judged that it was insensate and absurd on his part to continue to reside in a city which detested him, and treated him as a common foe. On the departure of Eunomius (for this was his name) from Samosata, Lucius, an unmistakable wolf, and enemy of the sheep, was appointed in his place. But the sheep, all shepherdless as they were, shepherded themselves, and persistently preserved the apostolic doctrine in all its purity. How the new intruder was detested the following relation will set forth.

Some lads were playing ball in the market place and enjoying the game, when Lucius was passing by. It chanced that the ball was dropped and passed between the feet of the ass. The boys raised an outcry because they thought that their ball was polluted. On perceiving this Lucius told one of his suite to stop and learn what was going on. The boys lit a fire and tossed the ball through the flames with the idea that by so doing they purified it. I know indeed that this was but a boyish act, and a survival of the ancient ways; but it is none the less sufficient to prove in what hatred the town held the Arian faction.

Lucius however was no follower of the mildness of Eunomius, but persuaded the authorities to exile many others of the clergy, and despatched the most distinguished champions of the divine dogmas to the furthest confines of the Roman Empire; Evolcius, a deacon, to Oasis, to an abandoned village; Antiochus, who had the honour of being related to the great Eusebius, for he was his brother’s son, and further distinguished by his own honourable character, and of priestly rank, to a distant part of Armenia. How boldly this Antiochus contended for the divine decrees will be seen from the following facts. When the divine Eusebius after his many conflicts, whereof each was a victory, had died a martyr’s death, the wonted synod of the people was held, and among others came Jovinus then bishop of Perrha52 who for some little time had held a communion with the Arians. Antiochus was unanimously chosen as successor to his uncle. When brought before the holy table and bidden there to bend the knee, he turned round and saw that Jovinus had put his right hand on his head. Plucking the hand away he bade him be gone from among the consecrators, saying that he could not endure a right hand which had received mysteries blasphemously celebrated.

These events happened somewhat later. At the time I am speaking of he was removed to the interior of Armenia.

94 The divine Eusebius was living by the Danube where the Goths were ravaging Thrace and besieging cities, as is described in his own works.

Chapter XIV.—Of the Holy Barses, and of the Exile of the Bishop of Edessa and His Companions.

Barses, whose fame is now great not only in his own city of Edessa, and in neighbouring towns, but in Phoenicia, in Egypt, and in the Thebaid, through all which regions he had travelled with a high reputation won by his great virtue, had been relegated by Valens to the island of Aradus,53 but when the emperor learnt that innumerable multitudes streamed thither, because Barses was full of apostolic grace, and drove out sicknesses with a word, he sent him to Oxyrynchus54 in Egypt; but there too his fame drew all men to him, and the old man, worthy of heaven, was led off to a remote castle near the country of the barbarians of that district, by name Pheno. It is said that in Aradus his bed has been preserved to this day, where it is held in very great honour, for many sick persons lie down upon it and by means of their faith recover.

Chapter XV.—Of the Persecution Which Took Place at Edessa, and of Eulogius and Protogenes, Presbyters of Edessa.

Now a second time Valens, after depriving the flock of their shepherd, had set over them in his stead a wolf. The whole population had abandoned the city, and were assembled in front of the town, when he arrived at Edessa. He had given orders to the prefect, Modestus by name, to assemble the troops under his orders who were accustomed to exact the tribute, to take all who were present of the armed force, and by inflicting blows with sticks and clubs, and using if need be their other weapons of war to disperse the gathering multitude. Early in the morning, while the prefect was executing this order, on his way through the Forum he saw a woman holding an infant in her arms, and hurrying along at great speed. She had made light of the troops, and forced her way through their ranks: for a soul fired with divine zeal knows no fear of man, and looks on terrors of this kind as ridiculous sport. When the prefect saw her, and understood what had happened, he ordered her to be brought before him, and enquired whither she was going. “I have heard,” said she, “that assaults are being planned against the servants of the Lord; I want to join my friends in the faith that I may share with them the slaughter inflicted by you.” “But the baby,” said the prefect, “what in the world are you carrying that for?” “That it may share with me,” said she, “the death I long for.”

When the prefect had heard this from the woman and through her means discovered the zeal which animated all the people, he made it known to the emperor, and pointed out the uselessness of the intended massacre. “We shall only reap,” said he “a harvest of discredit from the deed, and shall fail to quench these people’s spirit.” He then would not allow the multitude to undergo the tortures which they had expected, and commanded their leaders, the priests, I mean, and deacons, to be brought before him, and offered them a choice of two alternatives, either to induce the flock to communicate with the wolf, or be banished from the town to some remote region. Then he summoned the mass of the people before him, and in gentle terms endeavoured to persuade them to submit to the imperial decrees, urging that it was mere madness for a handful of men who might soon be counted to withstand the sovereign of so vast an empire. The crowd stood speechless. Then the prefect turned to their leader Eulogius, an excellent man, and said, “Why do you make no answer to what you have heard me say?” “I did not think,” said Eulogius, “that I must answer, when I had been asked no question.” “But,” said the prefect, “I have used many arguments to urge you to a course advantageous to yourselves.” Eulogius rejoined that these pleas had been urged on all the multitude and that he thought it absurd for him to push himself forward and reply; “but,” he went on, “should you ask me my individual opinion I will give it you.” “Well,” said the prefect, “communicate with the emperor. With pleasant irony Eulogius continued, “Has he then received the priesthood as well as the empire?” The prefect then perceiving that he was not speaking seriously took it ill, and after heaping reproaches on the old man, added, “I did not say so, you fool; I exhorted you to communicate with those with whom the Emperor communicates.” To this the old man replied that they had a shepherd and obeyed his directions, and so eighty of them were arrested, and exiled to Thrace. On their way thither they were everywhere received with the greatest possible distinction, cities and villages coming out to meet them and honouring them as victorious athletes. But envy armed their antagonists to report to the emperor that what had been reckoned disgrace had really brought great honour on these men; thereupon Valens ordered that they were to be separated into pairs and sent in different directions, some to Thrace, some to the furthest regions of Arabia, and others to the towns of the Thebaid; and the saying was that those whom nature had joined together savage men had put asunder, and divided brother from brother. Eulogius their leader with Protogenes the next in rank, were relegated to Antinone.55

Even of these men I will not suffer the virtue to fall into oblivion. They found that the bishop of the city was of like mind with themselves, and so took part in the gatherings of the Church; but when they saw very small congregations, and on enquiry learnt that the inhabitants of the city were pagans, they were grieved, as was natural, and deplored their unbelief. But they did not think it enough to grieve, but to the best of their ability devoted themselves to making these men whole. The divine Eulogius, shut up in a little chamber, spent day and night in putting up petitions to the God of the universe; and the admirable Protogenes, who had received a good education56 and was practised in rapid writing, pitched on a suitable spot which he made into a boys’ school, and, setting up for a schoolmaster, he instructed his pupils not only in the art of swift penmanship, but also in the divine oracles. He taught them the psalms of David and gave them to learn the most important articles of the apostolic doctrine. One of the lads fell sick, and Protogenes went to his home, took the sufferer by the hand and drove away the malady by prayer. When the parents of the other boys heard this they brought him to their houses and entreated him to succour the sick; but he refused to ask God for the expulsion of the malady before the sick had received the gift of baptism; urged by their longing for the children’s health, the parents readily acceded, and won at last salvation both for body and soul. In every instance where he persuaded any one in health to receive the divine grace, he led him off to Eulogius, and knocking at the door besought him to open, and put the seal of the Lord on the prey. When Eulogius was annoyed at the interruption of his prayer, Protogenes used to say that it was much more essential to rescue the wanderers. In this he was an object of admiration to all who beheld his deeds, doing such wondrous works, imparting to so many the light of divine knowledge and all the while yielding the first place to another, and bringing his prizes to Eulogius. They rightly conjectured that the virtue of Eulogius was by far the greater and higher.

On the quieting of the tempest and restoration of complete calm, they were ordered to return home, and were escorted by all the people, wailing and weeping, and specially by the bishop of the church, who was now deprived of their husbandry. When they reached home, the great Barses had been removed to the life that knows no pain, and the divine Eulogius was entrusted with the rudder of the church which he had piloted;57 and to the excellent Protogenes was assigned the husbandry of Charrae,58 a barren spot full of the thorns of heathendom and needing abundant labour. But these events happened after peace was restored to the churches.

Chapter XVI.—Of the Holy Basilius, Bishop of Caesarea, and the Measures Taken Against Him by Valens and the Prefect Modestus.

Valens, one might almost say, deprived every church of its shepherd, and set out for the Cappadocian Caesarea,59 at that time the see of the great Basil, a light of the world. Now he had sent the prefect before him with orders either to persuade Basil to embrace the communion of Eudoxius, or, in the event of his refusal, to punish him by exile. Previously acquainted as he was with the bishop’s high reputation, he was at first unwilling to attack him, for he was apprehensive lest the bishop, by boldly meeting and withstanding his assault, should furnish an example of bravery to the rest. This artful stratagem was as ineffective as a spider’s web. For the stories told of old were quite enough for the rest of the episcopate, and they kept the wall of the faith unmoved like bastions in the circle of its walls.

The prefect, however, on his arrival at Caesarea, sent for the great Basil. He treated him with respect, and, addressing him with moderate and courteous language, urged him to yield to the exigencies of the time, and not to forsake so many churches on account of a petty nicety of doctrine. He moreover promised him the friendship of the emperor, and pointed out that through it he might be the means of conferring great advantages upon many. “This sort of talk,” said the divine man, “is fitted for little boys, for they and their like easily swallow such inducements. But they who are nurtured by divine words will not suffer so much as a syllable of the divine creeds to be let go, and for their sake are ready, should need require, to embrace every kind of death. The emperor’s friendship I hold to be of great value if conjoined with true religion; otherwise I doom it for a deadly thing.”

95 Then the prefect was moved to wrath, and declared that Basil was out of his senses. “But,” said the divine man, “this madness I pray be ever mine.” The bishop was then ordered to retire, to deliberate on the course to be pursued, and on the morrow to declare to what conclusion he had come. Intimidation was moreover joined with argument. The reply of the illustrious bishop is related to have been “I for my part shall come to you tomorrow the same man that I am today; do not yourself change, but carry out your threats.” After these discussions the prefect met the emperor and reported the conversation, pointing out the bishop’s virtue, and the undaunted manliness of his character. The emperor said nothing and passed in. In his palace he saw that plagues from heaven had fallen, for his son60 lay sick at the very gates of death and his wife61 was beset by many ailments. Then he recognised the cause of these sorrows, and entreated the divine man, whom he had threatened with chastisement, to come to his house. His officers performed the imperial behests and then the great Basil came to the palace.

After seeing the emperor’s son on the point of death he promised him restoration to life if he should receive holy baptism at the hands of the pious, and with this pledge went his way. But the emperor, like the foolish Herod, remembered his oath, and ordered some of the Arian faction who were present to baptize the boy, who immediately died. Then Valens repented; he saw how fraught with danger the keeping of his oath had been, and came to the divine temple and received the teaching of the great Basil, and offered the customary gifts at the altar. The bishop moreover ordered him to come within the divine curtains where he sat and talked much with him about the divine decrees and in turn listened to him.

Now there was present a certain man of the name of Demosthenes,62 superintendent of the imperial kitchen, who in rudely chiding the man who instructed the world was guilty of a solecism of speech. Basil smiled and said “we see here an illiterate Demosthenes;” and on Demosthenes losing his temper and uttering threats, he continued “your business is to attend to the seasoning of soups; you cannot understand theology because your ears are stopped up.” So he said, and the emperor was so delighted that he gave him some fine lands which he had there for the poor under his care, for they being in grievous bodily affliction were specially in need of care and cure.

In this manner then the great Basil avoided the emperor’s first attack, but when he came a second time his better judgement was obstructed by counsellors who deceived him; he forgot what had happened on the former occasion and ordered Basil to go over to the hostile faction, and, failing to persuade him, commanded the decree of exile to be enforced. But when he tried to affix his signature to it he could not even form one tittle of a word,63 for the pen broke, and when the same thing happened to the second and to the third pen, and he still strove to sign that wicked edict, his hand shook; he quaked, his soul was filled with fright; he tore the paper with both his hands, and so proof was given by the Ruler of the world that it was He Himself who had permitted these sufferings to be undergone by the rest, but had made Basil stronger than the snares laid against him, and, by all the incidents of Basil’s case, had declared His own almighty power, while on the other hand He had proclaimed abroad the courage of good men. Thus Valens was disappointed in his attack.

Chapter XVII.—Of the Death of the Great Athanasius and the Election of Petrus.

At Alexandria, Athanasius the victorious, after all his struggles, each rewarded with a crown, received release from his labours and passed away to the life which knows no toil. Then Peter, a right excellent man, received the see. His blessed predecessor had first selected him, and every suffrage alike of the clergy and of men of rank and office concurred, and all the people strove to show their delight by their acclamations. He had shared the heavy labours of Athanasius; at home and abroad he had been ever at his side, and with him had undergone manifold perils. Wherefore the bishops of the neighbourhood hastened to meet; and those who dwelt in schools of ascetic discipline left them and joined the company, and all joined in begging that Peter might be chosen to succeed to the patriarchal chair of Athanasius.64

Chapter XVIII.—On the Overthrow of Petrus and the Introduction of Lucius the Arian.

No sooner had they seated him on the episcopal throne than the governor of the province assembled a mob of Greeks and Jews, surrounded the walls of the church,65 and bade Peter come forth, threatening him with exile if he refused. He thus acted on the plea that he was fulfilling the emperor’s good pleasure by bringing those of opposite sentiments into trouble, but the truth was that be was carried away by his impious passion. For be was addicted to the service of the idols, and looked upon the storms which beset the Church as a season of brilliant festivity. The admirable Peter, however, when he beheld the unforeseen conflict, secretly withdrew, and embarked in a vessel bound for Rome.

After a few days Euzoius came from Antioch with Lucius, and handed over the churches to him. This was he of whose impiety and lawlessness Samosata had already had experience. But the people nurtured in the teaching of Athanasius, when they now saw how different was the spiritual food offered them, held aloof from the assemblies of the Church.

Lucius, who employed idolators as his attendants, went on scourging some, imprisoning others; some he drove to take to flight, others’ homes he rifled in rude and cruel fashion. But all this is better set forth in the letter of the admirable Peter. After recounting an instance of the impious conduct of Lucius I shall insert the letter in this work.

Certain men in Egypt, of angelic life and conversation, fled from the disquiet of the state and chose to live in solitude in the wilderness. There they made the sandy and barren soil bear fruit; for a fruit right sweet and fair to God was the virtue by whose law they lived. Among many who took the lead in this mode of life was the far-famed Antonius, most excellent master in the school of mortification, who made the desert a training place of virtue for his hermits. He after all his great and glorious labours had reached the haven where the winds of trouble blow no more, and then his followers were persecuted by the wretched and unhappy Lucius. All the leaders of those divine companies, the famous Macarius, his namesake, Isidorus, and the rest66 were dragged out of their caves and despatched to a certain island inhabited by impious men, and never blessed with any teacher of piety. When the ship drew near to the shore of the island the demon reverenced by its inhabitants departed from the image which had been his time-old home, and filled with frenzy the daughter of the priest. She was driven in her inspired fury to the shore where the rowers were bringing the ship to land. Making the tongue of the girl his instrument, the demon shouted out through her the words uttered at Philippi by the woman possessed with the spirit of Python,67 and was heard by all, both men and women, saying, “Alas for your power, ye servants of the Christ; everywhere we have been driven forth by you from town and hamlet, from hill and height, from wastes where no men dwell; in yon islet we had hoped to live out of the reach of your shafts, but our hope was vain; hither you have been sent by your persecutors, not to be harmed by them, but to drive us out. We are quitting the island, for we are being wounded by the piercing rays of your virtue.” With these words, and words like these, they dashed the damsel to the ground, and themselves all fled together. But that divine company prayed over the girl and raised her up, and delivered her to her father made whole and in her right mind.

96 The spectators of the miracle flung themselves at the feet of the new comers and implored to be allowed to participate in the means of salvation. They destroyed the idol’s grove, and, illuminated by the bright rays of instruction, received the grace of holy baptism. On these events becoming known in Alexandria all the people met together, reviling Lucius, and saying that wrath from God would fall upon them, were not that divine company of saints to be set free. Then Lucius, apprehensive of a tumult in the city, suffered the holy hermits to go back to their dens. Let this suffice to give a specimen of his impious iniquity. The sinful deeds he dared to do will be more clearly set forth by the letter of the admirable Peter. I hesitate to insert it at full length, and so will only quote some extracts from it.

Chapter XIX.—Narrative of Events at Alexandria in the Time of Lucius the Arian, Taken from a Letter of Petrus, Bishop of Alexandria.

Palladius governor of the province, by sect a heathen,68 and one who habitually prostrated himself before the idols, had frequently entertained the thought of waging war against Christ. After collecting the forces already enumerated he set out against the Church, as though he were pressing forward to the subjugation of a foreign foe. Then, as is well known, the most shocking deeds were done, and at the bare thought of telling the story, its recollection fills me with anguish. I have shed floods of tears, and I should have long remained thus bitterly affected had I not assuaged my grief by divine meditation. The crowds intruded into the church called Theonas69 and there instead of holy words were uttered the praises of idols; there where the Holy Scriptures had been read might be heard unseemly clapping of hands with unmanly and indecent utterances; there outrages were offered to the Virgins of Christ which the tongue refuses to utter, for “it is a shame even to speak of them.”70 On only hearing of these wrongs one of the well disposed stopped his ears and prayed that he might rather become deaf than have to listen to their foul language. Would that they had been content to sin in word alone, and had not surpassed the wickedness of word by deed, for insult, however bad it be, can be borne by them in whom dwells Christ’s wisdom and His holy lessons. But these same villains, vessels of wrath fitted for destruction,71 screwed up their noses and poured out, if I may so say, as from a well-head, foul noises through their nostrils, and rent the raiment from Christ’s holy virgins, whose conversation gave an exact likeness of saints; they dragged them in triumph, naked as when they were born, through all the town; they made indecent sport of them at their pleasure; their deeds were barbarous and cruel. Did any one in pity interfere and urge to mercy he was dismissed with wounds. Ah! woe is me. Many a virgin underwent brutal violation; many a maid beaten on the head, with clubs lay dumb, and even their bodies were not allowed to be given up for burial, and their grief-stricken parents cannot find their corpses to this day. But why recount woes which seem small when compared with greater? Why linger over these and not hurry on to events more urgent? When you hear them I know that you will wonder and will stand with us long dumb, amazed at the kindness of the Lord in not bringing all things utterly to an end. At the very altar the impious perpetrated what, as it is written,72 neither happened nor was heard of in the days of our fathers.

A boy who had forsworn his sex and would pass for a girl, with eyes, as it is written, smeared with antimony,73 and face reddened with rouge like their idols, in woman’s dress, was set up to dance and wave his hands about and whirl round as though he had been at the front of some disreputable stage, on the holy altar itself where we call on the coming of the Holy Ghost, while the by-standers laughed aloud and rudely raised unseemly shouts. But as this seemed to them really rather decorous than improper, they went on to proceedings which they reckoned in accordance with their indecency; they picked out a man who was very famous for utter baseness, made him strip off at once all his clothes and all his shame, and set him up as naked as he was born on the throne of the church, and dubbed him a vile advocate against Christ. Then for divine words he uttered shameless wickedness, for awful doctrines wanton lewdness, for piety impiety, for continence fornication, adultery, foul lust, theft; teaching that gluttony and drunkenness as well as all the rest were good for man’s life.74 In this state of things when even I had withdrawn from the church75 —for how could I remain where troops were coming in—where a mob was bribed to violence—where all were striving for gain—where mobs of heathen were making mighty promises?—forth, forsooth, is sent a successor in my place. It was one named Lucius, who had bought the bishopric as he might some dignity of this world, eager to maintain the bad character and conduct of a wolf.76 No synod of orthodox bishops had chosen him;77 no vote of genuine clergy; no laity had demanded him; as the laws of the church enjoin.

Lucius could not make his entrance into the city without parade, and so he was appropriately escorted not by bishops, not by presbyters, not by deacons, not by multitudes of the laity; no monks preceded him chanting psalms from the Scriptures; but there was Euzoius, once a deacon of our city of Alexandria, and long since degraded along with Arius in the great and holy synod of Nicaea, and more recently raised to rule and ravage the see of Antioch, and there, too, was Magnus the treasurer,78 notorious for every kind of impiety, leading a vast body of troops. In the reign of Julian this Magnus had burnt the church at Berytus,79 the famous city of Phoenicia; and, in the reign of Jovian of blessed memory, after barely escaping decapitation by numerous appeals to the imperial compassion, had been compelled to build it up again at his own expense.

Now I invoke your zeal to rise in our vindication. From what I write you ought to be able to calculate the character and extent of the wrongs committed against the Church of God by the starting up of this Lucius to oppose us. Often rejected by your piety and by the orthodox bishops or every region, he seized on a city which had just and righteous cause to regard and treat him as a foe. For he does not merely say like the blasphemous fool in the psalms “Christ is not true God.”80 But, corrupt himself, he corrupted others, rejoicing in the blasphemies uttered continually against the Saviour by them who worshipped the creature instead of the Creator. The scoundrel’s opinions being quite on a par with those of a heathen, why should he not venture to worship a new-made God, for these were the phrases with which he was publicly greeted “Welcome, bishop, because thou deniest the Son. Serapis loves thee and has brought thee to us.” So they named their native idol. Then without an interval of delay the afore-named Magnus, inseparable associate in the villainy of Lucius, cruel body-guard, savage lieutenant, collected together all the multitudes committed to his care, and arrested presbyters and deacons to the number of nineteen, some of whom were eighty years of age, on the charge of being concerned in some foul violation of Roman law. He constituted a public tribunal, and, in ignorance of the laws of Christians in defence of virtue, endeavoured to compel them to give up the faith of their fathers which had been handed down from the apostles through the fathers to us. He even went so far as to maintain that this would be gratifying to the most merciful and clement Valens Augustus. “Wretched man” he shouted “accept, accept the doctrine of the Arians; God will pardon you even though you worship with a true worship, if you do this not of your own accord but because you are compelled. There is always a defence for irresponsible compulsion, while free action is responsible and much followed by accusation. Consider well these arguments; come willingly; away with all delay; subscribe the doctrine of Arius preached now by Lucius,” (so he introduced him by name) “being well assured that if you obey you will have wealth and honour from your prince, while if you refuse you will be punished by chains, rack, torture, scourge and cruel torments; you will be deprived of your property and possessions; you will be driven into exile and condemned to dwell in savage regions.”

Thus this noble character mixed intimidation with deceit and so endeavoured to persuade and compel the people to apostatise from true religion. They however knew full well how true it is that the pain of treachery to right religion is sharper than any torment; they refused to lower their virtue and noble spirit to his trickery and threats, and were thus constrained to answer him. “Cease, cease trying to frighten us with these words, utter no more vain words. We worship no God of late arrival or of new invention. Foam at us if you will in the vain tempest of your fury and dash yourselves against us like a furious wind. We abide by the doctrines of true religion even unto death; we have never regarded God as impotent, or as unwise, or untrue, as at one time a Father and at another not a Father, as this impious Arian teaches, making the Son a being of time and transitory. For if, as the Ariomaniacs say, the Son is a creature, not being naturally of one substance with the Father, the Father too will be reduced to non-existence by the nonexistence of the Son, not being as they assert at one period a Father. But if He is ever a Father, his offspring being truly of Him, and not by derivation, for God is impassible, how is not he mad and foolish who says of the Son through whom all things came by grace into existence, “there was a time when he was not.”

These men have truly become fatherless by falling away from our fathers throughout the world who assembled at Nicaea, and anathematized the false doctrine of Arius, now defended by this later champion. They laid down that the Son was not as you are now compelling us to say, of a different substance from the Father, but of one and the same. This their pious intelligence clearly perceived, and so from an adequate collation of divine terms they owned Him to be consubstantial.

Advancing these and other similar arguments, they were imprisoned for many days in the hope that they might be induced to fall away from their right mind, but the rather, like the noblest of the athletes in a Stadium, they crushed all fear, and from time to time as it were anointing themselves with the thought of the bold deeds done by their fathers, through the help of holy thoughts maintained a nobler constancy in piety, and treated the rack as a training place for virtue. While they were thus struggling, and had become, as writes the blessed Paul, a spectacle to angels and to men,81 the whole city ran up to gaze at Christ’s athletes, vanquishing by stout endurance the scourges of the judge who was torturing them, winning by patience trophies against impiety, and exhibiting triumphs against Arians. So their savage enemy thought that by threats and torments he could subdue and deliver them to the enemies of Christ. Thus therefore the savage and inhuman tyrant evilly entreated them by inflicting on them the tortures that his cruel ingenuity devised, while all the people stood wailing and shewing their sorrow in various ways. Then he once more mustered his troops, who were disciplined in disorder, and summoned the martyrs to trial, or as it might rather be called, to a foregone condemnation, by the seaport, while after their fashion hired cries were raised against them by the idolaters and the Jews. On their refusal to yield to the manifest heresy of the Ariomaniacs they were sentenced, while all the people stood in tears before the tribunal, to be deported from Alexandria to the Phoenician Heliopolis,82 a place where none of the inhabitants, who are all given over to idols, can endure so much as to hear the name of Christ.

After giving them the order to embark, Magnus stationed himself at the port, for he had delivered his sentence against them in the neighbourhood of the public baths. He showed them his sword unsheathed, thinking that he could thus strike terror into men who had again and again smitten hostile demons to the ground with their two-edged blade. So he bade them put out to sea, though they had got no provisions on board, and were starting without one single comfort for their exile. Strange and almost incredible to relate, the sea was all afoam; grieved, I think, and unwilling, if I may so say, to receive the good men upon its surface, and so have part or lot in an unrighteous sentence. Now even to the ignorant was made manifest the savage purpose of the judge and it may truly be said “at this, the heavens stood astonished.”83

The whole city groaned, and is lamenting to this day. Some men beating on their breast with one hand after another raised a mighty noise; others lifted up at once their hands and eyes to heaven in testimony of the wrong inflicted on them, and so saying in all but words, “Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth,”84 what unlawful deeds are being done. Now all was weeping and wailing; singing and sighing sounded through all the town, and from every eye flowed a river of tears which threatened to overwhelm the very sea with its tide. There was the aforesaid Magnus on the port ordering the rowers to hoist the sails, and up went a mingled cry of maids and matrons, old men and young, all sobbing and lamenting together, and the noise of the multitude overwhelmed the roar raised by the waves on the foaming sea. So the martyrs sailed off for Heliopolis, where every man is given over to superstition,85 where flourish the devil’s ways of pleasure, and where the situation of the city, surrounded on all sides by mountains that approach the sky, is fitted for the terrifying lairs of wild beasts. All the friends they left behind now alike in public in the middle of the town and each in private apart groaned and uttered words of grief, and were even forbidden to weep, at the order of Palladius, prefect of the city, who happened himself to be a man quite given over to superstition. Many of the mourners were first arrested and thrown into prison, and then scourged, torn with carding combs, tortured, and, champions as they were of the church in their holy enthusiasm, were despatched to the mines of Phennesus86 and Proconnesus.87

97 Most of them were monks, devoted to a life of ascetic solitude, and were about twenty-three in number. Not long afterwards the deacon who had been sent by our beloved Damasus, bishop of Rome, to bring us letters of consolation and communion, was led publicly through the town by executioners, with his hands tied behind his back like some notorious criminal. After sharing the tortures inflicted on murderers, he was terribly scourged with stones and bits of lead about his very neck.88 He went on board ship to sail, like the rest, with the mark of the sacred cross upon his brow; with none to aid and none to tempt him he was despatched to the copper mines of Phennesus. During the tortures inflicted by the magistrate on the tender bodies of little boys, some have been left lying on the spot deprived of holy rites of burial, though parents and brothers and kinsfolk, and indeed the whole city, begged that this one consolation might be given them. But alas for the inhumanity of the judge, if indeed he can be called judge who only condemns! They who had contended nobly for the true religion were assigned a worse fate than a murderer’s, their bodies lying, as they did, unburied. The glorious champions were thrown to be devoured by beasts and birds of prey.89 Those who were anxious for conscience’ sake to express sympathy with the parents were punished by decapitation, as though they had broken some law. What Roman law, nay what foreign sentiment, ever inflicted punishment for the expression of sympathy with parents? What instance is there of the perpetration of so illegal a deed by any one of the ancients? The male children of the Hebrews were indeed once ordered to be slain by Pharaoh, but his edict was suggested by envy and by fear. How far greater the inhumanity of our day than of his. How preferable, if there be a choice in unrighteousness, their wrongs to ours. How much better; if what is illegal can be called good or bad, though in truth iniquity is always iniquity.

I am writing what is incredible, inhuman, awful, savage, barbarous, pitiless, cruel. But in all this the votaries of the Arian madness pranced, as it were, with proud exultation, while the whole city was lamenting; for, as it is written in Exodus, “there was not a house in which there was not one dead.”90

The men whose appetite for iniquity was never satisfied planned new agitation. Ever wreaking their evil will in evil deeds, they darted the peculiar venom of their iniquity at the bishops of the province, using the aforesaid treasurer Magnus as the instrument of their unrighteousness.

Some they delivered to the Senate, some they trapped at their good pleasure, leaving no stone unturned in their anxiety to hunt in all from every quarter to impiety, going about in all directions, and like the devil, the proper father of heresy, they sought whom they might devour.91

In all, after many fruitless efforts, they drove into exile to Dio-Caesarea,92 a city inhabited by Jews, murderers of the Lord, eleven of the bishops of Egypt, all of them men who from childhood to old age had lived an ascetic life in the desert, had subdued their inclinations to pleasure by reason and by discipline, had fearlessly preached the true faith of piety, had imbibed the pious doctrines, had again and again won victory against demons, were ever putting the adversary out of countenance by their virtue, and publicly posting the Arian heresy by wisest argument. Yet like Hell,93 not satisfied with the death of their brethren, fools and madmen as they were, eager to win a reputation by their evil deeds, they tried to leave memorials in all the world of their own cruelty. For lo now they roused the imperial attention against certain clerics of the catholic church who were living at Antioch, together with some excellent monks who came forward to testify against their evil deeds. They got these men banished to Neocaesarea94 in Pontus, where they were soon deprived of life in consequence of the sterility of the country. Such tragedies were enacted at this period, fit indeed to be consigned to silence and oblivion, but given a place in history for the condemnation of the men who wag their tongues against the Only begotten, and infected as they were with the raving madness of blasphemy, strive not only to aim their shafts at the Master of the universe, but further waged a truceless war against His faithful servants.

Chapter XX.—Of Mavia,95 Queen of the Saracens, and the Ordination96 Of Moses the Monk.

At this time97 the Ishmaelites were devastating the country in the neighbourhood of the Roman frontier. They were led by Mavia, a princess who regarded not the sex which nature had given her, and displayed the spirit and courage of a man. After many engagements she made a truce, and, on receiving the light of divine knowledge, begged that to the dignity of high priest of her tribe might be advanced one, Moses by name, who dwelt on the confines of Egypt and Palestine. This request Valens granted, and ordered the holy man to be conveyed to Alexandria, and there, as the most convenient place in the neighbourhood, to receive episcopal grace. When he had arrived and saw Lucius endeavouring to lay hands on him—“God forbid” said he “that I should be ordained by thine hand: the grace of the Spirit visits us not at thy calling.” “Whence,” said Lucius, “are you led to conjecture this?” He rejoined “I am not speaking of conjecture but of clear knowledge; for thou fightest against the apostolic decrees, and speakest words against them, and for thy blasphemous utterances thy lawless deeds are a match. For what impious man has not on thy account mocked the meetings of the Church? What excellent man has not been exiled? What barbarous savagery is not thrown into the shade by thy daily deeds?” So the brave man said, and the murderer heard him and desired to slay him, but was afraid of kindling once again the war which had come to an end. Wherefore he ordered other bishops to be produced whom Moses had requested. After receiving the episcopal grace of the right worthy faith Moses returned to the people who had asked for him, and by his apostolic teaching and miracles led them in the way that leads to truth.98

These then were the deeds done by Lucius in Alexandria under the dispensation of the providence of God.

Chapter XXI.

At Constantinople the Arians filled a boat with pious presbyters and drove her without ballast out to sea, putting some of their own men on another craft with orders to set the presbyters boat on fire. So, fighting at the same time against both sea and flames, at last they were delivered to the deep, and won the martyrs crown.

At Antioch Valens spent a considerable time, and gave complete license to all who, under cover of the Christian name, pagans, Jews and the rest, preached doctrines contrary to those of the gospel. The slaves of this error even went so far as to perform pagan rites, and thus the deceitful fire which, after Julian, had been quenched by Jovian, was now rekindled by permission of Valens. The rites of Jews, of Dionysus, and of Demeter were now no longer performed in a corner, as they would be in a pious reign, but by revellers running wild in the forum. Valens was a foe to none but them that held the apostolic doctrine. First he drove them from their churches, the illustrious Jovian having given them also the new built church. And when they assembled close up to the mountain cliff to honour their Master in hymns, and enjoy the word of God, putting up with all the assaults of the weather, now of rain, now of snow and cold, and now of violent heat, they were not even suffered this poor protection, and troops were sent to scatter them far and wide.

98 Chapter XXII.—How Flavianus and Diodorus Gathered the Church of the Orthodox in Antioch.

Now Flavianus and Diodorus, like break-waters, broke the force of the advancing waves. Meletius their shepherd had been constrained to sojourn far away. But these looked after the flock, opposing their own courage and cunning to the wolves, and bestowing due care upon the sheep. Now that they were driven away from under the cliff they fed their flocks by the banks of the neighbouring river. They could not brook, like the captives at Babylon, to hang their harps upon the willows,99 but they continued to hymn their maker and benefactor in all places of his dominion.100 But not even in this spot was the meeting of the pious pastors of them that blessed the Lord suffered by the foe to be assembled. So again this pair of excellent shepherds gathered their sheep in the soldiers training ground and there tried to show them their spiritual food in secret. Diodorus, in his wisdom and courage, like a clear and mighty river, watered his own and drowned the blasphemies of his opponents, thinking nothing of the splendour of his birth, and gladly undergoing the sufferings of the faith.

The excellent Flavianus, who was also of the highest rank, thought piety the only nobility,101 and, like some trainer for the games, anointed the great Diodorus102 as though he had been an athlete for five contests.103

At that time he did not himself preach at the services of the church, but furnished an abundant supply of arguments and scriptural thoughts to preachers, who were thus able to aim their shafts at the blasphemy of Arius, while he as it were handed them the arrows of his intelligence from a quiver. Discoursing alike at home and abroad he easily rent asunder the heretics nets and showed their defences to be mere spiders webs. He was aided in these contests by that Aphraates whose life I have written in my Religious History,104 and who, preferring the welfare of the sheep to his own rest, abandoned his cell of discipline and retirement, and undertook the hard toil of a shepherd. Having written on these matters in another work I deem it now superfluous to recount the wealth of virtue which he amassed, but one specimen of his good deeds I will proceed now to relate, as specially appropriate to this history.

Chapter XXIII.—Of the Holy Monk Aphraates.

On the north of the river Orontes lies the palace. On the South a vast two storied portico is built on the city wall with lofty towers on either side. Between the palace and the river lies a public way open to passengers from the town, through the gate in this quarter, and leading to the country in the suburbs. The godly Aphraates was once passing along this thoroughfare on his way to the soldiers training ground, in order to perform the duty of serving his flock. The emperor happened to be looking down from a gallery in the palace, and saw him going by wearing a cloak of undressed goat’s skin,105 and walking rapidly, though of advanced age. On its being remarked that this was Aphraates to whom all the town was then attached, the emperor cried out “Where are you going? Tell us.” Readily and cleverly he answered “To pray for your empire.” “You had better stop at home” said the emperor “and pray alone like a monk.” “Yes,” said the divine man, “so I was bound to do and so I always did till now, as long as the Saviour’s sheep were at peace; but now that they are grievously disturbed and in great peril of being caught by beasts, I needs must leave no means untried to save the nurslings. For tell me, sir, had I been a girl sitting in my chamber, and looking after the house, and had seen a flash of flame fall and my father’s house on fire, what ought I to do? Tell me; sit within and never mind the house being on fire, and wait for the flame to approach? or bid my bower good bye and run up and down and get water and try to quench the flame? Of course you will say the latter, for so a quick and spirited girl would do. And that is what I am doing now, sir. You have set fire to our Father’s house and we are running about in the endeavour to put it out.” So said Aphraates, and the emperor threatened him and said no more. One of the grooms of the imperial bedchamber, who threatened the godly man somewhat more violently, met with the following fate. He was entrusted with the charge of the bath, and immediately after this conversation he came down to get it ready for the emperor. On entering he lost his wits, stepped into the boiling water before it was mixed with the cold, and so met his end. The emperor sat waiting for him to announce that the bath was ready for him to enter, and after a considerable time had gone by he sent other officers to report the cause of the delay. After they had gone in and looked all about the room they discovered the chamberlain slain by the heat, and lying dead in the boiling water. On this becoming known to the emperor they perceived the force of the prayers of Aphraates. Nevertheless they did not depart from the impious doctrines but hardened their heart like Pharaoh, and the infatuated emperor, though made aware of the miracle of the holy man, persisted in his mad rage against piety.

Chapter XXIV.—Of the Holy Monk Julianus.

At this time too the celebrated Julianus, whom I have already mentioned, was forced to leave the desert and come to Antioch, for when the foster children of lies, the facile framers of calumny, I mean of course the Arians, were maintaining that this great man was of their faction, those lights of the truth Flavianus, Diodorus, and Aphraates sent Acacius,106 an athlete of virtue who afterwards very wisely ruled the church at Beroea, to the famous Julianus107 with the entreaty that he would take pity on so many thousands of men, and at the same time convict the enemy of lies and confirm the proclamation of the truth. The miracles worked by Julianus on his way to and from Antioch and in that vast city itself are described in my Religious History, which is easily accessible to all who wish to become acquainted with them. But I am sure that no one who has enquired into human nature will doubt that he attracted all the population of the city to our assembly, for the extraordinary is generally sure to draw all men after it. The fact of his having wrought great marvels is attested even by the enemies of the truth.

Before this time in the reign of Constantius the great Antonius108 had acted in the same way in Alexandria, for he abandoned the desert and went up and down that city, telling all men that Athanasius was the preacher of the true doctrine and that the Arian faction were enemies of the truth. So those godly men knew how to adapt themselves to each particular opportunity, when to remain inactive, and at rest, and when to leave the deserts for towns.

Chapter XXV.—Of What Other Monks Were Distinguished at This Period.

There were also other then at this period who emitted the bright rays of the philosophy of solitary life. In the Chalcidian109 desert Avitus, Marcianus110 and Abraames,111 and more besides whom I cannot easily enumerate, strove in their bodies of sense to live a life superior to sense. In the district of Apamea,112 Agapetus,113 Simeon,114 Paulus and others reaped the fruits of the highest wisdom.

99 In the district of the Zeugmatenses115 were Publius116 and Paulus. In the Cyrestian117 the famous Acepsemas had been shut up in a cell for sixty years without being either seen or spoken to. The admirable Zeumatius, though bereft of sight, used to go about confirming the sheep, and fighting with the wolves; so they burnt his cell, but the right faithful general Trajanus got another built for him, and paid him besides other attentions. In the neighbourhood of Antioch, Marianus,118 Eusebius,119 Ammianus,120 Palladius,121 Simeon,122 Abraames,123 and others, preserved the divine image unimpaired; but of all these the lives have been recorded by us. But the mountain which is in the neighbourhood of the great city was decked like a meadow, for in it shone Petrus, the Galatian, his namesake the Egyptian, Romanus Severus,124 Zeno,125 Moses, and Malchus,126 and many others of whom the world is ignorant, but who are known to God.

Chapter XXVI.—Of Didymus of Alexandria and Ephraim the Syrian.

At that period at Edessa flourished the admirable Ephraim, and at Alexandria Didymus,127 both writers against the doctrines that are at variance with the truth. Ephraim, employing the Syrian language, shed beams of spiritual grace. Totally untainted as he was by heathen education128 he was able to expose the niceties of heathen error, and lay bare the weakness of all heretical artifices. Harmonius129 the son of Bardesanes130 had once composed certain songs and by mixing sweetness of melody with his impiety beguiled the hearers, and led them to their destruction. Ephraim adopted the music of the songs, but set them to piety, and so gave the hearers at once great delight and a healing medicine. These songs are still used to enliven the festivals of our victorious martyrs.

Didymus, however, who from a child had been deprived of the sense of sight, had been educated in poetry, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, the logic of Aristotle, and the eloquence of Plato. Instruction in all these subjects he received by the sense of hearing alone,—not indeed as conveying the truth, but as likely to be weapons for the truth against falsehood. Of holy scriptures he learnt not only the sound but the sense. So among livers of ascetic lives and students of virtue, these men at that time were conspicuous.

Chapter XXVII.—Of What Bishops Were at This Time Distinguished in Asia and Pontus.

Among the bishops were the two Gregorii, the one of Nazianzus131 and the other of Nyssa,132 the latter the brother and the former the friend and fellow worker of the great Basilius. These were foremost champions of piety in Cappadocia; and in front rank with them was Peter, born of the same parents with Basilius and Gregorius, who though not having received like them a foreign education, like them lived a life of brilliant distinction.

In Pisidia Optimus,133 in Lycaonia Amphilochius,134 fought in the front rank on behalf of their fathers faith, and repelled tim enemies assaults.

In the West Damasus,135 Bishop of Rome, and Ambrosius, entrusted with the government of Milan, smote those who attacked them from afar. In conjunction with these, bishops forced to dwell in remote regions, confirmed their friends and undid their foes by writings—thus pilots able to cope with the greatness of the storm were granted by the governor of the universe. Against the violence of the foe He set in battle array the virtue of His captains, and provided means meet to ward off the troubles of these difficult times, and not only were the churches granted this kind of protection by their loving Lord, but deemed worthy of yet another kind of guidance.

Chapter XXVIII.—Of the Letter Written by Valens to the Great Valentinianus About the War, and How He Replied.

The Lord roused the Goths to war, and drew on to the Bosphorus him who knew only how to fight against the pious. Then for the first time the vain than became aware of his own weakness, and sent to his brother to ask for troops. But Valentinian replied that it were impious to help one fighting against God, and right rather to check his rashness. By this the unhappy man was filled with yet greater infatuation, yet he did not withdraw from his rash undertaking, and persisted in ranging himself against the truth.136

Chapter XXIX.—Of the Piety of Count Terentius.

100 Terentius, an excellent general, distinguished for his piety, had set up trophies of victory and returned from Armenia. On being ordered by Valens to choose a boon, he mentioned one which it was becoming in a man nurtured in piety to choose, for he asked not gold nor yet silver, not land, not dignity, not a house, but that one church might be granted to them that were risking their all for the Apostolic doctrine. Valens received the petition, but on becoming acquainted with its contents he tore it up in a rage, and bade Terentius beg some other boon. The count, however, picked up the pieces of his petition, and said, “I have my reward, sir, and I will not ask another. The Judge of all things is Judge of my intention.”

Chapter XXX.—Of the Bold Utterance of Trajanus the General.

After Valens had crossed the Bosphorus and come into Thrace he first spent a considerable time at Constantinople, in alarm as to the issue of the war. He had sent Trajanus in command of troops against the barbarians. When the general came back beaten, the emperor reviled him sadly, and charged him with infirmity and cowardice. Boldly, as became a brave man, Trajanus replied: “I have not been beaten, sir, it is thou who hast abandoned the victory by fighting against God and transferring His support to the barbarians. Attacked by thee He is taking their side, for victory is on God’s side and comes to them whom God leads. Dost thou not know,” he went on, “whom thou hast expelled from their churches and to whose government these churches have been delivered by thee?” Arintheus and Victor,137 generals like Trajanus, confirmed the truth of what he said, and implored the emperor not to be angered by reproaches which were founded upon fact.138

Chapter XXXI.—Of Isaac139 The Monk of Constantinople and Bretanio the Scythian Bishop.

It is related that Isaac, who lived as a solitary at Constantinople, when he saw Valens marching out with his troops, cried aloud, “Whither goest thou, O emperor? To fight against God, instead of having Him as thy ally? ’Tis God himself who has roused the barbarians against thee, because thou hast stirred many tongues to blasphemy against Him and hast driven His worshippers from their sacred abodes. Cease then thy campaigning and stop the war. Give back to the flocks their excellent shepherds and thou shalt win victory without trouble, but if thou tightest without so doing thou shalt learn by experience how hard it is to kick against the pricks.140 Thou shalt never come back and shalt destroy thy army.” Then in a passion the emperor rejoined, “I shall come back; and I will kill thee, and so exact punishment for thy lying prophecy.” But Isaac undismayed by the threat exclaimed, “If what I say be proved false, kill me.”

Bretanio, a man distinguished by various virtues, and entrusted with the episcopal government of all the cities of Scythia, fired his soul with enthusiasm, and protested against the corruption of doctrines, and the emperor’s lawless attacks upon the saints, crying in the words of the godly David, “I spoke of thy testimonies also before Kings and was not ashamed.”141

Chapter XXXII.—Of the Expedition of Valens Against the Garbs and How He Paid the Penalty of His Impiety.

Valens, however, spurned these excellent counsellors, and sent out his troops to join battle while he himself sat waiting in a hamlet for the victory. His troops could not stand against the barbarians’ charge, turned tail and were slain one after another as they fled, the Romans fleeing at full speed and the barbarians chasing them with all their might. When Valens heard of the defeat he strove to conceal himself in the village where he lay, but when the barbarians came up they set the place on fire and together with it burnt the enemy of piety. Thus in this present life Valens paid the penalty of his errors.142

Chapter XXXIII.—How the Goths Became Tainted by the Arian Error.

To those ignorant of the circumstances it may be worth while to explain how the Goths got the Arian plague. After they had crossed the Danube, and made peace with Valens, the infamous Eudoxius, who was on the spot, suggested to the emperor to persuade the Goths to accept communion with him. They had indeed long since received the rays of divine knowledge and had been nurtured in the apostolic doctrines, “but now,” said Eudoxius, “community of opinion will make the peace all the firmer.” Valens approved of this counsel and proposed to the Gothic chieftains an agreement in doctrine, but they replied that they would not consent to forsake the teaching of their fathers. At the period in question their Bishop Ulphilas was implicitly obeyed by them and they received his words as laws which none might break. Partly by the fascination of his eloquence and partly by the bribes with which he baited his proposals Eudoxius succeeded in inducing him to persuade the barbarians to embrace communion with the emperor, so Ulphilas won them over on the plea that the quarrel between the different parties was really one of personal rivalry and involved no difference in doctrine. The result is that up to this day the Goths assert that the Father is greater than the Son, but they refuse to describe the Son as a creature, although they are in communion with those who do so. Yet they cannot be said to have altogether abandoned their Father’s teaching, since Ulphilas in his efforts to persuade them to join communion with Eudoxius and Valens denied that there was any difference in doctrine and that the difference had arisen from mere empty strife.143
Book V.


101 Chapter I.—Of the Piety of the Emperor Gratianus.

How the Lord God is long suffering towards those who rage against him, and chastises those who abuse his patience, is plainly taught by the acts and by the fate of Valens. For the loving Lord uses mercy and justice like wights and scales; whenever he sees any one by the greatness of his errors over-stepping the bounds of loving kindness, by just punishment He hinders him from being carried to further extremes.

Now Gratianus, the son of Valentinianus, and nephew of Valens, acquired the whole Roman Empire. He had already assumed the sceptre of Europe on the death of his father, in whose life-time he had shared the throne. On the death of Valens without issue he acquired in addition Asia, and the portions of Libya.1

Chapter II.—Of the Return of the Bishops.

The emperor at once gave plain indications of his adherence to true religion, and offered the first fruits of his kingdom to the Lord of all, by publishing an edict commanding the exiled shepherds to return, and to be restored to their flocks, and ordering the sacred buildings to be delivered to congregations adopting communion with Damasus.2

This Damasus, the successor of Liberius in the see of Rome, was a man of most praiseworthy life and by his own choice alike in word and deed a champion of Apostolic doctrines. To put his edict in force Gratianus sent Sapor the general, a very famous character at that time, with orders to expel the preachers of the blasphemies of Arius like wild beasts from the sacred folds, and to effect the restoration of the excellent shepherds to God’s flocks.

In every instance this was effected without dispute except in Antioch, the Eastern capital, where a quarrel was kindled which I shall proceed to describe.

Chapter III.—Of the Dissension Caused by Paulinus; Of the Innovation by Apollinarius of Laodicea, and of the Philosophy of Meletius.

It has been already related how the defenders of the apostolic doctrines were divided into two parties; how immediately after the conspiracy formed against the great Eustathius, one section, in abhorrence of the Arian abomination, assembled together by themselves with Paulinus for their bishop, while, after the ordination of Euzoius, the other party separated themselves from the impious with the excellent Meletius, underwent the perils previously described, and were guided by the wise instructions which Meletius gave them. Besides these Apollinarius of Laodicea constituted himself leader of a third party, and though he assumed a mask of piety, and appeared to defend apostolic doctrines, he was soon seen to be an open foe. About the divine nature he used unsound arguments, and originated the idea of certain degrees of dignities. He also had the hardihood to render the mystery of the incarnation3 imperfect and affirmed that the reasonable soul, which is entrusted with the guidance of the body, was deprived of the salvation effected. For according to his argument God the Word did not assume this soul, and so neither granted it His healing gift, nor gave it a portion of His dignity. Thus the earthly body is represented as worshipped by invisible powers, while the soul which is made in the image of God has remained below invested with the dishonour of sin.4 Many more errors did he utter in his stumbling and blinded intelligence. At one time even he was ready to confess that of the Holy Virgin the flesh had been taken, at another time he represented it to have come down from heaven with God the Word, and yet again that He had been made flesh and took nothing from us. Other vain tales and trifles which I have thought it superfluous to repeat he mixed up with God’s gospel promises. By arguments of this nature he not only filled his own friends with dangerous doctrine but even imparted it to some among ourselves. As time went on, when they saw their own insignificance, and beheld the splendour of the Church, all except a few were gathered into the Church’s communion. But they did not quite put away their former unsoundness, and with it infected many of the sound. This was the origin of the growth in the Church of the doctrine of the one nature of the Flesh and of the Godhead, of the ascription to the Godhead of the Passion of the only begotten, and of other points which have bred differences among the laity and their priests. But these belong to a later date. At the time of which I am speaking, when Sapor the General had arrived and had exhibited the imperial edict, Paulinus affirmed that he sided with Damasus, and Apollinarius, concealing his unsoundness, did the same. The divine Meletius, on the other hand, made no sign, and put up with their dispute. Flavianus, of high fame for his wisdom, who was at that time still in the ranks of the presbyterate, at first said to Paulinus in the hearing of the officer “If, my dear friend, you accept communion with Damasus, point out to us clearly how the doctrines agree, for he though he owns one substance of the Trinity openly preaches three essences.5 You on the contrary deny the Trinity of the essences. Shew us then how these doctrines are in harmony, and receive the charge of the churches, as the edict enjoins.” After so silencing Paulinus by his arguments he turned to Apollinarius and said, “I am astonished, my friend, to find you waging such violent war against the truth, when all the while you know quite clearly how the admirable Damasus maintains oar nature to have been taken in its perfection by God the Word; but you persist in saying the contrary, for you deprive our intelligence of its salvation. If these our charges against you be false, deny now the novelty that you have originated; embrace the teaching of Damasus, and receive the charge of the holy shrines.”

Thus Flavianus in his great wisdom stopped their bold speech with his true reasoning.

Meletius, who of all men was most meek, thus kindly and gently addressed Paulinus. “The Lord of the sheep has put the care of these sheep in my hands: you have received the charge of the rest: our little ones are in communion with one another in the true religion. Therefore, my dear friend, let us join our flocks; let us have done with our dispute about the leading of them, and, feeding the sheep together, let us tend them in common. If the chief seat is the cause of strife, that strife I will endeavour to put away. On the chief seat I will put the Holy Gospel; let us take our seats on each side of it; should I be the first to pass away, you, my friend, will hold the leadership of the flock alone. Should this be your lot before it is mine, I in my turn, so far as I am able, will take care of the sheep.” So gently and kindly spoke the divine Meletius. Paulinus did not consent. The officer passed judgment on what had been said and gave the churches to the great Meletius. Paulinus still continued at the head of the sheep who had originally seceded.

102 Chapter IV.—Of Eusebius6 Bishop of Samosata.

Apollinarius after thus failing to get the government of the churches, continued, for the future, openly to preach his new fangled doctrine, and constituted himself leader of the heresy. He resided for the most part at Laodicea; but at Antioch he had already ordained Vitalius, a man of excellent character, brought up in the apostolic doctrines, but afterwards tainted with the heresy. Diodorus, whom I have already mentioned,7 who in the great storm had saved the ship of the church from sinking, had been appointed by the divine Meletius, bishop of Tarsus, and had received the charge of the Cilicians. The see of Apamea8 Meletius entrusted to John, a man of illustrious birth, more distinguished for his own high qualities than for those of his forefathers, for he was conspicuous alike for the beauty of his teaching and of his life. In the time of the tempest he piloted the assembly of his fellows in the faith supported by the worthy Stephanus. The latter was however translated by the divine Meletius to carry on another contest, for on the arrival of intelligence that Germanicia had been contaminated by the Eudoxian pest he was sent thither as a physician to ward off the disease, thoroughly trained as he had been in a complete heathen education as well as nurtured in the Divine doctrines. He did not disappoint the expectations formed of him, for by the power of his spiritual instruction he turned the wolves into sheep.9

On the return of the great Eusebius from exile he ordained Acacius whose fame is great at Beroea.10 and at Hierapolis Theodotus,11 whose ascetic life is to this clay in all men’s mouths. Eusebius12 was moreover appointed to the see of Chalcis, and Isidorus13 to our own city of Cyrus; both admirable men, conspicuous for their divine zeal.

Meletius is also reported to have ordained to the pastorate of Edessa, where the godly Barses had already departed this life, Eulogius,14 the well known champion of apostolic doctrines, who bad been sent to Antinone with Protogenes. Eulogius gave Protogenes,15 his companion in hard service, the charge of Carrae, a healing physician for a sick city.

Lastly the divine Eusebius ordained Maris, Bishop of Doliche,16 a little city at that time infected with the Arian plague. With the intention of enthroning this Maris, a right worthy man, illustrious for various virtues, in the episcopal chair, the great Eusebius came to Doliche. As he was entering into the town a woman thoroughly infected with the Arian plague let fall a tile from the roof, which crushed in his head and so wounded him that not long after he departed to the better life. As he lay a-dying he charged the bystanders not to exact the slightest penalty from the woman who had done the deed, and bound them trader oaths to obey him. Thus he imitated his own Lord, who of them that crucified Him said “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”17

Thus, too, he followed the example of Stephanus, his fellow slave, who, after the stones had stormed upon him, cried aloud, “Lord lay not this sin to their charge.”18 So died the great Eusebius after many and various struggles. He had escaped the barbarians in Thrace, but he did not escape the violence of impious heretics, and by their means won the martyr’s crown.19

These events happened after the return of the bishops, and now Gratian learnt that Thrace was being laid waste by the barbarians who had burnt Valens, so he left Italy and proceeded to Pannonia.

Chapter V.—Of the Campaign of Theodosius.

Now at this time Theodosius, on account alike of the splendour of his ancestry,20 and of his own courage, was a man of high repute. For this reason being from time to time stricken by the envy of his rivals, he was living in Spain, where he had been born and brought up.21 The emperor, being at a loss what measures to take, now that the barbarians, puffed up by their victory, both were and seemed well nigh invincible, formed the idea that a way out of his difficulties would be found in the appointment of Theodosius to the supreme command. He therefore lost no time in sending for him from Spain, appointing22 him commander in chief and despatching him at the head of the assembled forces.

Defended by his faith Theodosius marched confidently forth. On entering Thrace, and beholding the barbarians advancing to meet him, he drew up his troops in order of battle. The two lines met, and the enemy could not stand the attack and broke. A rout ensued, the foe taking to flight and the conquerors pursuing at full speed. There was a great slaughter of the barbarians, for they were slain not only by Romans but even by one another. After the greater number of them had thus fallen, and a few of those who had been able to escape pursuit had crossed the Danube, the great captain dispersed the troops which he commanded among the neighbouring towns, and forthwith rode at speed to this emperor Gratianus, himself the messenger of his own triumph. Even to the emperor himself, astounded at the event, the tidings he carried seemed incredible, while others stung with envy gave out that he had run away and lost his army. His only reply was to ask his gainsayers to send and ascertain the number of the barbarian dead, “For,” said he, “even from their spoils it is easy to learn their number.” At these words the emperor gave way and sent officers to investigate and report on the battle.23

Chapter VI.—Of the Reign of Theodosius and of His Dream.

103 The great general remained, and then saw a wonderful vision clearly shewn him by the very God of the universe himself. In it he seemed to see the divine Meletius, chief of the church of the Antiochenes, investing him with an imperial robe, anti covering his head with an imperial crown. The morning after the night hi which he had seen the vision he told it to one of his intimate friends, who pointed out that the dream was plain and had nothing obscure or ambiguous about it.

A few days at most had gone by when the commissioners sent to investigate the battle returned and reported that vast multitudes of the barbarians had been shot down.

Then the emperor was convinced that he had done right well in selecting Theodosius for the command, and appointed him emperor and gave him the sovereignty of the share of Valens.

Upon this Gratian departed for Italy and despatched Theodosius to the countries committed to his charge. No sooner had Theodosius assumed the imperial dignity than before everything else he gave heed to the harmony of the churches, and ordered the bishops of his own realm to repair with haste to Constantinople. That division of the empire was now the only region infected with the Arian plague, for the west had escaped the taint. This was due to the fact that Constantine the eldest of Constantine’s sons, and Constans the youngest, had preserved their father’s faith in its integrity, and that Valentinian, emperor of the West, had also kept the true religion undefiled.

Chapter VII.—Of Famous Leaders of the Arian Faction.

The Eastern section of the empire had received the infection from many quarters. Arius, a presbyter of Alexandria in Egypt, there begat the blasphemy. Eusebius, Patrophilus, and Aetius of Palestine, Paulinus and Gregorius of Phoenicia, Theodotus of Laodicea and his successor Georgius, and after him Athanasius and Narcissus of Cilicia, had nurtured the seeds so foully sown. Eusebius and Theognis of Bithynia; Menophantus of Ephesus; Theodorus of Perinthus and Maris of Chalcedon, and some others of Thrace famous only for their vices, had for a long time gone on watering and tending the crop of tares. These bad husbandmen were aided by the indifference of Constantius and the malignity of Valens.

For these reasons only the bishops of his own empire were summoned by the emperor to meet at Constantinople. They arrived, being in all one hundred and fifty in number, and Theodosius forbade any one to tell him which was the great Meletius, for he wished the bishop to be recognized by his dream. The w hole company of the bishops entered the imperial palace, and then without any notice of all the rest, Theodosius ran up to the great Meletius, and, like a boy who loves his father, stood for a long space gazing on him with filial joy, then flung his arms around him, and covered eyes and lips and breast and head and the hand that had given him the crown, with kisses. Then he told him of his dream. All the rest of the bishops were then courteously welcomed, and all were bidden to deliberate as became fathers on the subjects laid before them.

Chapter VIII.—The Council Assembled at Constantinople.

At this time the recent feeder of the flock at Nazianzus24 was living at Constantinople,25 continually withstanding the blasphemies of the Arians, watering the holy people with the teaching of the Gospel, catching wanderers outside the flock and removing them from poisonous pasture. So that flock once small he made a great one. When the divine Meletius saw him, knowing as he did full well the object which the makers of the canon26 had before them when, with the view of preventing the possibility of ambitious efforts, they forbade the translation of bishops, he confirmed Gregory in the episcopate of Constantinople.27 Shortly afterwards the divine Meletius passed away to the life that knows no pain, crowned by the praises of the funeral eloquence of all the great orators.

Timotheus, bishop of Alexandria, who had followed Peter, the successor of Athanasius in the patriarchate, ordained in place of the admirable Gregorius, Maximus—a cynic who bad but recently suffered his cynic’s hair to be shorn, and had been carried away by the flimsy rhetoric of Apollinarius. But this absurdity was beyond the endurance of the assembled bishops—admirable men, and full of divine zeal and wisdom, such as Helladius, successor of the great Basil, Gregorius and Peter, brothers of Basil, and Amphilochius from Lycaonia, Optimus from Pisidia, Diodorus from Cilicia.28

The council was also attended by Pelagius of Laodicaea,29 Eulogius of Edessa,30 Acacius,31 our own Isidorus,32 Cyril of Jerusalem, Gelasius of Caesarea in Palestine,33 who was renowned alike for lore and life and many other athletes of virtue.

104 All these then whom I have named separated themselves from the Egyptians and celebrated divine service with the great Gregory. But he himself implored them, assembled as they were to promote harmony, to subordinate all question of wrong to an individual to the promotion of agreement with one another. “For,” said he, “I shall be released from many cares and once more lead the quiet life. I bold so dear; while you, after your long and painful warfare, will obtain the longed for peace. What can be more absurd than for men who have just escaped the weapons of their enemies to waste their own strength in wounding one another; by so doing we shall be a laughing stock to our opponents. Find then some worthy man of sense, able to sustain heavy responsibilities and discharge them well, and make him bishop.” The excellent pastors moved by these counsels appointed as bishop of that mighty city a man of noble birth and distinguished for every kind of virtue as well as for the splendour of his ancestry, by name Nectarius. Maximus, as having participated in the insanity of Apollinarius, they stripped of his episcopal rank and rejected. They next enacted canons concerning the good government of the church, and published a confirmation of the faith set forth at Nicaea. Then they returned each to his own country. Next summer the greater number of them assembled again in the same city, summoned once more by the needs of the church. and received a synodical letter from the bishops of the west inviting them to come to Rome, where a great synod was being assembled. They begged however to be excused from travelling thus far abroad; their doing so, they said, would be useless. They wrote however both to point out the storm which had risen against the churches, and to hint at the carelessness with which the western bishops had treated it. They also included in their letter a summary of the apostolic doctrine, but the boldness and wisdom of their expressions will be more clearly shown by the letter itself).

Chapter IX.—Synodical Letter from the Council at Constantinople.

“To the right honourable lords our right reverend brethren and colleagues Damasus, Ambrosius, Britton, Valerianus, Ascholius, Ahemius, Basilius and the rest of the holy bishops assembled in the great city of Rome, the holy synod of the orthodox bishops assembled at the great city of Constantinople, sends greeting in the Lord.

“To recount all the sufferings inflicted on us by the power of the Arians, and to attempt to give information to your reverences, as though you were not already well acquainted with them, might seem superfluous. For we do not suppose your piety to hold what is befalling us as of such secondary importance as that you stand in any need of information on matter’s which cannot but evoke your sympathy. Nor indeed were the storms which beset us such as to escape notice from their insignificance. Our persecutions are but of yesterday. The sound of them still rings in the ears alike of those who suffered them and of those whose love made the sufferers’ pain their own. It was but a day or two ago, if I may so say, that some released from chains in foreign lands returned to their own churches through manifold afflictions; of others who had died in exile the relics were brought home; others again, even after their return from exile, found the passion of the heretics still at boiling heat, and, slain by them with stones as was the blessed Stephen, met with a sadder fate in their own than in a stranger’s land. Others, worn away with various cruelties, still bear in their bodies the scars of their wounds and the marks of Christ.34

“Who could tell the tale of fines, of disfranchisements, of individual confiscations, of intrigues, of outrages, of prisons? In truth all kinds of tribulation were wrought out beyond number in us, perhaps because we were paying the penalty of sins, perhaps because the merciful God was trying us by means of the multitude of our sufferings. For these all thanks to God, who by means of such afflictions trained his servants and, according to the multitude of his mercies, brought us again to refreshment. We indeed needed long leisure, time, and toil to restore the church once more, that so, like physicians healing the body after long sickness and expelling its disease by gradual treatment, we might bring her back to her ancient health of true religion. It is true that on the whole we seem to have been delivered from the violence of our persecutions and to be just now recovering the churches which have for a long time been the prey of the heretics. But wolves are troublesome to us who, though they have been driven from the byre, yet harry the flocks up and down the glades, daring to hold rival assemblies, stirring seditions among the people, and shrinking from nothing which can do damage to the churches.

“So, as we have already said, we needs must labour all the longer. Since however you showed your brotherly love to us by inviting us(as though we were your own members) by the letters of our most religious emperor to the synod which you are gathering by divine permission at Rome, to the end that since we alone were then condemned to suffer persecution, you should not now, when our emperors are at one with us as to true religion, reign apart from us, but that we, to use the apostle’s phrase,35 should reign with you, our prayer was, if it were possible, all in company to leave our churches, and rather gratify our longing to see you than consult their needs. For who will give us wings as of a dove, and we will fly and be at rest?36 But this course seemed likely to leave the churches who were just recovering quite undefended, and the undertaking was to most of us impossible, for, in accordance with the letters sent a year ago from your holiness after the synod at Aquileia to the most pious emperor Theodosius, we had journeyed to Constantinople, equipped only for travelling so far as Constantinople, and bringing the consent of the bishops remaining in the provinces for this synod alone. We had been in no expectation of any longer journey nor had heard a word about it before our arrival at Constantinople. In addition to all this, and on account of the narrow limits of the appointed time which allowed of no preparation for a longer journey, nor of communicating with the bishops of our communion in the provinces and of obtaining their consent, the journey to Rome was for the majority impossible. We have therefore adopted the next best course open to us under the circumstances, both for the better administration of the church, and for manifesting our love towards you, by strongly urging our most venerated, and honoured colleagues and brother bishops Cyriacus, Eusebius and Priscianus, to consent to travel to you.

“Through them we wish to make it plain that our disposition is all for peace with unity for its sole object, and that we are full of zeal for the right faith. For we, whether we suffered persecutions, or afflictions, or the threats of emperors, or the cruelties of princes or any other trial at the hands of heretics, have undergone all for the sake of the evangelic faith, ratified by the three hundred and eighteen fathers at Nicaea in Bithynia. This is the faith which ought to be sufficient for you, for us, for all who wrest not the word of the true faith; for it is the ancient faith; it is the faith of our baptism; it is the faith that teaches us to believe in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

“Accordiug to this faith there is one Godhead, Power and Substance of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; the dignity being equal, and the majesty being equal in three perfect essences37 and three perfect persons.38 Thus there is neither room for the heresy of Sabellius by the confusion of the essences or destruction of the individualities; thus the blasphemy of the Eunomians, of the Arians, and of the Pneumatomachi is nullified, which divides the substance, the nature and the godhead and superinduces on the uncreated consubstantial and co-eternal trinity a nature posterior, created and of a different substance. We moreover preserve unperverted the doctrine of the incarnation of the Lord, holding the tradition that the dispensation of the flesh is neither soulless nor mindless nor imperfect; and knowing full well that God’s Word was perfect before the ages, and became perfect than in the last days for our salvation.

“Let this suffice for a summary of the doctrine which is fearlessly and frankly preached by us, and concerning which you will be able to be still further satisfied if you will deign to read the report of the synod of Antioch, and also that issued last year by the oecumenical council held at Constantinople, in which we have set forth our confession of the faith at greater length, and have appended an anathema against the heresies which innovators have recently inscribed.

“Now as to the particular administration of individual churches, an ancient custom, as you know, has obtained, confirmed by the enactment of the holy fathers at Nicaea, that, in every province, the bishops of the province, and, with their consent, the neighbouring bishops with them, should perform ordinations as expediency may require. In conforming with these customs note that other churches have been administered by us and the priests of the most famous churches publicly appointed. Accordingly over the new made (if the expression be allowable) church at Constantinople, which, as though from a lion’s mouth, we have lately snatched by God’s mercy from the blasphemy of the heretics, we have ordained bishop the right reverend and most religious Nectarius, in the presence of the oecumenical council, with common consent, before the most religions emperor Theodosius, and with the assent of all the clergy and of the whole city. And over the most ancient and truly apostolic church in Syria, where first the noble name of Christians39 was given them, the bishops of the province and of the eastern diocese40 have met together and canonically ordained bishop the right reverend and most religious Flavianus, with the consent of all the church, who as though with one voice joined in expressing their respect for him. This rightful ordination also received the sanction of the general council. Of the church at Jerusalem, mother of all the churches, we make known that the right reverend and most religious Cyril is bishop, who was some time ago canonically ordained by the bishops of the province, and has in several places fought a good fight against the Arians. We beseech your reverence to rejoice at what has thus been rightly and canonically settled by us, by the intervention of spiritual love and by the influence of the fear of the Lord, compelling the feelings of then, and making the edification of churches of more importance than individual grace or favour. Thus since among us there is agreement in the faith and Christian charity has been established, we shall cease to use the phrase condemned by the apostles, ‘I am of Paul and I of Apollos and I of Cephas,’41 and all appearing as Christ’s, who in us is not divided, by God’s grace we will keep the body of the church unrent, and will boldly stand at the judgment seat of the Lord.”

These things they wrote against the madness of Arius, Aetius, and Eunomius; and moreover against Sabellius, Photinus, Marcellus, Paul of Samosata, and Macedonius. Similarly they openly condemned the innovation of Apollinarius in the phrase, “And we preserve the doctrine of the incarnation of the Lord, holding the tradition that the dispensation of the flesh is neither soulless, nor mindless, nor imperfect.”

105 Chapter X.—Synodical Letter of Damasus Bishop of Rome Against Apollinarius and Timotheus.

When the most praiseworthy. Damasus had heard of the rise of this heresy, he proclaimed the condemnation not only of Apollinarius but also of Timotheus his follower. The letter in which he made this known to the bishops of the Eastern empire I have thought it well to insert in my history.

Letter of Damasus bishop of Rome.

“Most honourable sons: Inasmuch as your love renders to the apostolic see the reverence which is its due, accept the same in no niggard measure for yourselves.42 For even though in the holy church in which the holy apostle sat, and taught us how it becomes us to manage the rudder which has been committed to us, we nevertheless confess ourselves to be unworthy of the honour, we yet on this very account strive by every means within our power if haply we may be able to achieve the glory of that blessedness. Know then that we have condemned Timotheus, the unhallowed, the disciple of Apollinarius the heretic, together with his impious doctrine, and are confident that for the future his remains will have no weight whatever. But if that old serpent, though smitten once and again, still revives to his own destruction, who though he exists without the church never ceases from the attempt by his deadly venom to overthrow certain unfaithful men, do you avoid it as you would a pest, mindful ever of the apostolic faith—that, I mean, which was set out in writing by the Fathers at Nicaea; do you remain on steady ground, firm and unmoved in the faith, and henceforward suffer neither your clergy nor laity to listen to vain words and futile questions, for we have already given a form, that he who professes himself a Christian may keep it, the form delivered by the Apostles, as says St. Paul, ‘if any one preach to you another gospel than that you have received let him be Anathema.’43 For Christ the Son of God, our Lord, gave by his own passion abundant salvation to the race of men, that he might free from all sin the whole man involved in sin. If any one speaks of Christ as having had less of manhood or of Godhead, he is full of devils‘ spirits, and proclaims himself a child of hell.

“Why then do you again ask me for the condemnation of Timotheus? Here, by the judgment of the apostolic see, in the presence of Peter, bishop of Alexandria, he was condemned, together with his teacher, Apollinarius, who will also in the day of judgment undergo due punishment and torment. But if he succeeds in persuading some less stable men, as though having some hope, after by his confession changing the true hope which is in Christ, with him shall likewise perish whoever of set purpose withstands the order of the Church. May God keep you sound, most honoured sons.”

The bishops assembled in great Rome also wrote other things against other heresies which I have thought it necessary to insert in my history.

Chapter XI.—A Confession of the Catholic Faith Which Pope Damasus Sent to Bishop Paulinus in Macedonia When He Was at Thessalonica.

After the Council of Nicaea there sprung up this error. Certain men ventured with profane mouths to say that the Holy Spirit is made through the Son. We therefore anathematize those who do not with all freedom preach that the Holy Spirit is of one and the same substance and power with the Father and the Son. In like manner we anathematize them that follow the error of Sabellius and say that the Father and the Son are the same. We anathematize Arius and Eunomius who with equal impiety, though with differences of phrase, maintain the Son and the Holy Spirit to be a creature. We anathematize the Macedonians who, produced froth the root of Arius, have changed the name but not the impiety. We anathematize Photinus who, renewing the heresy of Ebion, confessed that our Lord Jesus Christ was only of Mary.44 We anathematize them that maintain that there are two sons—one before the ages and another after the assumption of the flesh from Mary. We anathematize also all who maintain that the Word of God moved in human flesh instead of a reasonable soul. For this Word of God Himself was not in His own body instead of a reasonable and intellectual soul, but assumed and saved our soul, both reasonable and intellectual, without sin.45 We anathematize also them that say that the Word of God is separated from the Father by extension and contraction, and blasphemously affirm that He is without essential being or is destined to die.

Them that have gone from churches to other churches we so far hold alien from our communion till they shall have returned to those cities in which they were first ordained.

If any one, when another has gone from place to place, has been ordained in his stead, let him who abandoned his own city be held deprived of his episcopal rank until such time as his successor shall rest in the Lord.

If any one denies that the Father is eternal and the Son eternal and the Holy Ghost eternal, let him be anathema.

106 If any one denies that the Son was begotten of the Father, that is of His divine substance, let him be anathema.

If any one denies that the Son of God is very God, omnipotent and omniscient, and equal to the Father, let him be anathema.

If any one says that the Son of God, living in the flesh when he was on the earth, was not in heaven and with the Father, let him be anathema.46

If any one says that in the Passion of the Cross the Son of God sustained its pain by Godhead, and not by reasonable soul and flesh which He bad assumed in the form of a servant,47 as saith the Holy Scripture, let him be anathema.

If any one denies that the Word of God suffered in the flesh and tasted death in the flesh, and was the first-born of the dead,48 as the Son is life and giver of life, let him be anathema.

If any one deny that He sits on the right hand of the Father in the flesh which He assumed, and in which He shall come to judge. quick and dead, let him be anathema.

If any one deny that the Holy Spirit is truly and absolutely of the Father, and that the Son is of the divine substance and very God of God,49 let him be anathema.

If any one deny that the Holy Spirit is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, as also the Son of the Father, let him be anathema.

If any one say that the Holy Spirit is a created being or was made through the Son, let him be anathema.

If any one deny that the Father made all things visible and invisible, through the Son who was made Flesh, and the Holy Spirit, let him be anathema.

If any one deny one Godhead and power, one sovereignty and glory, one lordship, out kingdom, will and truth of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, let him be anathema.

107 If any one deny three very persons of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, living for ever, containing all things visible and invisible, omnipotent, judging all things, giving life to all things, creating all things and preserving all things,50 let him be anathema.

If any one denies that the Holy Ghost is to be worshipped by all creation, as the Son, and as the Father, let him be anathema.

If any one shall think aright about the Father and the Son but does not hold aright about the Holy Ghost, anathema, because he is a heretic, for all the heretics who do not think aright about God the Son and about the Holy Ghost are convicted of being involved in the unbelief of the Sews and the heathen; and if any one shall divide Godhead, saying that the Father is God apart and the Son God, and the Holy Ghost God, and should persist that they are called Gods and not God, on account of the one Godhead and sovereignty which we believe and know there to be of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost—one God in three essences,51 —or withdrawing the Son and the Holy Ghost so as to suggest that the Father alone is called God and believed in as one God, let him be anathema.

For the name of gods has been bestowed by God upon angels and all saints, but of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost on account of their one and equal Godhead, not the names of “gods” but the name of “our God” is predicated and proclaimed, that we may believe that we are baptized in Father and Son and Holy Ghost and not in the names of archangels or angels, like the heretics or the Jews or foolish heathen.

This is the salvation of the Christians that believing in the Trinity, that is in the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, and being baptized into the same one Godhead and power and divinity and substance, in Him we may trust.

These events happened during the life of Gratianus.

Chapter XII.—Of the Death of Gratianus and the Sovereignty of Maximus.

Gratianus in the midst of his successes in war and wise and prudent government ended his life by conspiracy.52 He left no sons to inherit the empire, and a brother of the same name as their father, Valentinianus,53 who was quite a youth. So Maximus,54 in contempt of the youth of Valentinianus, seized the throne of the West.

Chapter XIII.—Of Justina, the Wife of Valentinianus, and of Her Plot Against Ambrosius.

At this time Justina,55 wife of Valentinianus the great, and mother of the young prince, made known to her son the seeds of the Arian teaching which she had long ago received. Well knowing the warmth of her consort’s faith she had endeavoured to conceal her sentiments during the whole of his life, but perceiving that her son’s character was gentle and docile, she took courage to bring her deceitful doctrine forward. The lad supposed his mother’s counsels to be wise and beneficial, for nature so disposed the bait that he could not see the deadly hook below. He first communicated on the subject with Ambrosius, under the impression that, if he could persuade the bishop, he would be able without difficulty to prevail over the rest. Ambrosius, however, strove to remind him of his father’s piety, and exhorted him to keep inviolate the heritage which he had received. He explained to him also how one doctrine differed from the other, how the one is in agreement with the teaching of the Lord and with the teaching of his apostles, while the other is totally opposed to it and at war with the code of the laws of the spirit.

The young man, as young men will. spurred on moreover by a mother herself the victim of deceit, not only did not assent to the arguments adduced, but lost his temper, and, in a passion, was for surrounding the approaches to the church with companies of legionaries and targeteers. When, however, he learnt that this illustrious champion was not in the least alarmed at his proceedings, for Ambrosius treated them all like the ghosts and hobgoblins with which some men try to frighten babies, he was exceedingly angry and publicly ordered him to depart from the church. “I shall not,” said Ambrosius, “do so willingly. I will not yield the sheepfold to the wolves nor betray God’s temple to blasphemers. If you wish to slay me drive your sword or your spear into me here within. I shall welcome such a death.”56

108 Chapter XIV.—Of the Information Given by Maximus the Tyrant to Valentinianus.

After a considerable time Maximus57 was informed of the attacks which were being made upon the loud-voiced herald of the truth, and he sent dispatches to Valentinianus charging him to put a stop to his war against true religion and exhorting him not to abandon his father’s faith. In the event of his advice being disregarded he further threatened war, and confirmed what he wrote by what he did,58 for he mustered his forces and marched for Milan where Valentinianus was then residing. When the latter heard of his approach he fled into Illyricum.59 He had learnt by experience what good he had got by following his mother’s advice.

Chapter XV.—Of the Letter Written by the Emperor Theodosius Concerning the Same.

When the illustrious emperor Theodosius had heard of the emperor’s doings and what the tyrant Maximus had written to him he wrote to the fugitive youth to this effect: You must not be astonished if to you has come panic and to your enemy victory; for you have been fighting against piety, and he on its side. You abandoned it, and are running away naked. He in its panoply is getting the mastery of you stripped bare of it, for He who hath given us the law of true religion is ever on its side.

(So wrote Theodosius when he was yet afar off; but when he had heard of Valentinian’s flight, and had come to his aid, and saw him an exile, taking refuge in his own empire, his first thought was to give succour to his soul, drive out the intruding pestilence of impiety, and win him back to the true religion of his fathers. Then he bade him be of good cheer and marched against the tyrant. He gave the lad his empire again without loss of blood and slew Maximus. For he felt that he should be guilty of wrong and should violate the terms of his treaty with Gratianus were be not to take vengeance on those who had caused his ally’s death.60

Chapter XVI.—Of Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium.

On the emperor’s return the admirable Amphilochius, whom I have often mentioned, came to beg that the Arian congregations might be expelled from the cities. The emperor thought the petition too severe, and refused it. The very wise Amphilochius at the moment was silent, for he had hit upon a memorable device. The next time he entered the Palace and beheld standing at the emperor’s side his son Arcadius, who had lately been appointed emperor, he saluted Theodosius as was his wont, but did no honour to Arcadius. The emperor, thinking that this neglect was due to forgetfulness, commanded Amphilochius to approach and to salute his son. “Sir,” said he, “the honour which I have paid you is enough.” Theodosius was indignant at the discourtesy, and said, “Dishonour done to my son is a rudeness to myself.” Then, and not till then, the very wise Amphilochius disclosed the object of his conduct, and said with a loud voice, “You see, sir, that you do not brook dishonour done your son, and are bitterly angry with those who are rude to him. Believe then that the God of all the world abominates them that blaspheme the Only begotten Son, and hates them as ungrateful to their Saviour and Benefactor.”

Then the emperor understood the bishop’s drift, and admired both what he had done and what he had said. Without further delay he put out an edict forbidding the congregations of heretics.61

But to escape all the snares of the common enemy of mankind is no easy task. Often it happens that one who has kept clear of lascivious passion is fixed fast in the toils of avarice; and if he prove superior to greed there on the other side is the pitfall of envy, and even if he leap safe over this he will find a net of passion waiting for him on the other side.. Other innumerable stumbling blocks the enemy sets in men’s paths, trying to catch them to their ruin.62

Then he has at his disposal the bodily passions to help the wiles which he lays against the soul. The mind alone, if it keep awake, gets the better of him, frustrating the assault of his devices by its inclination to what is Divine. Now, since this admirable emperor had his share of human nature,63 and was not free from its emotions, his righteous anger passed the bounds of moderation, and caused the perpetration of a savage and lawless deed. I must tell this story for the sake of those into whose hands it will fall; it does not, indeed, only involve blame of the admirable emperor, but so redounds to his credit as to deserve to be remembered).

Chapter XVII.—Of the Massacre of Thessalonica; The Boldness of Bishop Ambrosius, and the Piety of the Emperor.

109 Thessalonica is a large and very populous city, belonging to Macedonia, but the capital of Thessaly and Achaia, as well as of many other provinces which are governed by the prefect of Illyricum. Here arose a great sedition, and several of the magistrates were stoned and violently treated.64

The emperor was fired with anger when he heard the news, and unable to endure the rush of his passion, did not even check its onset by the curb of reason, but allowed his rage to be the minister of his vengeance. When the imperial passion had received its authority, as though itself an independent prince, it broke the bonds and yoke of reason unsheathed swords of injustice right and left without distinction, and slew innocent and guilty together. No trial preceded the sentence. No condemnation was passed on the perpetrators of the crimes. Multitudes were mowed down like ears of corn in harvest-tide. It is said that seven thousand perished.

News of this lamentable calamity reached Ambrosius. The emperor on his arrival at Milan wished according to custom to enter the church. Ambrosius met him outside the outer porch and forbade him to step over the sacred threshold. “You seem, sir, not to know,” said he, “the magnitude of the bloody deed that has been done. Your rage has subsided, but your reason has not yet recognised the character of the deed. Peradventure your Imperial power prevents your recognising the sin, and power stands in the light of reason. We must however know how our nature passes away and is subject to death; we must know the ancestral dust from which we sprang, and to which we are swiftly returning. We must not because we are dazzled by the sheen of the purple fail to see the weakness of the body that it robes. You are a sovereign, Sir, of men of like nature with your own, and who are in truth your fellow slaves; for there is one Lord and Sovereign of mankind, Creator of the Universe. With what eyes then will you look on the temple of our common Lord—with what feet will you tread that holy threshold, how will you stretch forth your hands still dripping with the blood of unjust slaughter? How in such hands will you receive the all holy Body of the Lord? How will you who in your rage unrighteously poured forth so much blood lift to your lips the precious Blood? Begone. Attempt not to add another crime to that which you have committed. Submit to the restriction to which the God the Lord of all agrees that you be sentenced. He will be your physician, He will give you health.”65

Educated as he had been in the sacred oracles, Theodosius knew clearly what belonged to priests and what to emperors. He therefore bowed to the rebuke of Ambrose, and retired sighing and weeping to the palace. After a considerable time, when eight months had passed away, the festival of our Saviour’s birth came round and the emperor sat in his palace shedding a storm of tears.

Now Rufinus, at that time controller of the household,66 and, from his familiarity with his imperial master, able to use great freedom of speech, approached and asked him why he wept. With a bitter groan and yet more abundant weeping “You are trifling, Rufinus,” said the emperor, “because you do not feel my troubles. I am groaning and lamenting at the thought of my own calamity; for menials and for beggars the way into the church lies open; they can go in without fear, and put up their petitions to their own Lord. I dare not set my foot there, and besides this for me the door of heaven is shut, for I remember the voice of the Lord which plainly says, ‘Whatsoever ye bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven.’”67

Rufinus replied “With your permission I will hasten to the bishop, and by my entreaties induce him to remit your penalty.” “He will not yield” said the emperor. “I know the justice of the sentence passed by Ambrose, nor will he ever be moved by respect for my imperial power to transgress the law of God.”

Rufinus urged his suit again and again, promising to win over Ambrosius; and at last the emperor commanded him to go with all despatch. Then, the victim of false hopes, Theodosius, in reliance on the promises of Rufinus, followed in person, himself. No sooner did the divine Ambrose perceive Rufinus than he exclaimed, “Rufinus, your impudence matches a dog’s, for you were the adviser of this terrible slaughter; you have wiped shame from your brow, and guilty as you are of this mad outrage on the image of God you stand here fearless, without a blush.” Then Rufinus began to beg and pray, and announced the speedy approach of the emperor. Fired with divine zeal the holy Ambrosius exclaimed “Rufinus, I tell you beforehand; I shall prevent him from crossing the sacred threshold. If he is for changing his sovereign power into that of a tyrant I too will gladly submit to a violent death.” On this Rufinus sent a messenger to inform the emperor in what mind the archbishop was, and exhorted him to remain within the palace. Theodosius had already reached the middle of the forum when he received the message. “I will go,” said he, “and accept the disgrace I deserve.” He advanced to the sacred precincts but did not enter the holy building. The archbishop was seated in the house of salutation68 and there the emperor approached him and besought that his bonds might be loosed.

“Your coming” said Ambrose “is the coming of a tyrant. You are raging against God; you are trampling on his laws.” “No,” said Theodosius, “I do not attack laws laid down, I do not seek wrongfully to cross the sacred threshold; but I ask you to loose my bond, to take into account the mercy of our common Lord, and not to shut against me a door which our master has opened for all them that repent.” The archbishop replied “What repentance have you shown since your tremendous crime? You have inflicted wounds right hard to heal; what salve have you applied?” “Yours” said the emperor “is the duty alike of pointing out and of mixing the salve. It is for me to receive what is given me.” Then said the divine Ambrosius “You let your passion minister justice, your passion not your reason gives judgment. Put forth therefore an edict which shall make the sentence of your passion null and void; let the sentences which have been published inflicting death or confiscation be suspended for thirty days awaiting the judgment of reason. When the days shall have elapsed let them that wrote the sentences exhibit their orders, and then, and not till then, when passion has calmed down, reason acting as sole judge shall examine the sentences and will see whether they be right or wrong. If it find them wrong it will cancel the deeds; if they be righteous it will confirm them, and the interval of time will inflict no wrong on them that have been rightly condemned.”

This suggestion the emperor accepted and thought it admirable. He ordered the edict to be put out forthwith and gave it the authority of his sign manual. On this the divine Ambrosius loosed the bond.

Now the very faithful emperor came boldly within the holy temple but did not pray to his Lord standing, or even on his knees, but lying prone upon the ground he tittered David’s cry “My soul cleaveth unto the dust, quicken thou me according to thy word.”69

(He plucked out his hair; he smote his head; he besprinkled the ground with drops of tears and prayed for pardon. When the time came for him to bring his oblations to the holy table, weeping all the while he stood up and approached the sanctuary.70

110 After making his offering, as he was wont, he remained within at the rail, but once more the great Ambrosius kept not silence and taught him the distinction of places. First he asked him if he wanted anything; and when the emperor said that he was waiting for participation in the divine mysteries, Ambrose sent word to him by the chief deacon and said, “The inner place, sir, is open only to priests; to all the rest it is inaccessible; go out and stand where others stand; purple can make emperors, but not priests.” This instruction too the faithful emperor most gladly received, and intimated in reply that it was not from any audacity that he had remained within the rails, but because he had understood that this was the custom at Constantinople. “I owe thanks,” he added, “for being cured too of this error.”

(So both the archbishop and the emperor showed a mighty shining light of virtue. Both to me are admirable; the former for his brave words, the latter for his docility; the archbishop for the warmth of his zeal, and the prince for the purity of his faith.

On his return to Constantinople Theodosius kept within the bounds of piety which he had learnt from the great archbishop. For when the occasion of a feast brought him once again into the divine temple, after bringing his gifts to the holy table he straightway went out. The bishop at that time was Nectarius, and on his asking the emperor what could possibly be the reason of his not remaining within, Theodosius answered with a sigh “I have learnt after great difficulty the differences between an emperor and a priest. It is not easy to find a man capable of teaching me the truth. Ambrosius alone deserves the title of bishop.”

(So great is the gain of conviction when brought home by a man of bright and shining goodness.

Chapter XVIII.—Of the Empress Placilla.71

Yet other opportunities of improvement lay within the emperor’s reach, for his wife used constantly to put him in mind of the divine laws in which she had first carefully educated herself. In no way exalted by her imperial rank she was rather fired by it with greater longing for divine things. The greatness of the good gift given her made her love for Him who gave it all the greater, so she bestowed every kind of attention on the maimed and the mutilated, declining all aid from her household and her guards, herself visiting the houses where the sufferers lodged, and providing every one with what he required. She also went about the guest chambers of the churches and ministered to the wants of the sick, herself handling pots and pans, and tasting broth, now bringing in a dish and breaking bread and offering morsels, and washing out a cup and going through all the other duties which are supposed to be proper to servants and maids. To them who strove to restrain her from doing these things with her own hands she would say, “It befits a sovereign to distribute gold; I, for the sovereign power that has been given me, am giving my own service to the Giver.” To her husband, too, she was ever wont to say, “Husband, you ought always to bethink you what you were once and what you have become now; by keeping this constantly in mind you will never grow ungrateful to your benefactor, but will guide in accordance with law the empire bestowed upon you, and thus you will worship Him who gave it.” By ever using language of this kind, she with fair and wholesome care, as it were, watered the seeds of virtue planted in her husband’s heart.

She died before her husband, and not long after the time of her death events occurred which showed how well her husband loved her.

Chapter XIX.—Of the Sedition of Antioch.72

In consequence of his continual wars the emperor was compelled to impose heavy taxes on the cities of the empire.73

The city of Antioch refused to put up with the new tax, and when the people saw the victims of its exaction subjected to torture and indignity, then, in addition to the usual deeds which a mob is wont to do when it is seizing an opportunity for disorder, they pulled down the bronze statue of the illustrious Placilla, for so was the empress named, and dragged it over a great part of the town.74 On being informed of these events the emperor, as was to be expected, was indignant. He then deprived the city of her privileges, and gave her dignity to her neighbour, with the idea that thus he could inflict on her the greatest indignity, for Antioch from the earliest times had had a rival in Laodicea.75 He further threatened to burn and destroy the town and reduce it to the rank of a village. The magistrates however had arrested some men in the very act, and had put them to death before the tragedy came to the emperor’s ears. All these orders bad been given by the Emperor, but had not been carried out because of the restriction imposed by the edict which had been made by the advice of the great Ambrosius.76 On the arrival of the commissioners who brought the emperor’s threats, Elebichus, then a military commander, and Caesarius prefect of the palace, styled by the Romans magister officiorum,77 the whole population shuddered in consternation. But the athletes of virtue,78 dwelling at the foot of the hill, of whom at that time there were many of the best, made many supplications and entreaties to the imperial officers. The most holy Macedonius, who was quite unversed in the things of this life, and altogether ignorant of the sacred oracles, living on the tops of the mountains, and night and day offering up pure prayers to the Saviour of all, was not in the least dismayed at the imperial violence, nor at all affected by the power of the commissioners. As they rode into the middle of the town he caught hold of one of them by the cloak and bade both of them dismount. At the sight of a little old man, clad in common rags, they were at first indignant, but some of those who were conducting them informed them of the high character of Macedonius, and then they sprang from their horses, caught hold of his knees, and asked his pardon. The old man, urged on by divine wisdom, spoke to them in the following terms: “Say, dear sirs, to the emperor; you are not only an emperor, you are also a man. Bethink you, therefore, not only of your sovereignty, but also of your nature. You are a man, and you reign over your fellow men. Now the nature of man is formed after the image and likeness of God. Do not, therefore, thus savagely and cruelly order the massacre of God’s image, for by punishing His image you will anger the Maker. Think how you are acting thus in your wrath for the sake of a brazen image. Now all who are endued with reason know how far a lifeless image is inferior to one alive and gifted with soul and sense. Take into account, too, that for one image of bronze we can easily make many more. Even you yourself cannot make one single hair of the slain.”

After the good men had heard these words they reported them to the emperor, and quenched the flame of his rage. Instead of his threats he wrote a defence, and explained the cause of his anger. “It was not right,” said he, “because I was in error, that indignity should be inflicted after her death on a woman so worthy of the highest praise. They that were aggrieved ought to have armed their anger against me.” The emperor further added that he was grieved and distressed when he heard that some had been executed by the magistrates. In relating these events I have had a twofold object. I did not think it right to leave in oblivion the boldness of the illustrious monk, and I wished to point out the advantage of the edict which was put out by the advice of the great Ambrosius.79

Chapter XX.

111 Of the destruction of the temples all over the Empire.

Now the right faithful emperor diverted his energies to resisting paganism, and published edicts in which he ordered the shrines of the idols to be destroyed. Constantine the Great, most worthy of all eulogy, was indeed the first to grace his empire with true religion; and when he saw the world still given over to foolishness he issued a general prohibition against the offering of sacrifices to the idols. He had not, however, destroyed the temples, though he ordered them to be kept shut. His sons followed in their father’s footsteps. Julian restored the false faith and rekindled the flame of the ancient fraud. On the accession of Jovian he once more placed an interdict on the worship of idols, and Valentinian the Great governed Europe with like laws. Valens, however, allowed every one else to worship any way they would and to honour their various objects of adoration. Against the champions of the Apostolic decrees alone he persisted in waging war. Accordingly during the whole period of his reign the altar fire was lit, libations and sacrifices were offered to idols, public feasts were celebrated in the forum, and votaries initiated in the orgies of Dionysus ran about in goat-skins, mangling hounds in Bacchic frenzy, and generally behaving in such a way as to show the iniquity of their master. When the right faithful Theodosius found all these evils he pulled them up by the roots, and consigned them to oblivion.80

Chapter XXI.—Of Marcellus, Bishop of Apamea, and the Idols’ Temples Destroyed by Him.

The first of the bishops to put the edict in force and destroy the shrines in the city committed to his care was Marcellus, trusting rather in God than in the hands of a multitude. The occurrence is remarkable, and I shall proceed to narrate it. On the death of John, bishop of Apamea, whom I have already mentioned, the divine Marcellus, fervent in spirit,81 according to the apostolic law, was appointed in his stead.

Now there had arrived at Apamea the prefect of the East82 with two tribunes and their troops. Fear of the troops kept the people quiet. An attempt was made to destroy the vast and magnificent shrine of Jupiter, but the building was so firm and solid that to break up its closely compacted stones seemed beyond the power of man; for they were huge and well and truly laid, and moreover clamped fast with iron and lead.83

When the divine Marcellus saw that the prefect was afraid to begin the attack, he sent him on to the rest of the towns; while he himself prayed to God to aid him in the work of destruction. Next morning there came uninvited to the bishop a man who was no builder, or mason, or artificer of any kind, but only a labourer who carried stones and timber on his back. “Give me,” said he, “two workmen’s pay; and I promise you I will easily destroy the temple.” The holy bishop did as he was asked, and the following was the fellow’s contrivance. Round the four sides of the temple went a portico united to it, and on which its upper story rested.84 The columns were of great bulk, commensurate with the temple, each being sixteen cubits in circumference. The quality of the stone was exceptionally hard, and offering great resistance to the masons’ tools. In each of these the man made an opening all round, propping up the superstructure with olive timber before he went on to another. After he had hollowed out three of the columns, he set fire to the timbers. But a black demon appeared and would not suffer the wood to be consumed, as it naturally would be, by the fire, and stayed the force of the flame. After the attempt had been made several times, and the plan was proved ineffectual, news of the failure was brought to the bishop, who was taking his noontide sleep. Marcellus forthwith hurried to the church, ordered water to be poured into a pail, and placed the water upon the divine altar. Then, bending his head to the ground, he besought the loving Lord in no way to give in to the usurped power of the demon, but to lay bare its weakness and exhibit His own strength, lest unbelievers should henceforth find excuse for greater wrong. With these and other like words he made the sign of the cross over the water, and ordered Equitius, one of his deacons, who was armed with faith and enthusiasm, to take the water and sprinkle it in faith, and then apply the flame. His orders were obeyed, and the demon, unable to endure the approach of the water, fled. Then the fire, affected by its foe the water as though it had been oil, caught the wood, and consumed it in an instant. When their support had vanished the columns themselves fell down, and dragged other twelve with them. The side of the temple which was connected with the columns was dragged down by the violence of their fall, and carried away with them. The crash, whichwas tremendous, was heard throughout the town, and all ran to see the sight. No sooner did the multitude hear of the flight of the hostile demon than they broke out into a hymn of praise to God.

Other shrines were destroyed in like manner by this holy bishop. Though I have many other most admirable doings of this holy man to relate,—for he wrote letters to the victorious martyrs, and received replies from them, and himself won the martyr’s crown,—for the present I hesitate to narrate them, lest by over prolixity I weary the patience of those into whose hands my history may fall.

I will therefore now pass to another subject.

Chapter XXII.—Of Theophilus, Bishop of Alexandria, and What Happened at the Demolition of the Idols in that City.

The illustrious Athanasius was succeeded by the admirable Petrus, Petrus by Timotheus, and Timotheus by Theophilus, a man of sound wisdom and of a lofty courage.85 By him Alexandria was set free from the error of idolatry; for, not content with razing the idols’ temples to the ground, he exposed the tricks of the priests to the victims of their wiles. For they had constructed statues of bronze and wood hollow within, and fastened the backs of them to the temple walls, leaving in these walls certain invisible openings. Then coming up from their secret chambers they got inside the statues, and through them gave any order they liked and the hearers, tricked and cheated, obeyed.86 These tricks the wise Theophilus exposed to the people.

Moreover he went up into the temple of Serapis, which has been described by some as excelling in size and beauty all the temples in the world.87 There he saw a huge image of which the bulk struck beholders with terror, increased by a lying report which got abroad that if any one approached it, there would be a great earthquake, and that all the people would be destroyed. The bishop looked on all these tales as the mere drivelling of tipsy old women, and in utter derision of the lifeless monster’s enormous size, he told a man who had an axe to give Serapis a good blow with it.88 No sooner had the man struck, than all the folk cried out, for they were afraid of the threatened catastrophe. Serapis however, who had received the blow, felt no pain, inasmuch as he was made of wood, and uttered never a word, since he was a lifeless block. His head was cut off, and forthwith out ran multitudes of mice, for the Egyptian god was a dwelling place for mice. Serapis was broken into small pieces of which some were committed to the flames, but his head was carried through all the town in sight of his worshippers, who mocked the weakness of him to whom they had bowed the knee.

112 Thus all over the world the shrines of the idols were destroyed.89

Chapter XXIII.—Of Flavianus Bishop of Antioch and of the Sedition Which Arose in the Western Church on Account of Paulinus.

At Antioch the great Meletius had been succeeded by Flavianus who, together with Diodorus, had undergone great struggles for the salvation of the sheep. Paulinus had indeed desired to receive the bishopric, but he was withstood by the clergy on the ground that it was not right that Meletius at his death should be succeeded by one who did not share his opinions, and that to the care of the flock ought to be advanced he who was conspicuous for many toils, and had run the risk of many perils for the sheeps’ sake. Thus a lasting hostility arose among the Romans and the Egyptians against the East, and the ill feeling was not even destroyed on the death of Paulinus. After him when Evagrius had occupied his see, hostility was still shewn to the great Flavianus, notwithstanding the fact that the promotion of Evagrius was a violation of the law of the Church, for he had been promoted by Paulinus alone in disregard of many canons. For a dying bishop is not permitted to ordain another to take his place, and all the bishops of a province are ordered to be convened; again no ordination of a bishop is permitted to take place without three bishops. Nevertheless they refused to take cognizance of any of these laws, embraced the communion of Evagrius, and filled the ears of the emperor with complaints against Flavianus, so that, being frequently importuned, he summoned him to Constantinople, and ordered him to repair to Rome.

Flavianus, however, urged in reply that it was now winter, and promised to obey the command in spring. He then returned home. But when the bishops of Rome, not only the admirable Damasus, but also Siricius his successor and Anastasius the successor of Siricius, importuned the emperor more vehemently and represented that, while he put down the rivals against his own authority, he suffered bold rebels against the laws of Christ to maintain their usurped authority, then he sent for him again and tried to force him to undertake the journey to Rome. On this Flavianus in his great wisdom spoke very boldly, and said, “If, sir, there are some who accuse me of being unsound in the faith, or of life and conversation unworthy of the priesthood, I will accept my accusers themselves for judges, and will submit to whatever sentence they may give. But if they are contending about see and primacy I will not contest the point; I will not oppose those who wish to take them; I will give way and resign my bishopric. So, sir, give the episcopal throne of Antioch to whom you will.”

The emperor admired his manliness and wisdom, and bade him go home again, and tend the church committed to his care.

After a considerable time had elapsed the emperor arrived at Rome, and once more encountered the charges advanced by the bishops on the ground that he was making no attempt to put down the tyranny of Flavianus. The emperor ordered them to set forth the nature of the tyranny, saying that he himself was Flavianus and had become his protector. The bishops rejoined that it was impossible for them to dispute with the emperor. He then exhorted them in future to join the churches in concord, put an end to the quarrel, and quench the fires of an useless controversy. Paulinus, he pointed out, had long since departed this life; Evagrius had been irregularly promoted; the eastern churches accepted Flavianus as their bishop. Not only the east but all Asia. Pontius, and Thrace were united in communion with him, and all Illyricum recognised his authority over the oriental bishops. In submission to these counsels the western bishops promised to bring their hostility to a close and to receive the envoys who should he sent them.

When Flavianus had been informed of this decision he despatched to Rome certain worthy bishops with presbyters and deacons of Antioch, giving the chief authority among them to Acacius bishop of Beroea, who was famous throughout the world. On the arrival of Acacius and his party at Rome they put an end to the protracted quarrel, and after a war of seventeen years90 gave peace to the churches. When the Egyptians were informed of the reconciliation they too gave up their opposition, and gladly accepted the agreement which was made.

At that time Anastasius had been succeeded in the primacy of the Roman Church by Innocent, a man of prudence and ready wit. Theophilus, whom I have previously mentioned, held the see of Alexandria.91

Chapter XXIV.—Of the Tyranny of Eugenius and the Victory Won Through Faith by the Emperor Theodosius.

In this manner the peace of the churches was secured by the most religious emperor. Before the establishment of peace he had heard of the death of Valentinianus and of the usurpation of Eugenius and had marched for Europe.92

At this time there lived in Egypt93 a man of the name of John, who had embraced the ascetic life. Being full of spiritual grace, he foretold many future events to persons who from time to time came to consult him. To him the Christ-loving emperor sent, in his anxiety to know whether he ought to make war against the tyrants. In the case of the former war he foretold a bloodless victory. In that of the second he predicted that the emperor would only win after a great slaughter. With this expectation the emperor set out, and, while drawing up his forces, shot down many of his opponents, but lost many of his barbarian allies.94

113 When his generals represented that the forces on their side were few and recommended him to allow some pause in the campaign, so as to muster an army at the beginning of spring and out-number the enemy, Theodosius refused to listen to their advice. “For it is wrong,” said he, “to charge the Cross of Salvation with such infirmity, for it is the cross which leads our troops, and attribute such power to the image of Hercules which is at the head of the forces of our foe.” Thus in right faith he spoke, though the men left him were few in number and much discouraged. Then when he had found a little oratory, on the top of the hill where his camp was pitched, be spent the whole night in prayer to the God of all.

About cock-crow sleep overcame him, and as he lay upon the ground he thought he saw two men in white raiment riding upon white horses, who bade him be of good cheer, drive away his fear, and at dawn arm and marshal his men for battle. “For,” said they, “we have been sent to fight for you,” and one said, “I am Jn the evangelist,” and the other, “I am Philip the apostle.”

After he had seen this vision the emperor ceased not his supplication, but pursued it with still greater eagerness. The vision was also seen by a soldier in the ranks who reported it to his centurion. The centurion brought him to the tribune, and the tribune to the general. The general supposed that he was relating something new, and reported the story to the emperor. Then said Theodosius, “Not for my sake has this vision been seen by this man, for I have put my trust in them that promised me the victory. But that none may have supposed me to have invented this vision, because of my eagerness for the battle, the protector of my empire has given the information to this man too, that he may bear witness to the truth of what I say when I tell you that first to me did our Lord vouchsafe this vision. Let us then fling aside our fear. Let us follow our front rank and our generals. Let none weigh the chance of victory by the number of the men engaged, but let every man bethink him of the power of the leaders.”

(He spoke in similar terms to his men, and after thus inspiring all his host with high hope, led them down from the crest of the hill. The tyrant saw the army coming to attack him from a distance, and then armed his forces and drew them up for battle. He himself remained on some elevated ground, and said that the emperor was desirous of death, and was coming into battle because he wished to be released from this present life: so he ordered his generals to bring him alive and in chains. When the forces were drawn up in battle array those of the enemy appeared by far the more numerous, and the tale of the emperor’s troops might be easily told. But when both sides had begun to discharge their weapons the front rank proved their promises true. A violent wind blew right in the faces of the foe, and diverted their arrows and javelins and spears, so that no missile was of any use to them, and neither trooper nor archer nor spearman was able to inflict any damage upon the emperor’s army. Vast clouds of dust, too, were carried into their faces, compelling them to shut their eyes and protect them from attack. The imperial forces on the other hand did not receive the slightest injury from the storm, and vigorously attacked and slew the foe. The vanquished then recognised the divine help given to their conquerors, flung away their arms, and begged the emperor for quarter. Theodosius then yielded to their entreaty and had compassion on them, and ordered them to bring the tyrant immediately before him. Eugenius was ignorant of how the day had gone, and when he saw his men running up the hillock where he sat, all out of breath, and shewing their eagerness by their panting, he took them for messengers of victory, and asked if they had brought Theodosius in chains, as he had ordered. “No,” said they, “we are not bringing him to you, but we are come to carry you off to him, for so the great Ruler has ordained.” Even as they spoke they lifted him from his chariot, put chains upon him, and carried him off thus fettered, and led away the vain boaster of a short hour ago, now a prisoner of war.

The emperor reminded him of the wrongs he had done Valentinianus, of his usurped authority, and of the wars which he had waged against the rightful emperor. He ridiculed also the figure of Hercules and the foolish confidence it had inspired and at last pronounced the sentence of right and lawful punishment.

Such was Theodosius in peace and in war, ever asking and never refused the help of God.95

Chapter XXV.—Of the Death of the Emperor Theodosius.96

After this victory Theodosius fell sick and divided his empire between his sons, assigning to the elder the sovereignty which he had wielded himself and to the younger the throne of Europe.97

(He charged both to hold fast to the true religion, “for by its means,” said he, “peace is preserved, war is stopped, foes are routed, trophies are set up and victory is proclaimed.” After giving this charge to his sons he died, leaving behind him imperishable fame.

 His successors in the empire were also inheritors of his piety.

Chapter XXVI.—Of Honorius the Emperor and Telemachus the Monk.

114 Honorius, who inherited the empire of Europe, put a stop to the gladiatorial combats which had long been held at Rome. The occasion of his doing so arose from the following circumstance. A certain man of the name of Telemachus had embraced the ascetic life. He had set out from the East and for this reason had repaired to Rome. There, when the abominable spectacle was being exhibited, he went himself into the stadium, and, stepping down into the arena, endeavoured to stop the men who were wielding their weapons against one another. The spectators of the slaughter were indignant, and inspired by the mad fury of the demon who delights in those bloody deeds, stoned the peacemaker to death.

When the admirable emperor was informed of this he numbered Telemachus in the array of victorious martyrs, and put an end to that impious spectacle.

Chapter XXVII.—Of the Piety of the Emperor Arcadius and the Ordination of Jn Chrysostom.

On the death at Constantinople of Nectarius, bishop of that see, Arcadius, who had succeeded to the Eastern empire, summoned John, the great luminary of the world. He had heard that he was numbered in the ranks of the presbyterate, and now issued orders to the assembled bishops to confer on him divine grace, and appoint him shepherd of that mighty city.98

This fact is alone sufficient to show the emperor’s care for divine things. At the same time the see of Antioch was held by Flavianus, and that of Laodicea by Elpidius, who had formerly been the comrade of the great Meletius, and had received the impress of his life and conversation more plainly than wax takes the impression of a seal ring.99

(He succeeded the great Pelagius;100 and the divine Marcellus101 was followed by the illustrious Agapetus102 whom I have already described as conspicuous for high ascetic virtue. In the time of the tempest of heresy, of Seleucia ad Taurum, Maximus,103 the companion of the great John, was bishop, and of Mopsuestia Theodorus,104 both illustrious teachers. Conspicuous, too, in wisdom and character was the holy Acacius,105 bishop of Beroea.

Leontius,106 a shining example of many virtues, tended the flock of the Galatians).

Chapter XXVIII.—Of John’s Boldness for God.

When the great John had received the tiller of the Church, he boldly convicted certain wrong doers, made seasonable exhortations to the emperor and empress, and admonished the clergy to live according to the laws laid down. Transgressors against these laws he forbade to approach the churches, urging that they who shewed no desire to live the life of true priests ought not to enjoy priestly honour. He acted with this care for the church not only in Constantinople, but throughout the whole of Thrace, which is divided into six provinces, and likewise of Asia, which is governed by eleven governors. Pontica too, which has a like number of rulers with Asia, was happily brought by him under the same discipline.107

Chapter XXIX.—Of the Idol Temples Which Were Destroyed by Jn in Phoenicia.

On receiving information that Phoenicia was still suffering from the madness of the demons’ rites, Jn got together certain monks who were fired with divine zeal armed them with imperial edicts and despatched them against the idols’ shrines. The money which was required to pay the craftsmen and their assistants who were engaged in the work of destruction was not taken by Jn from imperial resources, but he persuaded certain wealthy and faithful women to make liberal contributions, pointing out to them how great would be the blessing their generosity would win.

115 Thus the remaining shrines of the demons were utterly destroyed.108

Chapter XXX.—Of the Church of the Goths.

It was perceived by Jn that the Scythians were involved in the Arian net; he therefore devised counter contrivances and discovered a means of winning them over. Appointing presbyters and deacons and readers of the divine oracles who spoke the Scythian tongue, he assigned a church to them,109 and by their means won many from their error. He used frequently himself to visit it and preach there, using an interpreter who was skilled in both languages, and he got other good speakers to do the same. This was his constant practice in the city, and many of those who had been deceived he rescued by pointing out to them the truth of the apostolic preaching.

Chapter XXXI.—Of His Care Far the Scythians and His Zeal Against the Marcionists.

On learning that some of the Nomads encamped along the Danube were thirsty for salvation, but had none to bring them the stream, Jn sought out men who were filled with a love of labour like that which had distinguished the apostles, and gave them charge of the work. I have myself seen a letter written by him to Leontius, bishop of Ancyra, in which he described the conversion of the Scythians, and begged that fit men for their instruction might be sent.

On hearing that in our district110 some men were infected with the plague of Marcion he wrote to the then bishop charging him to drive out the plague, and proffering him the aid of the imperial edicts. I have said enough to show how, to use the words of the divine apostle, he carried in his heart “the care of all the churches.”111

His boldness may also be learnt from other sources.

Chapter XXXII.—Of the Demand Made by Gainas and of Jn Chrysostom’s Reply.

One Gainas, a Scythian, but still more barbarous in character, and of cruel and violent disposition, was at that time a military commander. He had under him many of his own fellow-countrymen, and with them commanded the Roman cavalry and infantry. He was an object of terror not only to all the rest but even to the emperor himself, who suspected him of aiming at usurpation.

(He was a participator in the Arian pest, and requested the emperor to grant him the use of one of the churches. Arcadius replied that he would see to it and have it done. He then sent for the divine John, told him of the request that had been made, reminded him of the power of Gainas, hinted at the usurpation which was being aimed at, and besought him to bridle the anger of the barbarian by this concession.112 “But,” said that noble man, “attempt, sir, no such promise, nor order what is holy to be given to the dogs.113 I will never suffer the worshippers and praisers of the Divine Word to be expelled and their church to be given to them that blaspheme Him. Have no fear, sir, of that barbarian; call us both, me and him, before you; listen in silence to what is said, and I will both curb his tongue and persuade him not to ask what it is wrong to grant.”

The emperor was delighted with what Chrysostom said, and on the next day summoned both the bishop and the general before him. Gainas began to request the fulfilment of the promise, but the great Jn said in reply that the emperor, who professed the true religion, had no right to venture on any act against it. Gainas rejoined that he also must have a place to pray in. “Why,” said the great John, “every church is open to you, and nobody prevents you from praying there when you are so disposed.” “But I,” said Gainas, “belong to another sect, and I ask to have one church with them, and surely I who undergo so many toils in war for Romans may fairly make such a request.” “But,” said the bishop, “you have greater rewards for your labours, you are a general; you are vested in the consular robe, and you must consider what you were formerly and what you are now—your indigence in the past and your present prosperity; what kind of raiment you wore before you crossed the Ister, and what you are robed in now. Consider, I say, the littleness of your labours and the greatness of your rewards, and be not unthankful to them who have shewn you honour.” With these words the teacher of the world silenced Gainas, and compelled him to stand dumb. In process of time, however, he made known the rebellion which he had long had at heart, gathered his forces in Thrace, and went out ravaging and plundering in very many directions. At news of this there arose an universal panic among both princes and subjects, and no one was found willing to march against him; no one thought it safe to approach him with an ambassage, for every one suspected his barbarous character.

116 Chapter XXXIII.—Of the Ambassage of Chrysostom to Gainas.

Then when every one else was passed over because of the universal panic, this great chief was persuaded to undertake the ambassage. He took no heed of the dispute which has been related, nor of the ill feeling which it had engendered, and readily set out for Thrace. No sooner did Gainas hear of the arrival of the envoy than he bethought him of the bold utterance which he had made on behalf of true religion. He came eagerly froth a great distance to meet him, placed his right hand upon his eyes, and brought his children to his saintly knees. So is it the nature of goodness to put even those who are most opposed to it to the blush and vanquish them. But envy could not endure the bright rays of his philosophy. It put in practice its wonted wiles and deprived of his eloquence and his wisdom the imperial city—aye indeed the whole world.114

Chapter XXXIV.—Of the Events Which Happened on Account of Chrysostom.

At this part of my history I know not what sentiments to entertain; wishful as I am to relate the wrong inflicted on Chrysostom, I yet regard in other respects the high character of those who wronged him. I shall therefore do my best to conceal even their names.115 These persons had different reasons for their hostility, and were unwilling to contemplate his brilliant virtue. They found certain wretches who accused him, and, perceiving the openness of the calumny, held a meeting at a distance from the city and pronounced their sentence.116

The emperor, who had confidence in the clergy, ordered him to be banished. So Chrysostom, without having heard the charges brought against him, or brought forward his defence, was forced as though convicted on the accusations advanced against him to quit Constantinople,117 and departed to Hieron at the mouth of the Euxine, for so the naval station is named.

In the night there was a great earthquake and the empress118 was struck with terror. Envoys were accordingly sent at daybreak to the banished bishop beseeching him to return without delay to Constantinople, and avert the peril from the town. After these another party was sent and yet again others after them and the Bosphorus was crowded with the couriers. When the faithful people learned what was going on they covered the mouth of the Propontis with their boats, and the whole population lighted up waxen torches and came forth to meet him. For the time indeed his banded foes were scattered.119

But after the interval of a few months they endeavoured to enact punishment, not for the forged indictment, but for his taking part in divine service after his deposition. The bishop represented that he had not pleaded, that he had not heard the indictment, that he had made no defence, that he had been condemned in his absence, that he had been exiled by the emperor, and by the emperor again recalled. Then another Synod met, and his opponents did not ask for a trial, but persuaded the emperor that the sentence was lawful and right. Chrysostom was then not merely banished, but relegated to a petty and lonely town in Armenia of the name of Cucusus. Even from thence he was removed and deported to Pityus, a place at the extremity of the Euxine and on the marches of the Roman Empire, in the near neighbourhood of the wildest savages. But the loving Lord did not suffer the victorious athlete to be carried off to this islet, for when he had reached Comana he was removed to the life that knows nor age nor pain.120

The body that had struggled so bravely was buried by the side of the coffin of the martyred Basiliscus, for so the martyr had ordained in a dream.

I think it needless to prolong my narrative by relating how many bishops were expelled from the church on Chrysostom’s account, and sent to live in the ends of the earth, or how many ascetic philosophers were involved in the same calamities, and all the more because I think it needful to curtail these hideous details, and to throw a veil over the ill deeds of men of the same faith as our own. Punishment however did fall on most of the guilty, and their sufferings were a means of good to the rest. This great wrong was regarded with special detestation by the bishops of Europe, who separated themselves from communion with the guilty parties. In this action they were joined by all the bishops of Illyria. In the East most of the cities shrank from participation in the wrong, but did not make a rent in the body of the church.

On the death of the great teacher of the great teacher of the world, the bishops of the West refused to embrace the communion of the bishops of Egypt, of the East, of the Bosphorus, and in Thrace, until the name of that holy man had been inserted among those of deceased bishops. Arsacius his immediate successor they declined to acknowledge, but Atticus the successor of Arsacius, after he had frequently solicited the boon of peace, was after a time received when he had inserted the name in the roll.121

Chapter XXXV.—Of Alexander, Bishop of Antioch.

117 At this time the see of Alexandria was held by Cyril,122 brother’s son to Theophilus whom he succeeded; at the same time Jerusalem was occupied by John123 in succession to Cyril whom we have formerly mentioned. The Antiochenes were under the care of Alexander124 whose life and conversation were of a piece with his episcopate. Before his consecration he passed his time in ascetic training and in hard bodily exercise. He was known as a noble champion, teaching by word and confirming the word by deed. His predecessor was Porphyrius who guided that church after Flavianus, and left behind him many memorials of his loving character.125 He was also distinguished by intellectual power. The holy Alexander was specially rich in self discipline and philosophy; his life was one of poverty and self denial; his eloquence was copious and his other gifts were innumerable; by his advice and exhortation, the following of the great Eustathius which Paulinus, and after him Evagrius, had not permitted to be restored, was united to the rest of the body, and a festival was celebrated the like of which none had ever seen before. The bishop gathered all the faithful together, both clergy and laity, and marched with them to the assembly. The procession was accompanied by musicians; one hymn was sung by all in harmony, and thus he and his company went in procession from the western postern to the great church, filling the whole forum with people, and constituting a stream of thinking living beings like the Orontes in its course.

When this was seen by the Jews, by the victims of the Arian plague, and by the insignificant remnant of Pagans, they set up a groaning and wailing, and were distressed at seeing the rest of the rivers discharging their waters into the Church. By Alexander the name of the great Jn was first inscribed in the records126 of the Church.

Chapter XXXVI.—Of the Removal of the Remains of Jn and of the Faith of Theodosius and His Sisters.

At a later time the actual remains of the great doctor were conveyed to the imperial city, and once again the faithful crowd turning the sea as it were into land by their close packed boats, covered the mouth of the Bosphorus towards the Propontis with their torches. The precious possession was brought into Constantinople by the present emperor,127 who received the name of his grandfather and preserved his piety undefiled. After first gazing upon the bier he laid his head against it, and prayed for his parents and for pardon on them who had ignorantly sinned, for his parents had long ago been dead, leaving him an orphan in extreme youth, but the God of his fathers and of his forefathers permitted him not to suffer trial from his orphanhood, but provided for his nurture in piety, protected his empire from the assaults of sedition, and bridled rebellious hearts. Ever mindful of these blessings he honours his benefactor with hymns of praise. Associated with him in this divine worship are his sisters,128 who have maintained virginity throughout their lives, thinking the study of the divine oracles129 the greatest delight, and reckoning that riches beyond robbers’ reach are to be found in ministering to the poor. The emperor himself was adorned by many graces, and not least by his kindness and clemency, an unruffled calm of soul and a faith as undefiled as it is notorious. Of this I will give an undeniable proof.

A certain ascetic somewhat rough of temper came to the emperor with a petition. He came several times without attaining his object, and at last excommunicated the emperor and left him under his ban. The faithful emperor returned to his palace, and as it was the time for the banquet, and his guests were assembled, he said that he could not partake of the entertainment before the interdict was taken off. On this account he sent the most intimate of his suite to the bishop, beseeching him to order the imposer of the interdict to remove it. The bishop replied that an interdict ought not to be accepted from every one, and pronounced it not binding, but the emperor refused to accept this remission until the imposer of it had after much difficulty been discovered, and had restored the communion withdrawn. So obedient was he to divine laws.

In accordance with the same principles he ordered a complete destruction of the remains of the idolatrous shrines, that our posterity might be saved from the sight of even a trace of the ancient error, this being the motive which he expressed in the edict published on the subject. Of this good seed sown he is ever reaping the fruits, for he has the Lord of all on his side. So when Rhoïlas,130 Prince of the Scythian Nomads, had crossed the Danube with a vast host and was ravaging and plundering Thrace, and was threatening to besiege the imperial city, and summarily seize it and deliver it to destruction, God smote him from on high with thunderbolt and storm, burning up the invader and destroying all his host. A similar providence was shewn, too, in the Persian war. The Persians received information that the Romans were occupied elsewhere, and so in violation of the treaty of Peace, marched against their neighbours, who found none to aid them under the attack, because, in reliance on the Peace, the emperor had despatched his generals and his men to other wars. Then the further march of the Persians was stayed by a very violent storm of rain and hail; their horses refused to advance; in twenty days they had not succeeded in advancing as many furlongs. Meanwhile the generals returned and mustered their troops.

In the former war, too, these same Persians, when besieging the emperor’s eponymous city,131 were providentially rendered ridiculous. For after Vararanes132 had beset the aforesaid city for more than thirty days with all his forces, and had brought up many helepoles, and employed innumerable engines, and built up lofty towers outside the wall, resistance was offered, and the assault of the attacking engines repelled, by the bishop Eunomius alone. Our men had refused to fight against the foe, and were shrinking from bringing aid to the besieged, when the bishop, by opposing himself to them, preserved the city from being taken. When one of the barbarian chieftains ventured on his wonted blasphemy, and with words like those of Rabshakeh and Sennacherib, madly threatened to burn the temple of God, the holy bishop could not endure his furious wrath, but himself commanded a balista,133 which went by the name of the Apostle Thomas, to be set up upon the battlements, and a mighty stone to be adjusted to it.Then, in the name of the Lord who had been blasphemed, he gave the word to let go,—down crashed the stone on that impious chief and hit him on his wicked mouth, and crushed in his face, and broke his head in pieces, and sprinkled his brains upon the ground. When the commander of the army who had hoped to take the city saw what was done, he confessed himself beaten and withdrew, and in his alarm made peace.

Thus the universal sovereign protects the faithful emperor, for he clearly acknowledges whose slave he is, and performs fitting service to his Master.134

Chapter XXXVII.—Of Theodotus Bishop of Antioch.

Theodosius restored the relics of the great luminary of the world to the city which deeply regretted his loss. These events however happened later.135

Innocent the excellent bishop of Rome was succeeded by Bonifacius, Bonifacius by Zosimus and Zosimus by Caaelestinus.136

118 At Jerusalem after the admirable Jn the charge of the church was committed to Praylius, a man worthy of his name.137

At Antioch after the divine Alexander Theodotus, the pearl of purity, succeeded to the supremacy of the church, a man of conspicuous meekness and of exact regularity of life. By him the sect of Apollinarius was admitted to fellowship with the rest of the sheep on the earnest request of its members to be united with the flock. Many of them however continued marked by their former unsoundness.138

Chapter XXXVIII.—Of the Persecutions in Persia and of Them that Were Martyred There.

At this time Isdigirdes,139 King of the Persians, began to wage war against the churches and the circumstances which caused him so to do were as follows. A certain bishop, Abdas by name,140 adorned with many virtues, was stirred with undue zeal and destroyed a Pyreum, Pyreum being the name given by the Persians to the temples of the fire which they regarded as their God.141

On being informed of this by the Magi Isdigirdes sent for Abdas and first in moderate language complained of what had taken place and ordered him to rebuild the Pyreum.

This the bishop, in reply, positively refused to do, and thereupon the king threatened to destroy all the churches, and in the end carried out all his threats, for first be gave orders for the execution of that holy man and then commanded the destruction of the churches. Now I am of opinion that to destroy the Pyreum was wrong and inexpedient, for not even the divine Apostle, when he came to Athens and saw the city wholly given to idolatry, destroyed any one of the altars which the Athenians honoured, but convicted them of their ignorance by his arguments, and made manifest the truth. But the refusal to rebuild the fallen temple, and the determination to choose death rather than so do, I greatly praise and honour, and count to be a deed worthy of the martyr’s crown; for building a shrine in honour of the fire seems to me to be equivalent to adoring it.

From this beginning arose a tempest which stirred fierce and cruel waves against the nurslings of the true faith, and when thirty years had gone by the agitation still remained kept up by the Magi, as the sea is kept in commotion by the blasts of furious winds. Magi is the name given by the Persians to the worshippers of the sun and moon142 but I have exposed their fabulous system in another treatise and have adduced solutions of their difficulties.

On the death of Isdigirdes, Vararanes, his son, inherited at once the kingdom and the war against the faith, and dying in his turn left them both together to his son.143 To relate the various kinds of tortures and cruelties inflicted on the saints is no easy task. In some cases the hands were flayed, in others the back; of others they stripped the heads of skin from brow to beard; others were enveloped in split reeds with the cut part turned inwards and were surrounded with tight bandages from head to foot; then each of the reeds was dragged out by force, and, tearing away the adjacent portions of the skin, caused severe agony; pits were dug and carefully greased in which quantities of mice were put; then they let down the martyrs, bound hand and foot, so as not to be able to protect themselves from the animals, to be food for the mice, and the the mice, under stress of hunger, little by little devoured the flesh of the victims, causing them long and terrible suffering. By others sufferings were endured even more terrible than these, invented by the enemy of humanity and the opponent of the truth, but the courage of the martyrs was unbroken, and they hastened unbidden in their eagerness to win that death which ushers men into indestructible life. Of these I will cite one or two to serve as examples of the courage of the rest. Among the noblest of the Persians was one called Hormisdas, by race an Achaemenid144 and the son of a Prefect. On receiving information that he was a Christian the king summoned him and ordered him to abjure God his Saviour. He replied that the royal orders were neither right nor reasonable, “for he,” so he went on, “who is taught to find no difficulty in spurning and denying the God of all, will haply the more easily despise a king who is a man of mortal nature; and if, sir, he who denies thy sovereignty is deserving of the severest punishment, how much more terrible a chastisement is not due to him who denies the Creator of the world?” The king ought to have admired the wisdom of what was said, but, instead of this, he stripped the noble athlete of his wealth and rank, and ordered him to go clad in nothing save a loin cloth, and drive the camels of the army. After some days had gone by, as he looked out of his chamber, he saw the excellent man scorched by the rays of the sun, and covered with dust, and he be thought him of his father’s illustrious rank, and sent for him, and told him to put on a tunic of linen. Then thinking the toil he had suffered, and the kindness shewn him, had softened his heart, “Now at least,” said he “give over your opposition, and deny the carpenter’s son.” Full of holy zeal Hormisdas tore the tunic and flung it away saying, “If you think that this will make one give up the true faith,keep your present with your false belief.” When the king saw how bold he was he drove him naked from the palace.

One Suenes, who owned a thousand slaves, resisted the King, and refused to deny his master. The King therefore asked him which of his slaves was the vilest, and to this slave handed over the ownership of all the rest, and gave him Suenes to be his slave. He also gave him in marriage Suenes’ wife, supposing that thus he could bend the will of the champion of the truth. But he was disappointed, for he had built his house upon the rock.145

The king also seized and imprisoned a deacon of the name of Benjamin. After two years there came an envoy from Rome, to treat of other matters, who, when he was informed of this imprisonment, petitioned the king to release the deacon. The king ordered Benjamin to promise that he would not attempt to teach the Christian religion to any of the Magi, and the envoy exhorted Benjamin to obey, but Benjamin, after he heard what the envoy had to say, replied, “It is impossible for me not to impart the light which I have received; for how great a penalty is due for the hiding of our talent is taught in the history of the holy gospels.”146 Up to this time the King had not been informed of this refusal and ordered him to be set free. Benjamin continued as he was wont seeking to catch them that were held down by the darkness of ignorance, and bringing them to the light of knowledge. After a year information of his conduct was given to the king, and he was summoned and ordered to deny Him whom he worshipped. He then asked the king “What punishment should be assigned to one who should desert his allegiance and prefer another?” “Death and torture,” said the king. “How then” continued the wise deacon “should he be treated who abandons his Maker and Creator, makes a God of one of his fellow slaves, and offers to him the honour due to his Lord?” Then the king was moved with wrath, and had twenty reeds pointed, and driven into the nails of his hands and feet. When he saw that Benjamin took this torture for child’s play, he pointed another reed and drove it into his privy part and by working it up and down caused unspeakable agony. After this torture the impious and savage tyrant ordered him to be impaled upon a stout knotted staff, and so the noble sufferer gave up the ghost.

Innumerable other similar deeds of violence were committed by these impious men, but we must not be astonished that the Lord of all endures their savagery and impiety, for indeed before the reign of Constantine the Great all the Roman emperors wreaked their wrath on the friends of the truth, and Diocletian, on the day of the Saviour’s passion, destroyed the churches throughout the Roman Empire, but after nine years had gone by they rose again in bloom and beauty many times larger and more splendid than before, and he and his iniquity perished.147

119 These wars and the victory of the church had been predicted by the Lord, and the event teaches us that war brings us more blessing than peace. Peace makes us delicate, easy and cowardly. War whets our courage and makes us despise this present world as passing away. But these are observations which we have often made in other writings.

Chapter XXXIX.—Of Theodorus, Bishop of Mopsuestia.

When the divine Theodorus was ruling the church of Antioch, Theodorus, bishop of Mopsuestia, a doctor of the whole church and successful combatant against every heretical phalanx, ended this life. He had enjoyed the teaching of the great Diodorus, and was the friend and fellow-worker of the holy John, for they both together benefited by the spiritual draughts given by Diodorus. Six-and-thirty years he had spent in his bishopric, fighting against the forces of Arius and Eunomius, struggling against the piratical band of Apollinarius, and finding the best pasture for God’s sheep.148 His brother Polychronius149 was the excellent bishop of Apamea, a man gifted with great eloquence and of illustrious character.

I shall now make an end of my history, and shall entreat those who meet with it to requite my labour with their prayers. The narrative now embraces a period of 105 years, beginning from the Arian madness and ending with the death of the admirable Theodorus and Theodotus.150 I will give a list of the bishops of great cities after the persecution.

List of the bishops of great cities.

List of the bishops of great cities.

  Of Rome:—



Miltiades

[Melchiades. 311–314]

Silvester

[314–35]

Julius

120 [337–352. Mark Jan. to Oct., 336]

Liberius

[352–366]

Damasus

[366–384]

Siricius

[384–398]

Anastasius

[398–401]

Innocentius

[402–417]

Bonifacius

[418–422]

Zosimus

[417–418]

Caelestinus

[422–432]

  Of Antioch:—



Vitalius

)(stfrs=3)

Orthodox(stfrs=3)

[312–318]

Philogonius





[318–323]

Eustathius





[325–328]

Eulalius

)(stfrs=6)

Arians(stfrs=6)

[328–330]

Euphronius





[330–332]

Placidus





[332–342]

Stephanus





[342–348]

Leontius





[348–357]

Eudoxius





[357–359]

Meletius

)(stfrs=5)

Orthodox(stfrs=5)

[360 (died) 381]

Flavianus





[381–404]

Porphyrius





[404–413]

Alexander





[413–419]

Theodotus





[419–429]

Paulinus III.

)(stfrs=2)

121 Eustathians(stfrs=2)

[362–388]

Evagrius





[388– ]

  Of Alexandria:—



Peter

[301–312]

Achillas

[312–313]

Alexander

[313–326]

Athanasius

[326–341]

Gregory (Arian)

[341–347]

Athanasius

[347–356]

George (heretic)

[356–362]

Athanasius

[363–373]

122 Peter (disciple of Athanasius)

[373–373]

Lucius (Arian)

[373–377]

Peter

[377–378]

Timothy

[378–385]

Theophilus

[385–412]

Cyril

[412–444]

  Of Jerusalem:—



Macarius

[324–336]

Maximus

[336–350]

Cyril

[350–388]

John

[388–416]

Praylius

[416–425]

Juvenalius

[425–458]

123   Of Constantinopole:md;



Alexander

[326–340]

Eusebius of Nicomedia (Arian)

[340–342]

Paul the Confessor

[342–342]

Macedonius the enemy of the Holy Ghost

[342–360]

The impious Eudoxius

[360–370]

124 Demophilus of Beroe in Thrace (heretic)

[370– ]

Gregory of Nazianzus

[380–381]

Nectarius

[381–398]

(Jn Chrysostom

[398–404]


Dialogues


The “Eranistes”1 Or “Polymorphus”2 Of the Blessed Theodoretus, Bishop of Cyrus

Prologue.

125 Some men, distinguished neither by family nor education, and without any of the honourable notoriety that comes of an upright life, are ambitious of achieving fame by wicked ways. Of these was the famous Alexander, the coppersmith,3 a man of no sort of distinction at all,—no nobility of birth, no eloquence of speech, who never led a political party nor an army in the field; who never played the man in fight, but plied from day to day his ignominious craft, and won fame for nothing but his mad violence against Saint Paul.

Shimei,4 again, an obscure person of servile rank, has become very renowned for his audacious attack on the holy David.

It is said too that the originator of the Manichaean heresy was a mere whipping-block of a slave, and, from love of notoriety, composed his execrable and superstitious writings.

The same line of conduct is pursued by many now, who after turning their backs on the honourable glory of virtue on account of the toil to be undergone ere it be won, purchase to themselves the notoriety that comes of shame and disgrace. For through eagerness to pose as champions of new doctrines they pick up and get together the impiety of many heresies, and compile this heresy of death.

Now I will endeavour briefly to dispute with them, with the double object of curing them, if I can, of their unsoundness, and of giving a word of warning to the whole.

I call my work “Eranistes, or Polymorphus,” for, after getting together from many unhappy sources their baleful doctrines, they produce their patchwork and incongruous conceit. For to call our Lord Christ God only is the way of Simon, of Cerdo, of Marcion,5 and of others who share this abominable opinion.

The acknowledgment of His birth from a Virgin, but coupled with the assertion that this birth was merely a process of transition, and that God the Word took nothing of the Virgin’s nature, is stolen from Valentinus and Bardesanes and the adherents of their fables.6

To call the godhead and the manhood of the Lord Christ one nature is the error filched from the follies of Apollinarius.7

Again the attribution of capacity of suffering to the divinity of the Christ is a theft from the blasphemy of Arius and Eunomius. Thus the main principle of their teaching is like beggars’ gabardines—a cento of ill-matched rags.

(So I call this work Eranistes or Polymorphus. I shall write it in the form of a dialogue with questions and answers, propositions, solutions, and antitheses, and all else that a dialogue ought to have. I shall not insert the names of the questioners and respondents in the body of the dialogue as did the wise Greeks of old, but I shall write them at the side at the beginning of the paragraphs. They, indeed, put their writings in the hands of readers highly and variously educated, and to whom literature was life. I, on the contrary, wish the reading of what I write, and the discovery of whatever good it may give, to be an easy task, even to the illiterate. This I think will be facilitated if the characters of the interlocutors are plainly shown by their names in the margin, so the disputant who argues on behalf of the apostolical decrees is called “Orthodoxos,” and his opponent “Eranistes.” A man who is fed by the charity of many we commonly call “Beggar;” a man who knows how to get money together we call a “Chrematistes.” So we have given our disputant this name from his character and pursuits.

I beg that all those into whose hands my book may fall will lay aside all preconceived opinion and put the truth to the test. For clearness’ sake I will divide my book into three dialogues. The first will contain the contention that the Godhead of the only-begotten Son is immutable. The second will by God’s help show that the union of the Godhead and the manhood of the Lord Christ is without confusion. The third will contend for the impassibility of the divinity of our saviour. After these three disputations we will subjoin several others as it were to complete them, giving formal proof under each head, and making it perfectly plain that the apostles’ doctrine is preserved by us.
126
Dialogue I.—The Immutable.

Orthodoxos and Eranistes.


Orth.—Better were it for us to agree and abide by the apostolic doctrine in its parity. But since, I know not how, you have broken the harmony, and are now offering us new doctrines, let us, if you please, with no kind of quarrel, investigate the truth.

Eran.—We need no investigation, for we exactly hold the truth.

Orth.—This is what every heretic supposes. Aye, even Jews and Pagans reckon that they are defending the doctrines of the truth; and so also do not only the followers of Plato and Pythagoras, but Epicureans too, and they that are wholly without God or belief. It becomes us, however, not to be the slaves of a priori assumption, but to search for the knowledge of the truth.

Eran.—I admit the force of what you say and am ready to act on your suggestion.

Orth.—Since then you have made no difficulty in yielding to this my preliminary exhortation, I ask you in the next place not to suffer the investigation of the truth to depend on the reasonings of men, but to track the footprints of the apostles and prophets, and saints who followed them. For so way-farers when they wander from the high-road are wont to consider well the pathways, if haply they shew any prints of men or horses or asses or mules going this way or that, and when they find any such they trace the tracks as dogs do and leave them not till once more they are in the rightroad.

Eran.—So let us do. Lead on yourself, as you began the discussion.

Orth—Let us, therefore, first make careful and thorough investigation into the divine names,—I mean substance, and essences, and persons and proprieties, and let us learn and define how they differ the one from the other. Then let us thus handle afterwards what follows.

Eran.—You give us a very admirable and proper introduction to our argument. When these points are clear, our discussion will go forward without let or obstacle.

Orth.—Since we have decided then that this must be our course of procedure, tell me, my friend, do we acknowledge one substance of God, alike of Father and of the only begotten Son and of the Holy Ghost, as we have been taught by Holy Scripture, both Old and New, and by the Fathers in Council in Nicaea, or do we follow the blasphemy of Arius?

127 Eran.—We confess one substance of the Holy Trinity.

Orth.—And do we reckon hypostasis to signify anything else than substance, or do we take it for another name of substance?

Eran.—Is there any difference between substance and hypostasis?1

Orth—In extra Christian philosophy there is not, for ousia signifies to on, that which is, and upostasi" that which subsists. But according to the doctrine of the Fathers there is the same difference between ousia and upostasi" as between the common and the particular, and the species and the individual.

Eran.—Tell me more clearly what is meant by race or kind, and species and individual).

Orth.—We speak of race or kind with regard to the animal, for it means many things at once. It indicates both the rational and the irrational; and again there are many species of irrational, creatures that fly, creatures that are amphibious, creatures that go on foot, and creatures that swim. And of these species each is marked by many subdivisions; of creatures that go on foot there is the lion, the leopard, the bull, and countless others. So, too, of flying creatures and the rest there are many species; yet all of them, though the species are the aforesaid, belong to one and the same animal race. Similarly the name man is the common name of mankind; for it means the Roman, the Athenian, the Persian, the Sauromatian,2 the Egyptian, and, in a word, all who are human, but the name Paulus or Petrus does not signify what is common to the kind but some particular man; for no one on hearing of Paul turns in thought to Adam or Abraham or Jacob, but thinks of him alone whose name he has heard. But if he hears the word man simply, he does not fix his mind on the individual, but bethinks him of the Indian, the Scythian, and the Massagete, and of all the race of men together, and we learn this not only from nature, but also from Holy Scripture, for God said, we read, “I will destroy man from the face of the earth,”3 and this he spake of countless multitudes, and when more than two thousand and two hundred years had gone by after Adam, he brought universal destruction on men through the flood, and so the blessed David says: “Man that is in honour and understandeth not,”4 accusing not one here nor one there, but all men in common. A thousand similar examples might be found, but we must not be tedious.

Eran.—The difference between the common and the proper is shewed clearly. Now let us return to discussion about ousia and upostasi".

Orth.—As then the name man is common to human nature, so we understand the divine substance to indicate the Holy Trinity; but the hypostasis denotes any person, as the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; for, following the definitions of the Holy Fathers, we say that hypostasis and individuality mean the same thing.

Eran.—We agree that this is so.

Orth.—Whatever then is predicated of the divine nature is common both to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, as for instance “God,” “Lord,” “Creator,” “Almighty,” and so forth.

Eran.—Without question these words are common to the Trinity.

128 Orth.—But all that naturally denotes the hypostasis ceases to be common to the Holy Trinity, and denotes the hypostasis to which it is proper, as, for instance, the names “Father,” “Unbegotten,” are peculiar to the Father; while again the names “Son,” “Only Begotten,” “God the Word,” do not denote the Father, nor yet the Holy Ghost, but the Son, and the words “Holy Ghost,” “Paraclete,” naturally denote the hypostasis of the Spirit.

Eran.—But does not Holy Scripture call both the Father and the Son “Spirit”?

Orth.—Yes, it calls both the Father and the Son “Spirit,” signifying by this term the incorporeal illimitable character of the divine nature. The Holy Scripture only calls the hypostasis of the Spirit “Holy Ghost.”

Eran.—This is indisputable.

Orth.—Since then we assert that some terms are common to the Holy Trinity, and some peculiar to each hypostasis, do we assert the term “immutable” to be common to the substance or peculiar to any hypostasis?

Eran.—The term “immutable” is common to the Trinity, for it is impossible for part of the substance to be mutable and part immutable.

Orth.—You have well said, for as the term mortal is common to mankind, so are “immutable” and “invariable” to the Holy Trinity. So the only-begotten Son is immutable, as are both the Father that begat Him and the Holy Ghost.

Eran.—Immutable.

Orth.—How then do you advance the statement in the gospel “the word became flesh.”5 and predicate mutation of the immutable nature?

Eran.—We assert Him to have been made flesh not by mutation, but as He Him self knows.

Orth.—If He is not said to have become flesh by taking flesh, one of two things must be asserted, either that he underwent the mutation into flesh, or was only so seen in appearance, and in reality was God without flesh.

129 Eran.—This is the doctrine of the disciples of Valentinus, Marcion, and of the Manichees, but we have been taught without dispute that the divine Word was made flesh).

Orth.—But in what sense do you mean “was made flesh”? “Took flesh,” or “was changed into flesh”?

Eran.—As we have heard the evangelist say, “the word was made flesh.”

Orth.—In what sense do you understand “was made”?

Eran.—He who underwent mutation into flesh was made flesh, and, as I said just now, as He knows. But we know that with Him all things are possible,6 for He changed the water of the Nile into blood, and day into night, and made the sea dry land, and filled the dry wilderness with water, and we hear the prophet saying “Whatsoever the Lord pleased that did He in heaven, and in earth, in the seas and all deep places.”7

Orth.—The creature is transformed by the Creator as He will, for it is mutable and obeys the nod of Him that fashioned it. But His nature is immutable and invariable, wherefore of the creature the prophet saith “He that maketh and transformeth all things.”8 But of the divine Word the great David says “Thou art the same and thy years shall not fail.”9 And again the same God says of Himself “For I am the Lord and I change not.”10

Eran.—What is hidden ought not to “be enquired into.”

Orth.—Nor yet what is plain to be altogether ignored.

Eran.—I am not aware of the manner of the incarnation. I have heard that the Word was made flesh.

Orth.—If He was made flesh by mutation He did not remain what He was before, and this is easily intelligible from several analogies. Sand, for instance, when it is subjected to heat, first becomes fluid, then is changed and congealed into glass, and at the time of the change alters its name, for it is no longer called sand but glass.

Eran.—So it is.

130 Orth.—And while we call the fruit of the vine grape, when once we have pressed it, we speak of it no longer as grape, but as wine.

Eran.—Certainly.

Orth.—And the wine itself, after it has undergone a change, it is our custom to name no longer wine, but vinegar.

Eran.—True.

Orth.—And similarly stone when burnt and in solution is no longer called stone, but lime. And innumerable other similar instances might be found where mutation involves a change of name.

Eran.—Agreed.

Orth.—If therefore you assert that the Divine Word underwent the change in the flesh, why do you call Him God and not flesh? for change of name fits in with the alteration of nature. For if where the things which undergo change have some relation to their former condition (for there certain approximation of vinegar to wine and of wine to the fruit of the vine, and of glass to sand) they receive another name after their alteration, how, where the difference between them is infinite and as wide as that which divides a gnat from the whole visible and invisible creation (for so wide, nay much wider, is the difference between the nature of flesh and of Godhead) is it possible for the same name to obtain after the change?

Eran.—I have said more than once that He was made flesh not by mutation, but continuing still to be what He was, He was made what He was not.

Orth.—But unless this word “was made” becomes quite clear it suggests mutation and alteration, for unless He was made flesh by taking flesh He was made flesh by undergoing mutation.

Eran.—But the word “take” is your own invention. The Evangelist says the Word was made flesh.11

Orth.—You seem either to be ignorant of the sacred Scripture, or to do it wrong knowingly. Now if you are ignorant, I will teach you; if you are doing wrong, I will convict you. Answer then; do you acknowledge the teaching of the divine Paul to be of the Spirit?

131 Eran.—Certainly.

Orth.—And do you allow that the same Spirit wrought through both Evangelists and Apostles?

Eran.—Yes, for so have I learnt from the Apostolic Scripture “There are diversities of gifts but the same spirit,”12 and again “All these things worketh that one and the selfsame spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will,” a and again “Having the same Spirit of the Faith.”13

Orth.—Your introduction of the apostolic testimony is in season. If we assert that the instruction alike of the evangelists and of the apostles is of the same spirit, listen how the apostle interprets the words of the Gospel, for in the Epistle to the Hebrews he says, “Verily he took not on him the nature of angels, but be took on him the seed of Abraham.”14 Now tell me what you mean by the seed of Abraham. Was not that which was naturally proper to Abraham proper also to the seed of Abraham?

Eran.—No; not without exception, for Christ did no sin.

Orth.—Sin is not of nature, but of corrupt will.15 On this very account, therefore, I did not say indefinitely what Abraham had, but what he had according to nature, that is to say, body and reasonable soul.Now tell me plainly; will you acknowledge that the seed of Abraham was endowed with body and reasonable soul? If not, in this point you agree with the ravings of Apollinarius. But I will compel you to confess this by other means. Tell me now; had the Jews a body and a reasonable soul?

Eran.—Of course they had.

Orth.—So when we hear the prophet saying, “But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend,”16 are we to understand the Jews to be bodies only? Are we not to understand them to be men consisting of bodies and souls?

Eran.—True.

Orth.—And the seed of Abraham not without soul nor yet intelligence, but with everything which characterizes the seed of Abraham?

Eran.—He who so says puts forward two sons.

132 Orth.—But he who says that the Divine Word is changed into the flesh does not even acknowledge one Son, for mere flesh by itself is not a son; but we confess one Son who took upon Him the seed of Abraham,according to the divine apostle, and wrought the salvation of mankind. But if you do not accept the apostolic preaching, say so openly.

Eran.—But we maintain that the utterances of the apostles are inconsistent, for there appears to be a certain inconsistency between “the Word was made flesh” and “took upon Him the seed of Abraham.”

Orth.—It is because you lack intelligence, or because you are arguing for arguing’s sake, that the consistent seems inconsistent. It does not so appear to men who use sound reasoning; for the divine apostle teaches that the Divine Word was made Flesh, not by mutation, but by taking on Him the seed of Abraham. At the same time, too, he recalls the promise given to Abraham. Or do you not remember the promises given to the Patriarch by the God of the Universe?

Eran.—What promises?

Orth.—When He brought him out of his father’s house, and ordered him to come into Palestine, did He not say to him “I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee, and in thy seed17 shall all families of the earth be blessed”?

Eran.—I remember these promises.

Orth.—Remember, too, the covenants made by God with Isaac and Jacob, for He gave them, too, the same promises, confirming the former by the second and the third.

Eran.—I remember them too.

Orth.—It is in relation to these covenants that the divine apostle writes in his Epistle to the Galatians “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made.” He saith not “seeds” as of many, but as of one …which is Christ,18 very plainly showing that the manhood of Christ sprang from the seed of Abraham, and fulfilled the promise made to Abraham.

Eran.—So the apostle says.

Orth.—Enough has been said to remove all the controversy raised on this point. But I will nevertheless remind you of another prediction. The blessing given to the Patriarch Jacob and to his father and his grand father was given by him to his son Judah alone. He said “A Prince shall not fail Judah, no a leader from his loins, until he shall have come to whom it is in store, and he is the expectation of the Gentiles.”19 Or do you not accept this prediction as spoken of the Saviour Christ?

133 Eran.—Jews give erroneous interpretations of prophecies of this kind, but I am a Christian; I trust in the Divine word; and I receive the prophecies without doubt.

Orth.—Since then you confess that you believe the prophecies and acknowledge the predictions have been divinely uttered about our Saviour, consider what follows as to the intention of the words of the apostle, for while pointing out that the promises made to the patriarchs have reached their fulfilment, he uttered those remarkable words20 “He took not on Him the nature of angels,” all but saying the promise is true; the Lord has fulfilled His pledges; the fount of blessing is open to the gentiles; God had taken on Him the seed of Abraham; through it He brings about the promised salvation; through it He confirms the promise of the gentiles.

Eran.—The words of the Prophet fit in admirably with those of the apostle.

Orth.—So again the divine apostle, reminding us of the blessing of Judah, and pointing out how it received its fulfilment exclaims21 “For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah.” So too the Prophet22 Mi and the evangelist23 Matthew. For the former spoke his prediction, and the latter connects the prophecy with his narrative. What is extraordinary is that he says that the open enemies of the truth plainly told Herod that the Christ is born in Bethlehem, for it is written, he says, “And thou Bethlehem in the land of Judah art not the least among the Princes of Judah for out of thee shall come a Governor who shall rule my people Israel.”24 Now let us subjoin what the Jews in their malignity omitted and so made the witness imperfect. For the prophet, after saying “Out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be Ruler in Israel” adds “Whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting.”25

Eran.—You have done well in adducing the whole evidence of the Prophet, for he points out that He who was born in Bethlehem was God.

Orth.—Not God only but also Man; Man as sprung from Judah after the flesh and born in Bethlehem; and God as existing before the ages. For the words “Out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be Ruler,” shew his birth after the flesh which has taken place in the last days; while the words “Whose goings forth have been of old, from everlasting” plainly proclaim His existence before the ages. In like manner also the divine apostle in his Epistle to the Romans bewailing the change to the worse of the ancient felicity of the Jews, and calling to mind their divine promises and legislation, goes on to say “Whose are the fathers, and of whom concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all God blessed for ever Amen.”26 and in this same passage he exhibits Him both as Creator of all things and Lord and Ruler as God and as sprung from the Jews as man.

Eran.—Well; you have explained these passages, what should you say to the prophecy of Jeremiah? For this proclaims him to be God only.

Orth.—Of what prophecy do you speak?

Eran.—“This is our God and there shall none other be accounted of in comparison to him—he hath found out all the way of knowledge, and hath given it unto Jacob his servant and to lsrael his beloved. Afterward did he shew himself upon earth and conversed with men.”27

In these words the Prophet speaks neither of the flesh, nor of manhood, nor of man,but of God alone.

Orth.—What then is the good of reasoning? Do we say that the Divine nature is invisible? or do we dissent from the Apostle when he says28 “Immortal, invisible, the only God.”

134 Eran.—Indubitably the Divine nature is invisible.

Orth.—How then was it possible for the invisible nature to be seen without a body? Or do you not remember those words of the apostle in which he distinctly teaches the invisibility of the divine nature? He says “Whom no man hath seen nor can see.”29 If therefore the Divine Nature is invisible to men, and I will add too to Angels, tell me how he who cannot be seen or beheld was seen upon earth?

Eran.—The Prophet says30 he was seen on the earth,

Orth.—And the apostle says31 “Immortal, invisible, the only God” and32 “Whom no man hath seen and can see.”

Eran.—What then? is the Prophet lying?

Orth.—God forbid. Both utterances are the words of the Holy Ghost.

Eran.—Let us inquire then how the invisible was seen.

Orth.—Do not, I beg you, bring in human reason. I shall yield to scripture alone.

Eran.—You shall receive no argument unconfirmed by Holy Scripture, and if you bring me any solution of the question deduced from Holy Scripture I will receive it, and will in no wise gainsay it.

Orth.—You know how a moment ago we made the word of the evangelist clear by means of the testimony of the apostle; and that the divine apostle showed us how the Word became Flesh, saying plainly “for verily He took not on Him the nature of angels but He took on Him the seed of Abraham.”33 The same teacher will teach us how the divine Word was seen upon the earth and dwelt among men.

Eran.—I submit to the words both of apostles and of prophets. Shew me then in accordance with your promise the interpretation of the prophecy.

135 Orth.—The divine apostle, writing to Timothy, also says “without controversy great is the mystery of godliness. God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles believed on in the world, received up into glory.”34

It is therefore plain that the divine nature is invisible, but the flesh visible, and that through the visible the invisible was seen, by its means working wonders and unveiling its own power, for with the hand He fashioned the sense of seeing and healed him that was blind from birth. Again He gave the power of hearing to the deaf, and loosed the fettered tongue, using his fingers for a tool and applying his spittle like some healing medicine. So again when He walked upon the sea He displayed the almighty power of the Godhead. Fitly, therefore, did the apostle say “God was manifest in the flesh.” For through it appeared the invisible nature beheld by its means by the angel hosts, for “He was seen,” he says, “of angels.”

The nature then of bodiless beings has shared with us the enjoyment of this boon.

Eran.—Then did not the angels see God before the manifestation of the Saviour?

Orth.—The apostle says that He “was made manifest in the flesh and seen of angels.”

Eran.—But the Lord said, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones, for I say unto you that their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”35

Orth.—But the Lord said again, “Not that any man hath seen the Father save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.”36 Wherefore the evangelist plainly exclaims, “No man hath seen God at any time,”37 and confirms the word of the Lord, for he says, “The only begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father He hath declared Him,” and the great Moses, when he desired to see the invisible nature, heard the Lord God saying, “There shall no man see me and live.”38

Eran.—How then are we to understand the words, “Their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven”?

Orth.—Just as we commonly understand what is said about men who have been supposed to see God.

Eran.—Pray make this plainer, for I do not understand. Can God be seen of men also?

Orth.—Certainly not.

136 Eran.—Yet we hear the divine scripture saying God appeared unto Abraham at the oak of Mamre;39 and Isaiah says “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne high and lifted up,”40 and the same thing is said by Micah, by Daniel and Ezekiel. And of the lawgiver Moses it is related that “The Lord spake to Moses face to face as a man speaketh unto his friend,”41 and the God of the universe Himself said, “With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently and not in dark speeches.”42 What then shall we say; did they behold the divine nature?

Orth.—By no means, for God Himself said, “There shall no man see me and live.”

Eran.—Then they who say that they have seen God are liars?

Orth.—God forbid—they saw what it was possible for them to see.

Eran.—Then the loving Lord accommodates his revelation to the capacity of them that see Him?

Orth.—Yes; and this He has shewn through the Prophet, “for I,” He says, “have multiplied visions and by the hands of the Prophets was made like.”43

(He does not say “was seen” but “was made like.” And making like does not shew the very nature of the thing seen. For even the image of the emperor does not exhibit the emperor’s nature, though it distinctly preserves his features.

Eran.—This is obscure and not sufficiently plain. Was not then the substance of God seen by them who beheld those revelations?

Orth.—No; for who is mad enough to dare to say so?

Eran.—But yet it is said that they saw.

Orth.—Yes; it is said; but we both in the exercise of reverent reason, and in reliance on the Divine utterances, which exclaim distinctly, “No man hath seen God at any time,” affirm that they did not see the Divine Nature, but certain visions adapted to their capacity.

137 Eran.—So we say.

Orth.—So also then let us understand of the angels when we hear that they daily see the face of your Father.44 For what they see is not the divine substance which cannot be circumscribed, comprehended, or apprehended, which embraces the universe, but some glory made commensurate with their nature.

Eran.—This is acknowledged.

Orth.—After the incarnation, however, He was seen also of angels, as the divine apostle says, not however by similitude of glory, but using the true and living covering of the flesh as a kind of screen. “God,” he says, “was made manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels.”45

Eran.—I accept this as Scripture, but I am not prepared to accept the novelties of phrase.

Orth.—What novelties of phrase have we introduced?

Eran.—That of the “screen.” What Scripture calls the flesh of the Lord a screen?

Orth.—You do not seem to be a very diligent reader of your Bible; if you had been you would not have found fault with what we have said as in a figure. For first of all the fact that the divine apostle says that the invisible nature was made manifest through the flesh allows us to understand the flesh as a screen of the Godhead. Secondly, the divine apostle in his Epistle to the Hebrews, distinctly uses the phrase, for he says, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say his flesh; and having an High Priest over the House of God. Coming with truth drawing near with a true heart in fulness of faith.”46

Eran.—Your demonstration is unanswerable, for it is based on apostolic authority.

Orth.—Do not then charge us with innovation. We will adduce for you yet another prophetic authority, distinctly calling the Lord’s flesh a robe and mantle.

Eran.—Should it not appear obscure and ambiguous we will say nothing against it, and be thankful for it.

138 Orth.—I will make you yourself testify to the truth of the promise. You know how the Patriarch Jacob, when he was addressing Judah, limited the sovereignty of Judah by the birth of the Lord.47 “A prince shall not fail Judah, nor a leader from his loins until he shall have come to whom it is in store and he is the expectation of the Gentiles.” You have already confessed that this prophecy was uttered about the saviour.

Eran.—I have.

Orth.—Remember then what follows; for he says “And unto him shall the gathering of the people be …he shall wash his robe in wine and his mantle in the blood of the grape.”48

Eran.—The Patriarch spoke of garments, not of a body.

Orth.—Tell me, then, when or where be washed his cloak in the blood of the grape?

Eran.—Nay; tell me you when he reddened his body in it?

Orth.—Answer I beseech you more reverently.49 Perhaps some of the uninitiated are within hearing.

Eran.—I will both hear and answer in mystic language.

Orth.—You know that the Lord called himself a vine?

Eran.—Yes I know that he said “I am the true vine.”50

Orth.—Now what is the fruit of a vine called after it is pressed?

139 Eran.—It is called wine.

Orth.—When the soldiers wounded the Saviour’s side with the spear, what did the evangelist say was poured out from it?

Eran.—Blood and water.51

Orth.—Well, then; he called the Saviour’s blood blood of the grape, for if the Lord is called a vine, and the fruit of the vine wine, and from the Lord’s side streams of blood and water flowed downwards over the rest of his body, fitly and appropriately the Patriarch foretells “He shall wash his robe in wine and his mantle in blood of the grape.” For as we after the consecration call the mystic fruit of the vine the Lord’s blood, so be called the blood of the true vine blood of the grape.

Eran.—The point before us has been set forth in language at once mystical and clear.

Orth.—Although what has been said is enough for your faith, I will, for confirmation of the faith, give you yet another proof.

Eran.—I shall be grateful to you for so doing, for you will increase the favour done me.

Orth.—You know how God called His own body bread?

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—And how in another place he called His flesh corn?

Eran.—Yes, I know. For I have heard Him saying “The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified,”52 and “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit.”53

140 Orth.—Yes; and in the giving of the mysteries He called the bread, body, and what had been mixed, blood.

Eran.—He so did.

Orth.—Yet naturally the body would properly be called body, and the blood, blood.

Eran.—Agreed.

Orth.—But our Saviour changed the names, and to His body gave the name of the symbol and to the symbol that of his body. So, after calling himself a vine, he spoke of the symbol as blood.

Eran.—True. But I am desirous of knowing the reason of the change of names.

Orth.—To them that are initiated in divine things the intention is plain. For he wished the partakers in the divine mysteries not to give heed to the nature of the visible objects, but, by means of the variation of the names, to believe the change wrought of grace. For He, we know, who spoke of his natural body as corn and bread, and, again, called Himself a vine, dignified the visible symbols by the appellation of the body and blood, not because He had changed their nature, but because to their nature He had added grace?54

Eran.—The mysteries are spoken of in mystic language, and there is a clear declaration of that which is not known to all.

Orth.—Since then it is agreed that the body of the Lord is called by the patriarch “robe” and “mantle”55 and we have reached the discussion of the divine mysteries, tell me truly, of what do you understand the Holy Food to be a symbol and type? Of the godhead of the Lord Christ, or of His body and His blood?

Eran.—Plainly of those things of which they received the names.

Orth.—You mean of the body and of the blood?

Eran.—I do.

141 Orth.—You have spoken as a lover of truth should speak, for when the Lord had taken the symbol, He did not say “this is my godhead,” but “this is my body;” and again “this is my blood”56 and in another place “the bread that I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world.”57

Eran.—These words are true, for they are the divine oracles.

Orth.—If then they are true, I suppose the Lord had a body.

Eran.—No; for I maintain him to be bodiless.

Orth.—But you confess that He had a body?

Eran.—I say that the Word was made flesh, for so I have been taught.

Orth.—It seems, as the proverb has it, as if we are drawing water in a pail with a hole in it.58 For after all our demonstrations and solutions of difficulties, you are bringing the same arguments round again.

Eran.—I am not giving you my arguments, but those of the gospels.

Orth.—And have I not given you the interpretation of the words of the gospels from those of prophets and apostles?

Eran.—They do not serve to clear up the point at issue.

Orth.—And yet we shewed how, being invisible, He was made manifest through flesh, and the relationship of this very flesh we have been taught by the sacred writers—“He took on Him the seed of Abraham.”59 And the Lord God said to the patriarch, “in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed,”60 and the apostle, “It is evident our Lord sprang out of Judah.”61 We adduced further several similar testimonies; but, since you are desirous of hearing yet others, listen to the apostle when he says, “For every high priest taken from among men is ordained that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices, wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.”62

142 Eran.—Point out, then, how He offered after taking a body.

Orth.—The divine apostle himself clearly teaches in the very passage, for after a few words he says: “Wherefore, when He cometh into the world, He saith, sacrifice and offering thou wouldst not, but a body hast thou prepared me.”63 He does not say “into a body hast thou changed,” but “a body hast thou prepared,” and he shows plainly that the formation of the body was wrought by the Spirit in accordance with the utterance of the gospel, “Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is generated in her is of the Holy Ghost.”64

Eran.—The virgin then gave birth only to a body?

Orth.—It appears that you do not even understand the composition of words, much less their meaning, for he is teaching Joseph the manner, not of the generation, but of the conception. For he does not say that which is generated of her, i.e. made, or formed, is of the Holy Ghost. Joseph, ignorant of the mystery, was suspicions of adultery; he was therefore plainly taught the formation by the Spirit. It is this which He signified through the prophet when He said “A body hast thou prepared me”65 for the divine Apostle being full of the Spirit interpreted the prediction. If then the offering of gifts is the special function of priests and Christ in His humanity was called priest and offered no other sacrifice save66 His own body, then the Lord Christ had a body.

Eran.—This even I have repeatedly affirmed, and I do not say that the divine Word appeared without a body. What I maintain is not that He took a body but that He was made flesh.

Orth.—So far as I see our contest lies with the supporters of Valentinus, of Marcion, and of Manes; but even they never had the hardihood to say that the immutable nature underwent mutation into flesh.

Eran.—Reviling is unchristian.

Orth.—We do not revile, but we are fighting for truth, and we are vexed at your arguing about the indisputable as though it could be disputed. However, I will endeavour to put an end to your ungracious contention. Answer now; do you remember the promises which God made to David?

Eran.—Which?

Orth.—Those which the prophet inserted in the 88th Psalm.

Eran.—I know that many promises were made to David. Which are yon enquiring about now?

143 Orth.—Those which refer to the Lord Christ.

Eran.—Recall the utterances yourself, for you promised to adduce your proofs.

Orth.—Listen now how the prophet praises God at the very beginning of the Psalm. He saw with his prophetic eyes the future iniquity of his people, and the captivity that was in consequence foredoomed; yet he praised his own Lord for unfailing promises. “I will sing,” he says, “of the mercies of the Lord forever, with my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations, for thou hast said, Mercy shall be built up for ever, Thy faithfulness shalt Thou establish in the very heavens.”67

Through all this the prophet teaches that the promise was made by God on account of lovingkindness, and that the promise is faithful. Then he goes on to say what He promised, and to whom, introducing God Himself as the speaker. (“I have made a covenant with my chosen.”68 ) It is the Patriarchs that He called chosen; then He goes on “I have sworn unto David my servant,”69 and He states concerning what He swore, “Thy seed will I establish for ever, and build up thy throne to all generations.”70

Now whom do you suppose to be called the seed of David?

Eran.—The promise was made about Solomon.

Orth.—Then he made his covenant with the Patriarchs about Solomon, for before what was said about David he mentioned the promises made to the Patriarchs “I have made a covenant with my chosen,” and He promised the Patriarchs that in their seed He would bless all nations. Kindly point out how the nations were blessed through Solomon

Eran.—Then God fulfilled this promise, not by means of Solomon, but of our Saviour.

Orth.—So then our Lord Christ gave the fulfilment to the promises made to David.

Eran.—I hold that these promises were made by God, either about Solomon, or about Zerubbabel.

Orth.—Just now you used the arguments of Marcion and Valentinus and of Manes. Now you have gone over to the directly opposite faction, and are advocating the impudence of the Jews. This is just like all those who turn out of a straight road; they err and stray first one way and then another, wandering in a wilderness.

144 Eran.—Revilers are excluded by the Apostle from the kingdom.71

Orth.—Yes, if their revilings are vain. Sometimes the divine Apostle himself opportunely uses this mode of speech. He calls the Galatians “foolish,”72 and of others he says “men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith,”73 and again of another set, “Whose God is their belly, whose glory is in their shame,”74 and so forth.

Eran.—What occasion did I give you for reviling?

Orth.—Do you really not think that the willing advocacy of the declared enemies of the truth furnishes the pious with very reasonable ground of indignation?

Eran.—And what enemies of the truth have I patronized?

Orth.—Now, Jews.

Eran.—How so?

Orth.—Jews connect prophecies of this kind with Solomon and Zerubbabel, in order to exhibit the groundlessness of the Christian position; but the mere words are quite enough to convict them of their iniquity, for it is written “I will establish my throne for ever.”75 Now not only Solomon and Zerubbabel, to whom such prophecies are applied by the Jews, have lived out their appointed time, and reached the end of life, but the whole race of David has become extinct; for who ever heard of any one at the present day descended from the root of David?

Eran.—But are not, then, those who are called Patriarchs of the Jews of the family of David?

Orth.—Certainly not.

Eran.—Whence, then, are they sprung?

145 Orth.—From the foreigner Herod, who, on his father’s side, was an Ascalonite, and on his mother’s an Idumaean;76 but they, too, have all disappeared, and many years have gone by since their sovereignty came to an end. But our Lord God promised not only to maintain the seed of David for ever, but to establish his kingdom undestroyed; for He said, “I will build up my throne to all generations.”

But we see that his race is gone, and his kingdom come to an end. Yet though we see this, we know that the God of the Universe is true.

Eran.—That God is true is plain.

Orth.—If, then, God is true, as in truth He is, and promised David that He would establish His race for ever, and keep his kingdom through all time, and if neither race nor kingdom are to be seen, for both have come to an end, how can we convince our opponents that God is true?

Eran.—I suppose, then, the prophecy really points to the Lord Christ.

Orth.—If, then, you confess this, let us investigate together a passage in the middle of the Psalm; we shall then more clearly see what the prophecy means.

Eran.—Lead on; I will religiously follow in your footsteps.

Orth.—After making many promises about this seed that it should be Lord both by sea and land77 and higher than the kings of the earth and be called the first begotten of God,78 and should boldly call God, Father79 God also added this, “My mercy will I keep for him for evermore and my covenant shall stand fast with him. His seed also will I make to endure for ever and his throne as the days of heaven.”80

Eran.—The promise goes beyond the bounds of human nature, for both the life and the honour are indestructible and eternal. But men endure but for a season; their nature is short lived and their kingdom even during its lifetime undergoes many and various vicissitudes, so that truly the greatness of the prophecy befits none but the Saviour Christ.

Orth.—Go on then to what follows and your opinion upon this point will be in every way confirmed, for again saith the God of the universe, “Once have I sworn by my holiness, if I lie unto David, his seed shall endure for ever and his throne as the sun before me. It shall be established for ever as the moon.”81

Then, pointing out the truth of the promise He adds, “And the witness is faithful in heaven.”

146 Eran.—We must believe without doubt in the promises given by the faithful witness, for, if we are wont to believe men who have promised to speak the truth even if they do not confirm their words with an oath, who can be so mad as to disbelieve the Creator of the Universe, when He adds an oath to his words? For He who forbids others to swear confirmed the immutability of his counsel by an oath,82 “that by two immutable things in which it was impossible for God to lie we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us.”83

Orth.—If then the promise is irrefragable, and among the Jews there is now neither family nor kingdom of the prophet David to be seen, let us believe that our Lord Jesus Christ is plainly called seed of David in His humanity, for of Him the life and the kingdom are both alike eternal.

Eran.—We have no doubt; and this I own to be the truth.

Orth.—These proofs then are sufficient to show clearly the manhood which our Lord and Saviour took of David’s seed. But to remove all possibility of doubt by the witness of the majority, let us hear how God makes mention of the promises given to David through the voice of the prophet Isaiah. “I will make,” he says, “an everlasting covenant with you,” and, signifying the law-giver, he adds, “even the sure mercies of David.”84

Since He made this promise to David, and spoke through Esaias, He will assuredly bring the promise to pass. And what follows after the prophecy is in harmony with what I say, for he saith “Behold I have given him for a witness to the people, a leader and commander to the people. Behold nations that know thee not shall call upon thee, and peoples that understand thee not shall run unto thee.”85 Now this fits in with none that are sprung from David, for who of David’s descendants, as Esaias says, was made a ruler of nations? And what nations in their prayers ever called on David’s descendants as God?

Eran.—About what is perfectly clear it is unbecoming to dispute, and this plainly refers to the Lord Christ.

Orth.—Then let us pass on to another prophetic testimony and let us hear the same prophet saying “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse and a branch shall grow out of his roots.”86

Eran.—I think this prophecy was delivered about Zerubbabel.

Orth.—If yon hear what follows, you will not remain in your opinion. The Jews have never so understood this prediction, for the prophet goes on, “and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.”87 This would never be attributed by any one to a mere man, for even to the very holy the gifts of the Spirit are given by division, as the divine apostle witnesses when he says, “To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit,”88 and so on. The prophet describes Him who sprang from the root of Jesse as possessing all the powers of the spirit.

Eran.—To gainsay this were sheer folly.

Orth.—Now hear what follows. You will see some things that transcend human nature, he goes on. “He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears, but with righteousness shall He judge the poor, and reprove with equity the mighty89 of the earth, and He shall smite the earth with the word of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips shall he slay the wicked.”90 Now of these predictions some are human and some divine. Justice, truth, equity, and rectitude in giving judgment exhibit virtue in human nature.

147 Eran.—We have so far clearly learned that the prophet predicts the coming of our Saviour Christ.

Orth.—The sequel will shew you yet more plainly the truth of the interpretation. For he goes on, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,”91 and so on, whereby he teaches at once the distinction of modes of life and the harmony of faith; and experience furnishes a proof of the prediction, for they that abound in wealth, they that live in poverty, servants and masters, rulers and ruled, soldiers and citizens and they that wield the sceptre of the world are received in one font, are all taught one doctrine, are all admitted to one mystic table, and each of the believers enjoys an equal share.

Eran.—It is thus shewn that God is spoken of.

Orth.—Not only God but man. So at the very beginning of this prediction he says that a rod shall grow out of the root of Jesse. Then at the conclusion of the prediction he takes up once more the strain with which he began, for he says “There shall be a root of Jesse which shall stand for an ensign of the people, to it shall the Gentiles seek and his rest shall be glorious.”92 Now Jesse was the father of David, and the promise with an oath was made to David. The prophet would not have spoken of the Lord Christ as a rod growing out of Jesse if he had only known Him as God. The prediction also foretold the change of the world, for “the earth” he says “shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”93

Eran.—I have heard the prophetic utterances. But I was anxious to know clearly if the divine company of the apostles also says that the Lord Christ sprang from the seed of David according to the flesh.

Orth.—You have asked for information which so far from being hard is exceedingly easy to give you. Only listen to the first of the apostles exclaiming “David being a prophet and knowing that God had sworn an oath to him that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit upon His throne; he seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His soul was not left in hell neither His flesh did see corruption.”94

Hence you may perceive that of the seed of David according to the flesh sprang the Lord Christ, and had not flesh only but also a soul.

Eran.—What other apostle preached this?

Orth.—The great Peter alone was sufficient to testify to the truth, for the Lord after receiving the confession of the truth given by Peter alone confirmed it by a memorable approval. But since you are anxious to hear others proclaiming this same thing, hear Paul and Barnabas preaching in Antioch in Pisidia; for they, when they had made mention of David, continued “Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus.”95 and so on. And in a letter to Timothy the divine Paul says “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel.”96 And, when writing to the Romans, at the very outset he calls attention to the Davidic kin, for he says “Paul a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God which He had promised before by his prophets in the holy scriptures concerning His Son which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh,”97 and so on.

Eran.—Your proofs are numerous and convincing; but tell me why you have omitted what follows?

Orth.—Because it is not about the Godhead, but about the manhood, that you are in difficulties. Had you been in doubt about the Godhead, I would have given you proof of it. It is enough to say “according to the Flesh” to declare the Godhead which is not expressed in terms. When speaking of a relationship of man in general I do not say the son of such an one “according to the flesh,” but simply “son,” so the divine Evangelist writing his genealogy says “Abraham begat Isaac”98 and does not add according to the flesh, for Isaac was merely man, and he mentions the rest in like manner, for they were men and had no qualities transcending their nature. But when the heralds of the truth are discoursing of our Lord Christ, and are pointing out to the ignorant His lower relation, they add the words “according to the flesh,” thus indicating His Godhead and teaching that the Lord Christ was not only man but also Eternal God.

148 Eran.—You have adduced many proofs from the apostles and prophets, but I follow the words of the Evangelist “The Word was made Flesh.”99

Orth.—I also follow this divine teaching, but I understand it in a pious sense, as meaning that He was made Flesh by taking flesh and a reasonable soul. But if the divine Word took nothing of our nature, then the covenants made with the patriarchs by the God of all with oaths were not true, and the blessing of Judah was vain, and the promise to David was false, and the Virgin was superfluous, because she did not contribute anything of our nature to the Incarnate God. Then the predictions of the prophets have no fulfilment. Then vain is our preaching, vain our faith and vain the hope of the resurrection100 for the Apostle, it appears, lies when he says “and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”101 For if the Lord Christ had nothing of our nature then He is falsely described as our first fruits, and His bodily nature has not risen from the dead and has not taken the seat in Heaven on the right hand; and if He has obtained none of these things, how hath God raised us up together and made us sit together with Christ, when we in no wise belong to Him in Nature? But it is impious to say this, for the divine apostle, though the general resurrection has not yet taken place, though the kingdom of heaven has not yet been bestowed upon the faithful, exclaims, “He hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” in order to teach that since the resurrection of our first fruits, and His sitting on the right hand has come to pass, we too in general shall attain the resurrection, and that all they who share in His nature and have adopted His faith, share too in the first fruits of His glory.

Eran.—We have gone through many and sound arguments, but I was anxious to know the force of the Gospel saying.

Orth.—You stand in need of no interpretation from without. The evangelist himself interprets himself. For after saying “the Word was made flesh,” he goes on “and dwelt among us.”102 That is to say by dwelling in us, and using the flesh taken from us as a kind of temple, He is said to have been made flesh, and, teaching that He remained unchanged, the evangelist adds “and we beheld His glory—the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”103 For though clad with flesh He exhibited His Father’s nobility, shot forth the beams of the Godhead, and emitted the radiance of the power of the Lord, revealing by His works of wonder His hidden nature. A similar illustration is afforded by the words of the divine apostle to the Philippians: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation and took upon Him the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man he humbled Himself and became obedient unto death even the death of the cross.”104

Look at the relation of the utterances. The evangelist says “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,” the apostle, “took upon him the form of a servant;” the evangelist “We beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father”—the apostle, “who being in the form of God thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” To put the matter briefly, both teach that being God and son of God, and clad with His Father’s glory, and having the same nature and power with Him that begat Him, He that was in the beginning and was with God, and was God, and was Creator of the world, took upon Him the form of a servant, and it seemed that this was all which was seen; but it was God clad in human nature, and working out the salvation of men. This is what was meant by “The word was made flesh” and “was made in the likeness of men and being found in fashion as a man.” This is all that was looked at by the Jews, and therefore they said to him “For a good work we stone Thee not but for blasphemy and because that Thou being a man makest Thyself God,”105 and again “This man is not of God because He keepeth not the Sabbath Day.”106

Eran.—The Jews were blind on account of their unbelief, and therefore used these words.

Orth.—If you find even the apostles before the resurrection thus saying, will you receive the interpretation? I hear them in the boat, after the mighty miracle of the calm, saying “what manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”107

Eran.—This is made plain. But now tell me this;—the divine apostle says that He “was made in the likeness of man.”

Orth.—What was taken of him was not man’s likeness, but man’s nature. For “formof a servant” is understood just as “the form of God” is understood to mean God’s nature. He took this, and so was made in the likeness of man, and was found in fashion as a man. For, being God, He seemed to be man, on account of the nature which He took. The evangelist, however, speaks of His being made in the likeness of man as His being made flesh. But that you may know that they who deny the flesh of the Saviour are of the opposite spirit, hear the great Jn in his Catholic Epistle saying “Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God, and this is that spirit of Anti-Christ.”108

Eran.—You have given a plausible interpretation, but I was anxious to know how the old teachers of the Church have understood the passage “the word was made flesh.”

Orth.—You ought to have been persuaded by the apostolic and prophetic proofs; but since you require further the interpretations of the holy Fathers I will also furnish you, God helping me, this medicine.

149 Eran.—Do not bring me men of obscure position or doubtful doctrine. I shall not receive the interpretation of such as these.

Orth.—Does the far famed Athanasius, brightest light of the church of Alexandria, seem to you to be worthy of credit?

Eran.—Certainly, for he ratified his teaching by the suffering he underwent for the Truth’s sake.

Orth.—Hear then how he wrote to Epictetus.109 “The expression of Jn ‘the Word was made flesh’ has this interpretation, so far as can be discovered from the similar passage which we find in St. Paul ‘Christ was made a curse for us.’110 It is not because He was made a curse but because He received the curse on our behalf that He is said to have been made a curse, and so it is not because He was turned into flesh, but because He took flesh on our behalf, that He is said to have been made flesh.” So far the divine Athanasius. Gregory, too, whose glory among all men is great, who formerly ruled the Imperial city at the mouth of the Bosphorus and afterwards dwelt at Nazianzus, thus wrote to Cledonius against the specious fallacies of Apollinarius.

Eran.—He was an illustrious man and a foremost fighter in the cause of piety.

Orth.—Hear him then. He says111 “the expression ‘He was made Flesh’ seems to be parallel to His being said to have been made sin and a curse,112 not because the Lord was transmuted into these,—for how could He?—but because He accepted these when He took on Him our iniquities and bore our infirmities.”113

Eran.—The two interpretations agree.

Orth.—We have shown you the pastors of the south and north in harmony; now then let us introduce too the illustrious teachers of the west, who have written their interpretation, if with another tongue, yet with one and the same mind.

Eran.—I am told that Ambrosius, who adorned the episcopal throne at Milan, fought in the first ranks against all heresy, and wrote works of great beauty and in agreement with the teaching of the apostles.

Orth.—I will give you his interpretation. Ambrosius says in his work concerning the faith “It is written that the Word was made flesh. I do not deny that it is written, but look at the terms used; for there follows ‘and dwelt among us,’ that is to say dwelt in human flesh. You are therefore astonished at the terms in which it is written that the Word was made flesh, on the assumption of flesh, by the divine Word, when also concerning sin which He had not, it is said that He was made sin, that is to say not that He was made the nature and operation of sin, but that he might crucify our sin in the flesh; let them then give over asserting that the nature of the Word has undergone change and alteration, for He who took is one and that which was taken other.”114

It is now fitting that you should hear the teachers of the east, this being the only quarter of the east, this being the only quarter of the world which we have hitherto left unnoticed, though they indeed might well have first witnessed to the truth, for to them was first imparted the teaching of the apostles. But since you have sharpened your tongues against the first-born sons of piety by whetting them on the hone of falsehood, we have reserved for them the last place, that after first hearing the rest, you might lay witness by the side of witness, and so at once admire their harmony, and cease from your own interminable talk. Listen then to Flavianus who for a long time right wisely moved the tiller of the church of Antioch, and made the churches which he guided ride safe over the Arian storm, by expounding to them the word of the gospel. “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us; He is not turned into flesh, nor yet did he cease from being God, for this he was from all eternity and became flesh in the dispensation of the incarnation115 after himself building his own temple, and taking up his abode in the passible creature.” And if you desire to hear the ancients of Palestine, lend your ears to the admirable Gelasius, who did diligent husbandry in the church of Caesarea. Now these are his words in his homily on the festival of the Lord’s epiphany.116 “Learn the truth from the words of Jn the Fisherman, ‘And the word was made flesh,’ not having himself undergone change, but having taken up his abode with us. The dwelling is one thing; the Word is another; the temple is one thing, and God who dwells in it, another.”

150 Eran.—I am much struck by the agreement.

Orth.—Now do you not suppose that the rule of the apostolic faith was kept by John, who first nobly watered the field of the church of the Antiochenes, and then was a wise husbandman of that of the imperial city?

Eran.—I hold this teacher to be in all respects an admirable one.

Orth.—Well, this most excellent man has interpreted this passage of the Gospel. He writes,117 “When you hear that the Word was made flesh, be not startled or cast down, for the substance did not deteriorate into flesh—an idea of the uttermost impiety—but continuing to be just what it is, so took the form of a servant. For just as when the apostle says ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,’118 he does not say that the substance of Christ departed from His own glory, and took the substance of a curse, a position which not even devils would imagine, nor the utterly senseless, and the naturally idiotic—so remarkable being the connection between impiety and insanity. But what he does assert is that after receiving the curse due to us, He does not suffer us to be cursed for the future. It is in this sense that He is stated to have been made flesh, not because he had changed the substance into flesh, but because he had assumed the flesh, the substance remaining all the while unimpaired.”119

You may like to bear also Severianus, Bishop of Gabala.120 If so, I will adduce his testimony and do you lend your ears.

“The text ‘the Word was made flesh’ does not indicate a deterioration of nature but the assumption of our nature. Suppose you take the word ‘was made’ to indicate a change; then when you hear Paul saying ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse for us,’ do you understand him to mean a change into the nature of a curse? Just as being made a curse had no other meaning than that He took our curse upon Himself, so the words was made flesh and dwelt among us mean nothing other than the assumption of flesh.”

Eran.—I admire the exact agreement121 of these men. For they are as unanimous in giving the same interpretations of evangelical writings as if they had met in the same place and written down their opinion together.

Orth.—Mountains and seas separate them very far from one another, yet distance does not damage their harmony, for they were all inspired by the same gift of the spirit. I would also have offered you the interpretations of the victorious champions of piety Diodorus and Theodorus, had I not seen that you were ill disposed towards them, and had inherited the hostility of Apollinarius; you would have seen that they have expressed similar experiences, drawing water from the divine Fount, and becoming themselves too, streams of the spirit. But I will pass them by, for you have declared a truceless war against them. I will, however, shew you the famous teacher of the Church, and his mind about the divine incarnation, that you may know what opinion he held concerning the assumed nature. You have no doubt heard of the illustrious Ignatius, who received episcopal grace by the hand of the great Peter,122 and after ruling the church of Antioch, wore the crown of martyrdom. You have heard too of Irenaeus, who enjoyed the teaching of Polycarp, and became a light of the western Gauls;—of Hippolytus and Methodius, bishops and martyrs, and the rest, whose names I will append to their expressions of opinion.

Eran.—I am exceedingly desirous of hearing their testimony too.

Orth.—Hear them now bringing forward the apostolic teaching). Testimony of Saint Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, and martyr.

From the letter to the Smyrnaeans (I).:—

151 “Having a full conviction with respect to our Lord as being truly descended from David according to the flesh, son of God according to Godhead123 and power, born really of a virgin, baptized by Jn that all righteousness might be fulfilled124 by Him, really in the time of Pontius Pilate and of Herod the tetrarch crucified for our sake in the flesh.”125

Of the same in the same epistle:

“For what advantageth it me if a man praises me but blasphemes my Lord, in not confessing him to be a bearer of flesh? but he who does not make this confession really denies Him and is himself bearer of a corpse.”126

Of the saint from the same epistle:

“For if these things were done by our Lord in appearance only, then it is in appearance only that I am a prisoner in chains; and why have I delivered myself to death, to fire, to sword, to the beasts? But he who is near to the sword is near to God.127 Only in the name of Jesus Christ that I may share his sufferings I endure all things while He, Perfect Man whom some in their ignorance deny, gives me strength.”128

From the same in the letter to the Ephesians:

“For our God Jesus Christ was born in Mary’s womb by dispensation of God of the seed of David129 and of the Holy Ghost who was born and was baptized that our mortality might be purified.”130

From the same epistle:

“If ye all individually come together by grace name by name in one faith, and in one Jesus Christ according to the flesh of David’s race Son of God and Son of man.131

Of the same from the same epistle:

“There is one Physician of flesh and of spirit generate and ingenerate, God in man, true life in death, Son of Mary and of God, first passible and then impassible, Jesus Christ our Lord.”132

152 Lastly of the same in his epistle to the Trallians:

“Be ye made deaf therefore when any man speaks to you apart from Jesus Christ, who was of David’s race and of Mary, who was really born and really ate and drank and was persecuted in the time of Pontius Pilate, was crucified and died, while beings on earth and beings in heaven and beings under the earth were looking on.”133

Testimony of Irenaeus bishop of Lyons, from his third book Against the heresies:

“Why then did they add the words ’In the city of David,134 save to proclaim the good news that the promise made by God to David, that of the fruit of his loins should come an everlasting king, was fulfilled; a promise which indeed the Creator of the world had made.”135

Of the same from the same book:

“And when he says ‘Hear ye now, Oh House of David’136 he means that the everlasting King whom God promised to David that he would raise up from his body is He who was born of David’s Virgin.”

Of the same from the same book:

“If then the first Adam had had a human father and had been begotten of seed, it would have been reasonable to say that the second Adam had been begotten of Joseph. But if the former was taken from earth, and his creator was God, it was necessary also that He who renews in himself the man created by God should have the same likeness of generation with that former. Why then did not God again take dust? Why did he on the other hand ordain that the formation should be made of Mary? That there might be no other creation; that that which was being saved might be no other thing; but that the former might himself be renewed without loss of the likeness. For then do they too fall away who allege that He took nothing from the Virgin, that they may repudiate the inheritance of the flesh and cast off the likeness.”137

Of the same from the same book:

“Since his going down into Mary is useless; for why went He down into her if He was designed to take nothing from her? And further, if He had taken nothing from Mary He would not have accepted the food taken from earth whereby is nourished the body taken from earth, nor would He like Moses and Elias, after fasting forty days, have hungered, on account of His body demanding its own food, nor yet would Jn his disciple when writing about him have said—‘Jesus being wearied from his journey sat,’138 nor would David have uttered the prediction about him ‘And they added to the pain of my wounds,’139 nor would he have wept over Lazarus,140 nor would He have sweated drops of blood,141 nor would He have said, ‘my soul is exceedingly sorrowful,’142 nor yet when He was pierced would blood and water have issued from His side.143 For all these things are proofs of the flesh taken from earth, which He had renewed in Himself in the salvation of his own creature.”144

Of the same from the same book:

153 “For as by the disobedience of the one man who was first formed from rude earth the many were made sinners145 and lost their life, so also was it fitting that through obedience of one man, the firstborn of a virgin, many should be made righteous and receive their salvation.”146

Of the same from the same work:

“‘I have said ye are gods and all of you children of the Most High but ye shall die like man.’147 This He says to them that did not accept the gift of adoption, but dishonour the incarnation of the pure generation of the word of God, deprive man of his ascent to God, and are ungrateful to the Word of God who for their sakes was made flesh. For this cause was the word made man that man receiving the word and accepting the adoption should be made God’s son.148 ”

Of the same from the same book:

“Since then on account of the fore-ordained dispensation149 the spirit came down, and the only begotten Son of God, who also is Word of the Father, when the fulness of time was come, was made flesh in man and our Lord Jesus Christ—being one and the same—fulfilled all the human dispensation as the Lord himself testifies, and the apostles confess, all the teachings of men who invented the ogdoads and tetrads and similitudes are proved plainly false.”150

Testimony of the Holy Hippolytus, Bishop and Martyr, from his discourse on “The Lord is my shepherd”:

“And an ark of incorruptible wood was the Saviour Himself, for the incorruptibility and indestructibility of His Tabernacle signified its producing no corruption of sin. For the sinner who confesses his sin says ‘My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness.’151 But the Lord was without sin, made in His human nature of incorruptible wood, that is to say, of the Virgin and the Holy Ghost, overlaid within and without, as it were, by purest gold of the word of God.”

Of the same from his discourse on Elkanah and Hannah:

“Bring me then, O Samuel, the Heifer drawn to Bethlehem, that you may shew the King begotten of David, and anointed King and Priest by the Father.”

From the same discourse:

“Tell me, O Blessed Mary, what it was that was conceived by thee in the womb; what it was that was borne by thee in a Virgin’s womb. It was the Word of God, firstborn from Heaven, on thee descending, and man firstborn being formed in a womb, that the first born Word of God might be shewn united to a firstborn man.”

154 From the same discourse:

“The second, which was through the prophets as through Samuel, he revokes, and turns his people from the slavery of strangers. The third, in which He took the manhood of the Virgin and was present in the flesh; who, when He saw the city wept over it.”

Of the same from his discourse on the beginning of Isaiah:152 —

“He likens the world to Egypt; its idolatry, to images; its removal and destruction to an earthquake. The Word he calls the ‘Lord’ and by a ‘swift cloud’ he means the right pure tabernacle enthroned on which our Lord Jesus Christ entered into life to undo the fall.”

Testimony of the Holy Methodius,153 bishop and martyr, from his discourse on the martyrs:

“So wonderful and precious is martyrdom that our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of God, testified in its honour that He thought it not robbery to be equal with God, that He might crown with this grace the Manhood into whom He had come down.”

Testimony of the holy Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, confessor. From his interpretation of the xvith Psalm:

“The soul of Jesus experienced both. For it was in the place of the souls of men and being made without the flesh, lives and survives. So it is reasonable and of the same substance as the souls of men, just as the flesh is of the same substance as the flesh of men, coming forth from Mary.”

Of the same from his work about the soul:

“On looking at the education of the child, or at the increase of his stature, or at the extension of time, or at the growth of the body, what would they say? But, to omit the miracles wrought upon earth, let them behold the raisings of the dead to life, the signs of the Passion, the marks of the scourges, the bruises and the blows, the wounded side, the prints of the nails, the shedding of the blood, the evidences of the death, and in a word the actual resurrection of the very body.”

From the same work:

155 “Indeed if any one looks to the generation of the body, he would clearly discover that after being born at Bethlehem He was wrapped in swaddling clothes, and was brought up for some time in Egypt, because of the evil counsel of the cruel Herod, and grew to man’s estate at Nazareth.”

From the same work:

“For the tabernacle of the Word and of God is not the same, whereby the blessed Stephen beheld the divine glory.”154

Of the same from his sermon on “the Lord created me in the beginning of His way”:155 —

“If the Word received a beginning of His generation from the time when passing through His mother’s womb He wore the human frame, it is clear that He was made of a woman; but if He was from the first Word and God with the Father, and if we assert that the universe was made by Him, then He who is and is the cause of all created things was not made of a woman, but is by nature God, self existent, infinite, incomprehensible; and of a woman was made man, formed in the Virgin’s womb by the Holy Ghost.”

From the same work:

“For a temple absolutely holy and undefiled is the tabernacle of the word according to the flesh, wherein God visibly made his habitation and dwelt, and we assert this not of conjecture, for He who is by nature the Son of this God when predicting the destruction and resurrection of the temple distinctly instructs us by His teaching when He says to the murderous Jews, ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.’”156

From the same work:

“When then the Word built a temple and carried the manhood, companying in a body with men, He invisibly displayed various miracles, and sent forth the apostles as heralds of His everlasting kingdom.”

Of the same from his intrepretation of Psalm xcii:

“It is plain then if ‘He that anointeth’ means God whose throne He calls ‘everlasting,’ the anointer is plainly by nature God, begotten of God. But the anointed took an acquired virtue, being adorned with a chosen temple of the Godhead dwelling in it.”

156 The testimony of the holy Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria and Confessor. From the defence of Dionysius Bishop of Alexandria:

“‘I am the vine, ye are the branches My Father is the husbandman.’157 For we according to the body are of kin to the Lord, and for this reason He himself said ‘I will declare thy name unto my brethren.’158 And just as the branches are of one substance with the vine, and of it, so too we, since we have bodies akin to the body of the Lord, receive them of His fulness, and have it as a root for our resurrection and salvation. And the Father is called a husbandman, for He Himself through the Word tilled the vine which is the Lord’s body.”

Of the same from the same treatise:

“The Lord was called a vine on account of His bodily relationship to the branches which are ourselves.”

Of the same from his greater oration concerning the faith:

“The scripture ‘in the beginning was the Word’159 clearly indicates the Godhead. The passage ‘the Word was made flesh’160 shews the human nature of the Lord.”

From the same discourse:

“‘He shall wash His garments in wine’161 that is His body, which is the vestment of the Godhead in His own blood.”

Of the same from the same discourse:

“The Word ‘was’162 is referred to His divinity, the words ‘was made flesh’163 to His body, the Word was made flesh not by being reduced to flesh, but by bearing flesh, just as any one might say such an one became or was made an old man, though not so born from the beginning, or the soldier became a veteran, not being previously such as he became. Jn says, ‘I became,’ or ‘was in the island of Patmos on the Lord’s day.’164 Not that he was made or born there, but he says ‘I became or was in Patmos’ instead of saying ‘I arrived;’ so the Word ‘arrived’ at flesh, as it is said ‘the Word was made flesh.’ Hear the words ‘I became like a broken vessel,’165 and ‘I became like a man that hath no strength, free among the dead.’”166

Of the same from his letter to Epictetus:

157 “Whoever heard such things? Who taught them? Who learnt them? ‘Out of Zion shall go forth the law and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem.’167 But whence did these things come forth? What hell vomited them out? To say that the body taken of Mary was of the same substance as the Godhead of the Word, or that the Word was changed into flesh and bones and hairs and a whole body; whoever heard in a church or at all among Christians that God bore a body by adoption and not by birth?”168

Of the same from the same Epistle:

“But who, hearing that the Word made for Himself a passible body, not of Mary, but of His own substance, would call the sayer of these things a Christian? Who has invented so unfounded an impiety, as even to think and to say that they who affirm the Lord’s body to be of Mary, conceive no longer of a Trinity, but of a quaternity in the godhead? As though they that are of this opinion described the flesh which the Saviour clothed himself with of Mary as of the substance of the Trinity.

“Whence further have some men vomited forth an impiety as bad as the foregoing, and alleged that the body is not of later time than the godhead of the Word, but has always been co-eternal with it, since it is formed of the substance of wisdom.”

Of the same from the same letter:

“So the body taken of Mary was human according to the scriptures, and real in that it was the same as our own. For Mary was our sister, since we are all of Adam, a fact which no one could doubt who remembers the words of Luke.”169

Testimony of the holy Basil, bishop of Caesarea:

From the interpretation of Psalm LX.

“All strangers have stooped and been put under the yoke of Christ, wherefore also ‘over Edom’ does he ‘cast out’ his ‘shoe.’170 Now the shoe of the Godhead is the flesh which bore God whereby he came among men.”

Of the same from his writings about the Holy Ghost to Amphilochius:

“He uses the phrase ‘of whom’ instead of ‘through whom;’ as when Paul says ‘made of a woman.’171 He clearly made this distinction for us in another place where he says that the being made of the man is proper to a woman, but to a man the being made by the woman, in the words ‘For as the woman is of the man so is the man by the woman.’172 But with the object at once of pointing out the different use of these expressions, and of correcting obiter an error of certain men who supposed the body of the Lord to be spiritual, that he may shew how the God-bearing flesh was composed of human matter, he gives prominence to the more emphatic expression, for the expression ‘by a woman’ was in danger of suggesting that the sense of the word generation was merely in passing through, while the phrase ‘of the woman’ makes the common nature of the child and of the mother plain enough.”

158 Testimony of the holy Gregory bishop of Nazianus. From the former exposition to Cledonius:

“If any one says that the flesh came down from heaven, and not from this earth, and from us, let him be Anathema. For the words ‘The second man is from heaven,’173 and ‘as is the heavenly such are they also that are heavenly’174 and ‘no man hath ascended up to heaven but the son of man that came down from heaven,’175 and any other similar passage, must be understood to be spoken on account of the union with man, as also the statement that ‘all things were made by Christ,’176 and that ‘Christ dwells in our hearts,’177 must be understood not according to the sensible, but according to the intellectual conception of the Godhead, the terms being commingled together just as are the natures.”

Of the same from the same work:

“Let us see from their own words what reason they give for the being made man, that is for the incarnation. If indeed it was that God otherwise not contained in space, might be contained in space and, as it were under a veil, might converse with men in the flesh, then their mask and their stage play are exquisite: not to say that it was possible for Him otherwise to converse with us, as of yore, in a burning bush and in human form, but if that He might undo the damnation of sin by taking like to like178 then just as He required flesh on account of the condemned flesh, and a soul on account of the soul, so too he required a mind on account of the mind, which in Adam not only fell but,—to employ a term which physicians are accustomed to use about diseases—was affected with original malady.179 For that which did not keep the commandment was what had received the commandment; and that which dared transgression was what had not kept the commandment; and that which specially needed salvation was what had transgressed, and that which was assumed was what needed salvation; so the mind was assumed. Now this point has been demonstrated, whether they will or no, by proofs which are so to say mathematical and necessary. But you are doing just as though, if a man were to have a diseased eye and a limping foot you were to cure the foot but leave the eye uncured; or, if a painter had painted a picture badly, were to alter the picture, but leave the painter alone, as though he were doing his work well. But if they are so constrained by these arguments as to take refuge in the statement that it is possible for God to save man, even without a mind, why then clearly He might have done so even without flesh, by the mere expression of His will, just as He works and has worked in the universe without a body. Away then with the flesh as well as with the mind! Let there be no inconsistency in your absurdity.”

Testimony of the Holy Gregory, bishop of Nyssa. From his sermon on Abraham:

“So the Word came down not naked, but after having been made flesh, not in the form of God, but in the form of a servant.180 This then is He who said that He could do nothing of Himself.181 For the not being able is the part of powerlessness. For as darkness is opposed to light, and death to life, so is weakness to power. But yet Christ is Power of God. Power is wholly inconsistent with not being able. For if power were powerless what is powerful? When then the Word declares that He can do nothing it is plain that He does not attribute his powerlessness to the Godhead of the Only-begotten, but connects his not being able with the powerlessness of our nature. The flesh is weak, as it is written, ‘The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’”182

Of the same from his Book “on the Perfection of Life”:

“Again the true lawgiver, of whom Moses was a type, hewed for Himself out of our earth the slabs of nature. No wedlock fashioned for Him the flesh that was to receive the godhead, but He Himself is made the hewer of His own flesh, graven as it is by the finger of God. For the Holy Ghost came upon the Virgin, and the power of the Highest overshadowed her.183 And when this had come to pass, nature once again took its indestructible character, being made immortal by the marks of the divine finger.”

Of the same from his Book against Eunomius:

“We assert therefore that when He said above that wisdom built for herself a house,184 he intimates by the phrase the formation of the flesh of the Lord, for the very wisdom made its home in no strange dwelling, but built itself its dwelling of the Virgin’s body.”

Of the same from the same treatise:

159 “The Word was before the ages, but the flesh was made in the last times, and no one would say on the contrary either that the flesh was before the ages, or the Word made in the last times.”

Of the same from the same treatise:

“The expression ‘created me’185 is not to be understood of the divine and the undefiled, but, as has been said, of our created nature, according to the dispensation of the incarnation.”186

Of the same from the first discourse on the Beatitudes:

“‘Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but emptied himself, and took the form of a servant.’187 What poorer, in respect of God, than the form of a servant? What more lowly, in respect of the King of all, than approach to fellowship in our poor nature? The King of Kings and Lord of Lords188 voluntarily dons the form of servitude.”

Testimony of the Holy Flavianus, bishop of Antioch. From his sermon on Jn the Baptist:

“Do not think of connexion in any physical sense, nor entertain the idea of conjugal intercourse. For thy Creator is creating His own bodily temple now being born of thee.”

Of the same from his book on “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me”:— “Hear Him saying, ‘The Spirit is upon me because He hath anointed me.’189 You do not know, He says, what you read, for I, the anointed with the Spirit, am come to you. Now what is akin to us, and not the invisible nature, is anointed with the Spirit.”190

Testimony of Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium. From his Discourse on “My Father is greater than I:”191 —

“Distinguish me now the natures, the Divine and the human. For man was not made from God by failing away, nor was God made of man by advancement. I am speaking of God and man. When, however, you attribute the passions to the flesh and the miracles to God, you of necessity and involuntarily assign the lowly titles to the man born of Mary, and the exalted and divine to the Word Who in the beginning was God. Wherefore in some cases I utter exalted words, in others lowly, to the end that by means of the lofty I may shew the nature of the indwelling Word, and by the lowly, own the weakness of the lowly flesh. Whence sometimes I call myself equal to the Father and sometimes greater than the Father, not contradicting myself, but shewing that I am God and than, for God is of the lofty, man of the lowly; but if you wish to know how my Father is greater than I, I spoke of the flesh and not of the person of the Godhead.”

Of the same from his discourse on “The Son, can do nothing of Himself:”192 —

160 “How was Adam disobedient in Heaven, and how of heavenly body was he formed first-formed beside the first formation? But it was the Adam of the earth who was formed at the beginning; the Adam of the earth disobeyed; the Adam of the earth was assumed. Wherefore also the Adam of the earth was saved that thus the reason of the incarnation193 may be proved necessary and true.”194

Testimony of the Holy Jn Bishop of Constantinople. From the speech which he made when the Gothic envoy had spoken before him:

“See from the beginning what He does. He clothes Himself in our nature, powerless and vanquished, that by its means He may fight and struggle and from the beginning He uproots the nature of rebellion.”

Of the same from his discourse on195 The Festival of the Nativity:

“For is it not of the very last stupidity for them to bring down their own gods into stones and cheap wooden images, shutting them up as it were in a kind of prison, and to fancy that there is nothing disgraceful in what they either say or do, and then to find fault with us for saying that God made a living temple for Himself of the Holy Ghost, by means of which he brought succour to the world? For if it is disgraceful for God to dwell in a human body, then in proportion as the stone and the wood are more worthless than man is it much more disgraceful for him to dwell in stone and wood. But perhaps mankind seems to them to be of less value than these senseless objects. They bring down the substance of God into stones and into dogs;196 but many heretics into fouler things than these. But we could never endure even to hear of these things.197 But what we say is that of a virgin’s womb the Christ took pure flesh, holy and without spot, and made impervious to all sin, and restored the body198 that was His own.”

A little further on: “And we assert that when the divine Word had fashioned for Himself a holy temple by its means he brought the heavenly state into our life.”

Of the same from the oration: That the lowly words and deeds of Christ were not spoken and done through lack of power, but through distinctions of dispensation.

“What then are the causes of many humble things having been said about Him both by Himself and by His apostles? The first and greatest cause is the fact of His having clothed Himself with flesh, and wishing all his contemporaries and all who have lived since, to believe that He was not a shadow, nor what was seen merely a form, but reality of nature. For if when He Himself and His apostles had spoken about Him so often in humble and in human sense, the devil yet had power to persuade some wretched and miserable men to deny the reason of the incarnation, and dare to say that He did not take flesh and so to destroy all the ground of His love for man, how many would not have fallen into this abyss if He had never said anything of the kind?”

I have now produced for you a few out of many authorities of the heralds of the truth, not to stun you with too many. They are quite enough to show the bent of the mind of the excellent writers. It is now for you to say what force their writings seem to have.

Eran.—They have all spoken in harmony with one another, and the workers in the vineyard of the West agree with them whose husbandry is done in the region of the rising sun. Yet I perceived a considerable difference in their sayings.

Orth.—They are successors of the divine apostles; some even of those apostles were privileged to hear the holy voice and see the goodly sight. The majority of them too were adorned with the crown of martyrdom. Does it seem right for you to wag the tongue of blasphemy against them?

161 Eran.—I shrink from doing this; at the same time I do not approve of their great divergence.

Orth.—But now I will bring you an unexpected remedy. I will adduce one of your own beautiful heresy—your teacher Apollinarius,199 and I will shew you that he understood the text “The Word was made flesh” just as the holy Fathers did. Hear now what he wrote about it in his “Summary.”

The testimony of Apollinarius from his “Summary”:

“If no one is turned into that which he assumes, and Christ assumed flesh, then He was not turned into flesh.”

And immediately afterward he continues:—

“For also He gave himself to us in relationship by means of the body to save us. Now that which saves is far more excellent than that which is being saved. Far more excellent then than we are, is He in the assumption of a body! But He would not have been more excellent had He been turned into flesh.”

A little further on he says:—

“The simple is one, but the complex cannot be one; he then that alleges that He was made flesh affirms the mutation of the one Word. But if the complex is also one, as man, then he who on account of the union with the flesh says the Word was made flesh means the one in complexity.”

And again a little further on he says—“To be made flesh is to be made empty,200 but the being made empty declares not man, but the Son of man, who ‘emptied Himself’ not by undergoing change, but by investiture.”

There; you see the teacher of your own doctrines has introduced the word ‘investiture’ and indeed in his little work upon the faith he says—“We then believe that he was made flesh, while His Godhead remained unchanged for the renewal of the manhood. For in the holy power of God there has been neither alteration nor change of place, nor inclusion”—and then shortly again—“We worship God who took flesh of the blessed virgin, and on this account in the flesh is man, but in the spirit God.” And in another exposition he says—“We confess the Son of God to have been made the Son of man, not nominally but verily, on taking flesh of the Virgin Mary.”

Eran.—I did not suppose that Apollinarius held these sentiments. I had other ideas about him.

162 Orth.—Well; now you have learnt that not only the prophets and apostles, and they who after them were ordained teachers of the world, but even Apollinarius, the writer of heretical babbling, confesses the divine Word to be immutable, states that He was not turned into flesh but assumed flesh, and this over and over again, as you have heard. Do not then struggle to throw your master’s blasphemy into the shade by your own, For, says the Lord “the disciple is notabove his master.”201

Eran.—Yes, I confess that the divine Word of God is immutable and took flesh. It were the uttermost foolishness to withstand authorities so many and so great.

Orth.—Do you wish to have a solution of the rest of the difficulties?

Eran.—Let us put off their investigation until to-morrow.

Orth.—Very well; our synod is dismissed. Let us depart, and bear in mind what we have agreed upon.
Dialogue II.—The Unconfounded.

Eranistes and Orthodoxus.


Eran.—I am come as I promised. ’Tis yours to adopt one of two alternatives, and either furnish a solution of my difficulties, or assent to what I and my friends lay down.

Orth.—I accept your challenge, for I think it right and fair. But we must first recall to mind at what point we left off our discourse yesterday, and what was the conclusion of our argument).

Eran.—I will remind you of the end. I remember our agreeing that the divine Word remained immutable, and took flesh, and was not himself changed into flesh.

Orth.—You seem to be content with the points agreed on, for you have faithfully called them to mind.

163 Eran.—Yes, and I have already said that the man that withstands teachers so many and so great is indubitably out of his mind. I was moreover put to not a little shame to find that Apollinarius used the same terms as the orthodox, although in his books about the incarnation his drift has distinctly been in another direction.

Orth.—Then we affirm that the Divine Word took flesh?

Eran.—We do.

Orth.—And what do we mean by the flesh? A body only, as is the view of Arius and Eunomius, or body and soul?

Eran.—Body and soul.

Orth.—What kind of soul? The reasonable soul, or that which is by some termed the phytic, vegetable,1 that is, vital? for the fable-mongering quackery of the Apollinarians compels us to ask unseemly questions.

Eran.—Does then Apollinarius make a distinction of souls?2

Orth.—He says that man is composed of three parts, of a body, a vital soul, and further of a reasonable soul, which he terms mind. Holy Scripture on the contrary knows only one, not two souls; and this is plainly taught us by the formation of the first man. For it is written God took dust from the earth and “formed man,” and “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul.”3 And in the gospels the Lord said to the holy disciples “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”4

And the very divine Moses when he told the tale of them that came down into Egypt and stated with whom each tribal chief had come in, added, “All the souls that came out of Egypt were seventy-five,”5 reckoning one soul for each immigrant. And the divine apostle at Troas, when all supposed Eutychus to be dead, said “Trouble not yourselves for his soul is in him.”6

Eran.—It is shewn clearly that each man has one soul.

Orth.—But Apollinarius says two; and that the Divine Word took the unreasonable, and that instead of the reasonable, he was made in the flesh. It was on this account that I asked what kind of soul you assert to have been assumed with the body.

164 Eran.—I say the reasonable. For I follow the Divine Scripture.

Orth.—We agree then that the “form of a servant” assumed by the Divine Word was complete.

Eran.—Yes; complete.

Orth.—And rightly; for since the whole first man became subject to sin, and lost the impression of the Divine Image,7 and the race followed, it results that the Creator, with the intention of renewing the blurred image, assumed the nature in its entirety, and stamped an imprint far better than the first.

Eran.—True. But now I beg you in the first place that the meaning of the terms employed may be made quite clear, that thus our discussion may advance without hindrance, and no investigation of doubtful points intervene to interrupt our conversation.

Orth.—What you say is admirable. Ask now concerning whatever point yon like.

Eran.—What must we call Jesus the Christ? Man?

Orth.—By neither name alone, but by both. For the Divine Man after being made man was named Jesus Christ. “For,” it is written, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus for he shall save His people from their sins,”8 and unto you is born this day in the city of David Christ the Lord.9 Now these are angels’ voices. But before the Incarnation he was named God, son of God, only begotten, Lord, Divine Word, and Creator. For it is written “In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God, and the word was God,”10 and “all things were made by Him,”11 and “He was life,”12 and “He was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” There are also other similar passages, declaring the divine nature. But after the Incarnation He was named Jesus and Christ.

Eran.—Therefore the Lord Jesus is God only.

Orth.—You hear that the divine Word was made man, and do you call him God only?

Eran.—Since He became mall without being changed, but remained just what He was before, we must call Him just what He was.

165 Orth.—The divine Word was and is and will be immutable. But when He had taken man’s nature He became man. It behoves us therefore to confess both natures, both that which took, and that which was taken.

Eran.—We must name Him by the nobler.

Orth—Man,—I mean man the animal,—is he a simple or a composite being?

Eran.—Composite.

Orth.—Composed of what component parts?

Eran.—Of a body and a soul.

Orth.—And of these natures whether is nobler?

Eran.—Clearly the soul, for it is reasonable and immortal, and has been entrusted with the sovereignty of the animal. But the body is mortal and perishable, and without the soul is unreasonable, and a corpse.

Orth.—Then the divine Scripture ought to have called the animal after its more excellent part.

Eran.—It does so call it, for it calls them that came out of Egypt souls. For with seventy-five souls, it says, Israel came down into Egypt.

Orth.—But does the divine Scripture never call any one after the body?

166 Eran.—It calls them that are the slaves of flesh, flesh. For “God,” it is written, “said my spirit shall not always remain in these men, for they are flesh.”13

Orth.—But without blameno one is called flesh?

Eran.—I do not remember.

Orth.—Then I will remind you, and point out to you that even the very saints are called “flesh.” Answer now. What would you call the apostles? Spiritual, or fleshly?

Eran.—Spiritual;—and leaders and teachers of the spiritual.

Orth.—Hear now the holy Paul when he says “But when it pleased God who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his son in me that I might preach him among the heathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood neither went I up to them that were apostles before me.”14 Does he so style the apostles because he blames them?

Eran.—Certainly not.

Orth.—Is it not that he names them after their visible nature, and comparing the calling which is of men with that which is of heaven?

Eran.—True.

Orth.—Then hear too the psalmist David—“Unto thee shall all flesh come.”15 Hear too, the prophet Isaiah foretelling “All flesh shall see the salvation of our God.”16

Eran.—It is made perfectly plain that Holy Scripture names human nature fromthe flesh without the least blame.

167 Orth.—I will proceed to give you the yet further proof.

Eran.—What further?

Orth.—The fact that sometimes when giving blame the divine Scripture uses only the name of soul.

Eran.—And where will you find this in holy Scripture?

Orth.—Hear the Lord God speaking through the prophet Ezekiel “The sold that sinneth it shall die.”17 Moreover through the great Moses He saith “If a soul sin—”18 And again “It shall come to pass that every soul that will not hear that prophet shall be cut off.”19 And many other passages of the same kind may be found.

Eran.—This is plainly proved.

Orth.—In cases, then, where there is a certain natural union, and a combination of created things, and of beings connected by service and by time, it is not the custom of holy Scripture to use a name for this being derived only from the nobler nature; it names it indiscriminately both by the meaner and by the nobler. If so, how can you find fault with us for calling Christ the Lord,man, after confessing Him to be God, when many things combine to compel us to do so?

Eran.—What is there to compel us to call the Saviour Christ, “man”?

Orth.—The diverse and mutually inconsistent opinions of the heretics.

Eran.—What opinions, and contrary to what?

Orth.—That of Arius to that of Sabellius. The one divides the substances: the other confounds the hypostases. Arius introduces three substances, and Sabellius makes one hypostasis instead of three.20 Tell me now, how ought we to heal both maladies? Must we apply the same drug for both ailments, or for each the proper one?

168 Eran.—For each the proper one.

Orth.—We shall therefore endeavour to persuade Arius to acknowledge the substance of the Holy Trinity, and we shall adduce proofs of this position from Holy Scripture.

Eran.—Yes: this ought to be done.

Orth.—But in arguing with Sabellius we shall adopt the opposite course. Concerning the substance we shall advance no argument, for even he acknowledges but one.

Eran.—Plainly.

Orth.—But we shall do our best to cure the unsound part of his doctrine.

Eran.—We say that where he halts is about the hypostases.

Orth.—Since then he asserts there to be one hypostasis of the Trinity, we shall point out to him that the divine Scripture proclaims three hypostases.

Eran.—This is the course to take. But we have wandered from the subject.

Orth.—Not at all. We are collecting proofs of it, as you will learn in a moment. But tell me, do you understand that all the heresies which derive their name from Christ, acknowledge both the Godhead of Christ and His manhood?

Eran.—By no means.

169 Orth.—Do not some acknowledge the godhead alone, and somethemanhood alone?

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—And some but a part of the manhood?

Eran.—I think so. But it will be well for us to lay down the names of the holders of these different opinions, that the point under discussion may be made plainer.

Orth.—I will tell you the names. Simon, Menander, Marcion, Valentinus, Basilides, Bardesanes, Cerdo, and Manes, openly denied the humanity of Christ. On the other hand Artemon, Theodotus, Sabellius, Paul of Samosata, Marcellus, and Photinus, fell into the diametrically opposite blasphemy; for they preach Christ to be man only, and deny the Godhead which existed before the ages. Arius and Eunomius make the Godhead of the only begotten a created Godhead, and maintain that He assumed only a body. Apollinarius confesses that the assumed body was a living21 body, but in his work deprives the reasonable soul alike of its honour and of its salvation. This is the contrariety of these corrupt opinions. But do you, with all due love of truth, tell us, must we institute a discussion with these men, or shall we let them go dashed down headlong and howling to their doom?

Eran.—It is inhuman to neglect the sick.

Orth.—Very well; then we must compassionate them, and do our best to heal them.

Eran.—By all means.

Orth.—If then you had scientifically learned how to cure the body, and round you stood many men asking you to cure them, and shewing their various ailments, such as arise from running at tile eyes, injury to the ears, tooth-ache, contraction of tile joints, palsy, bile, or phlegm, what would you have done? Tell me; would you have applied the same treatment to all, or to each that which was appropriate?

Eran.—I should certainly have given to each the appropriate remedy.

Orth.—So by applying cold treatment to the hot, and heating the cold, and loosing the strained, and giving tension to tim loose, and drying the moist, and moistening the dry, you would have driven out the diseases and restored the health which they had expelled.

170 Eran.—This is the treatment prescribed by medical science, for contraries, it is said, are the remedies of contraries.

Orth.—If you were a gardener, would yon give the same treatment to all plants? or their own to the mulberry and the fig, and so to the pear, to the apple, and to the vine what is fitting to each, and in a word to each plant its own proper culture?

Eran.—It is obvious that each plant requires its own treatment.

Orth.—And if you undertook to be a ship builder, and saw that the mast wanted repair, would you try to mend it in the same way as you would the tiller? or would you give it the proper treatment of a mast?

Eran.—There is no question about these things: everything demands its own treatment, be it plant or limb or gear or tackle.

Orth.—Then is it not monstrous to apply to the body and to things without life to each its own appropriate treatment, and not to keep this rule of treatment in the case of the soul?

Eran.—Most unjust; nay, rather stupid than unrighteous. They who adopt any other method are quite unskilled in the healing art.

Orth.—Then in disputing against each heresy we shall use the appropriate remedy?

Eran.—By all means.

Orth.—And it is fitting treatment to add what is wanting and to remove what issuperfluous?

Eran.—Yes.

171 Orth.—In endeavouring then to cure Photinus and Marcellus and their adherents, in order to carry out the rule of treatment, what should we add?

Eran.—The acknowledgment of the Godhead of Christ, for it is this that they lack.

Orth.—But about the manhood we will say nothing to them, for they acknowledge the Lord Christ to be man.

Eran.—You are right.

Orth.—And in arguing with Arius and Eunomius about the incarnation of the only begotten, what should we persuade them to add to their own confession?

Eran.—The assumption of the soul; for they say that the divine Word took only a body.

Orth.—And what does Apollinarius lack to make his teaching accurate about the incarnation?

Eran.—Not to separate the mind from the soul, but to confess that, with the body, was assumed a reasonable soul.

Orth.—Then shall we dispute with him on this point?

Eran.—Certainly.

Orth.—But under this head what did we assert to be confessed, and what altogether denied, by Marcion, Valentinus, Manes and their adherents?

172 Eran.—That they admitted their belief in the Godhead of Christ, but do not accept the doctrine of His manhood.

Orth.—We shall therefore do our best to persuade them to accept also the doctrine of the manhood, and not to call the divine incarnation22 a mere appearance.

Eran.—It will be well so to do.

Orth.—We will therefore tell them that it is right to style the Christ not only God, but also man.

Eran.—By all means.

Orth.—And how is it possible for us to induce others to style the Christ ‘man’ while we excuse ourselves from doing so? They will not yield to our persuasion, but on the contrary will convict us of agreeing with them.

Eran.—And how can we, confessing as we do that the divine Word took flesh and a reasonable soul, agree with them?

Orth.—If we confess the fact, why then shun the word?

Eran.—It is right to name the Christ from His nobler qualities.

Orth.—Keep this rule then. Do not speak of Him as crucified, nor yet as risen from the dead, and so on.

Eran.—But these are the names of the sufferings of salvation. Denial of the sufferings implies denial of the salvation.

173 Orth.—And the name Man is the name of a nature. Not to pronounce the name is to deny the nature: denial of the nature is denial of the sufferings, and denial of the sufferings does away with the salvation.

Eran.—I hold it profitable to acknowledge the assumed nature; but to style the Saviour of the world man is to belittle the glory of the Lord.

Orth.—Do you then deem yourself wiser than Peter and Paul; aye, and than the Saviour Himself? For the Lord said to the Jews “Why do ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I heard of my Father?”23 And He frequently called Himself Son of Man.

And the meritorious Peter, in his sermon to the Jewish people, says,—“Ye men of Israel, hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you.”24 And the blessed Paul, when bringing the message of salvation to the chiefs of the Areopagus, among many other things said this,—

“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent: Because he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.”25 He then who excuses himself from using the name appointed and preached by the Lord and his Apostles deems himself wiser than even these great instructors, aye, even than the very well-spring of the wisest.

Eran.—They gave this instruction to the unbelievers. Now the greater part of the world26 has professed the faith.

Orth.—But we have still among us Jews and pagans and of heretics systems innumerable, and to each of these we must give fit and appropriate teaching. But, supposing we were all of one mind, tell me now, what harm is there in calling the Christ both God and man? Do we not behold in Him perfect Godhead, and manhood likewise lacking in nothing?

Eran.—This we have owned again and again.

Orth.—Why then deny what we have again and again owned?

Eran.—I hold it unnecessary to call the Christ ‘man,’—especially when believer is conversing with believer.

Orth.—Do you consider the divine Apostle a believer?

174 Eran.—Yes: a teacher of all believers.

Orth.—And do youdeem Timothy worthy of being so styled?

Eran.—Yes: both as a disciple of the Apostle, and as a teacher of the rest.

Orth.—Very well: then hear the teacher of teachers writing to his very perfect disciple. “There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all.”27 Do stop your idle prating, and laying down the law about divine names. Moreover in this passage that very name ‘mediator’ stands indicative both of Godhead and of manhood. He is called a mediator because He does not exist as God alone; for how, if He had had nothing of our nature could He have mediated between us and God? But since as God He is joined with God as having the same substance, and as man with us, because from us He took the form of a servant, He is properly termed a mediator, uniting in Himself distinct qualities by the unity of natures of Godhead, I mean, and of manhood.28

Eran.—But was not Moses called a mediator, though only a man?29

Orth.—He was a type of the reality: but the type has not all the qualities of the reality. Wherefore though Moses was not by nature God, yet, to fulfil the type, he was called a god. For He says “See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh.”30 And then directly afterwards he assigns him also a Prophet as though to God, for “Aaron thy brother,” He says, “shall be thy Prophet.”31 But the reality is by nature God, and by nature man.

Eran.—But who would call one not having the distinct characteristics of the archetype, a type?

Orth.—The imperial images, it seems, you do not call images of the emperor

Eran.—Yes, I do.

Orth.—Yet they have not all the characteristics which their archetype has. For in the first place they have neither life nor reason: secondly they have no inner organs, heart, I mean, and belly and liver and the adjacent parts. Further they present the appearance of the organs of sense, but perform none of their functions, for they neither hear, nor speak, nor see; they cannot write; they cannot walk, nor perform any other human action; and yet they are called imperial statues. In this sense Moses was a mediator and Christ was a mediator; but the former as an image and type and the latter as reality. But that I may make this point clearer to you from yet another authority, call to mind the words used of Melchisedec in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

Eran.—What words?

175 Orth.—Those in which the divine Apostle comparing the Levitical priesthood with that of the Christ likens Melchisedec in other respects to the Lord Christ, and says that the Lord had the priesthood after the order of Melchisedec.32

Eran.—I think the words of the divine Apostle are as follows;—“For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation king of righteousness, and after that also king of Salem, which is king of peace; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the son of God; abideth a priest continually.”33 I presume you spoke of this passage.

Orth.—Yes, I spoke of this; and I must praise you for not mutilating it, but for quoting the whole. Tell me now, does each one of these points fit Melchisedec in nature and reality?

Eran.—Who has the audacity to deny a fitness where the divine apostle has asserted it?

Orth.—Then you say that all this fits Melchisedec by nature?

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—Do you say that he was a man, or assumed some other nature?

Eran.—A man).

Orth.—Begotten or unbegotten?

Eran.—You are asking very absurd questions.

Orth.—The fault lies with you for openly opposing the truth. Answer then.

176 Eran.—There is one only unbegotten, who is God and Father.

Orth.—Then we assert that Melchisedec was begotten?

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—But the passage about him teaches the opposite. Remember the words which you quoted a moment ago, “Without father without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life.” How then do the words “Without father and without mother” fit him; and how the statement that he neither received beginning of existence nor end, since all this transcends humanity?

Eran.—These things do in fact overstep the limits of human nature.

Orth.—Then shall we say that the Apostle told lies?

Eran.—God forbid.

Orth.—How then is it possible both to testify to the truth of the Apostle, and apply the supernatural to Melchisedec?

Eran.—The passage is a very difficult one, and requires much explanation.

Orth.—For any one willing to consider it with attention it will not be hard to attain perception of the meaning of the words. After saying “without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life,” the divine Apostle adds “made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually.”34 Here he plainly teaches us that the Lord Christ is archetype of Melchisedec in things concerningthe human nature. And he speaks of Melchisedec as “made like unto the Son of God.” Now let us examine the point in this manner;—do you say that the Lord had a father according to the flesh?

Eran.—Certainly not.

Orth.—Why?

177 Eran.—He was born of the holy Virgin alone.

Orth.—He is therefore properly styled “without father”?

Eran.—True.

Orth.—Do you say that according to the divine Nature He had a mother?35

Eran.—Certainly not.

Orth.—For He was begotten of the Father alone before the ages?

Eran.—Agreed.

Orth.—And yet, as the generation He has of the Father is ineffable, He is spoken of as “without descent.” “Who” says the prophet “shall declare His generation?”36

Eran.—You are right.

Orth.—Thus it becomes Him to have neither beginning of days nor end of life; for He is without beginning, indestructible, and, in a word, eternal, and coeternal with the Father.

Eran.—This is my view too. But we must now consider how this fits the admirable Melchisedec.

178 Orth.—As an image and type. The image, as we have just observed, has not all the properties of the archetype. Thus to the Saviour these qualities are proper both by nature and in reality; but the story of the origin of the race has attributed them to Melchisedec. For after telling us of the father of the patriarch Abraham, and of the father and mother of Isaac, and in like manner of Jacob and of his sons, and exhibiting the pedigree of our first forefathers, of Melchisedec it records neither the father nor the mother, nor does it teach that he traced his descent from any one of Noah’s sons, to the end that he may be a type of Him who is in reality without father, and without mother. And this is what the divine Apostle would have us understand, for in this very passage he says further, “But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.”37

Eran.—Then, since Holy Scripture has not mentioned his parents, can he be called without father and without mother?

Orth.—If he had really been without father and without mother, he would not have been an image, but a reality. But since these are his qualities not by nature, but according to the dispensation of the Divine Scripture, he exhibits the type of the reality.

Eran.—The type must have the character of the archetype.

Orth.—Is man called an image of God?

Eran.—Man is not an image of God, but was made in the image of God.38

Orth.—Listen then to the Apostle. He says: “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God.”39

Eran.—Granted, then, that he is an image of God.

Orth.—According to your argument then he must needs have plainly preserved the characters of the archetype, and have been uncreate, uncompounded, and infinite. He ought in like manner to have been able to create out of the non existent, he ought to have fashioned all things by his word and without labour, in addition to this to have been free from sickness, sorrow, anger, and sin, to have been immortal and incorruptible and to possess all the qualities of the archetype.

Eran.—Man is not an image of God in every respect.

Orth.—Though truly an image in the qualities in which you would grant him to be so, you will find that he is separated by awide interval from the reality.

Eran.—Agreed.

179 Orth.—Consider now too this point. The divine Apostle calls the Son the image of the Father; for he says “Who is the image of the invisible God?”40

Eran.—What then; has not the Son all the qualities of the Father?

Orth.—He is not Father. He is not uncaused. He is not unbegotten.

Eran.—If He were He would not be Son.

Orth.—Then does not what I said hold good; the image has not all the qualities of the archetype?

Eran.—True.

Orth.—Thus too the divine Apostle said that Melchisedec is made like unto the Son of God.41

Eran.—Suppose we grant that he is without Father and without Mother and without descent, as you have said. But how are we to understand his having neither beginning of days nor end of life?

Orth.—The holy Moses when writing the ancient genealogy tells us how Adam being so many years old begat Seth,42 and when he had lived so many years he ended his life.43 So too he writes of Seth, of Enoch, and of the rest, but of Melchisedec he mentions neither beginning of existence nor end of life. Thus as far as the story goes he has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but in truth and reality the only begotten Son of God never began to exist and shall never have an end.

Eran.—Agreed.

Orth.—Then, so far as what belongs to God and is really divine is concerned, Melchisedec is a type of the Lord Christ; but as far as the priesthood is concerned, which belongs rather to man than to God, the Lord Christ was made a priest after the order of Melchisedec.44 For Melchisedec was a high priest of the people, and the Lord Christ for all men has made the right holy offering of salvation.

180 Eran.—We have spent many words on this matter.

Orth.—Yet more were needed, as you know, for you said the point was a difficult one.

Eran.—Let us return to the question before us.

Orth.—What was the question?

Eran.—On my remarking that Christ must not be called man, but only God, you yourself besides many other testimonies adduced also the well known words of the Apostle which he has used in his epistle Timothy—“One God, one mediator between God and men, the man, Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time.”45

Orth.—I remember from what point we diverged into this digression. It was when I had said that the name of mediator exhibits the two natures of the Saviour, and you said that Moses was called a mediator though he was only a man and not God and man. was therefore under the necessity of following up these points to show that the type has not all the qualities of the archetype. Tell me, then, whether you allow that the Saviour ought also to be called man.

Eran.—I call Him God, for He is God’s Son.

Orth.—If you call him God, because you have learnt that he is God’s Son, call him also man, for he often called Himself “Son of Man.”

Eran.—The name man does not apply to Him in the same way as the name God.

Orth.—As not really belonging to Him or for some other reason?

Eran.—God is his name by nature; man is the designation of the Incarnation.46

181 Orth.—But are we to look on the Incarnation as real, or as something imaginary and false?

Eran.—As real.

Orth.—If then the grace of the Incarnation is real, and what we call Incarnation is the divine Word’s being made man, then the name man is real; for after taking man’s nature He is called man.

Eran.—Before His passion He was styled man, but afterward He was no longer so styled.

Orth.—But it was after the Passion and the Resurrection that the divine Apostle wrote the Epistle to Timothy wherein he speaks of the Saviour Christ as man,47 and writing after the Passion and the Resurrection to the Corinthians he exclaims “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.”48 And in order to make his meaning clear he adds, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”49 And after the Passion and the Resurrection the divine Peter, in his address to the Jews, called Him man.50 And after His being taken up into heaven, Stephen the victorious, amid the storm of stones, said to the Jews, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”51 Are we to suppose ourselves wiser than the illustrious heralds of the truth?

Eran.—I do not suppose thyself wiser than the holy doctors, but I fail to find the use of the name.

Orth.—How then could you persuade them that deny the incarnation of the Lord, Marcionists, I mean, and Manichees, and all the rest who are thus unsound, to accept the teaching of the truth, unless you adduce these and similar proofs with the object of shewing that the Lord Christ is not God only but also man?

Eran.—Perhaps it is necessary to adduce them.

Orth.—Why not then teach the faithful the reality of the doctrine? Are you forgetful of the apostolic precept enjoining us to be “ready to give an answer.”52 Now let us look at the matter in this light. Does the best general engage the enemy, attack with arrows and javelins, and endeavour to break their column all alone, or does he also arm his men, and marshal them, and rouse their hearts to play the man?

Eran.—He ought rather to do this latter.

Orth.—Yes; for it is not the part of a general to expose his own life, and take his place in the ranks, and let his men go fast asleep, but rather to keep them awake for their work at their post.

Eran.—True.

182 Orth.—This is what the divine Paul did, for in writing to them who had made profession of their faith he said, “Take unto you the whole armour of God that ye be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil.53 And again, “Stand therefore with your loins girt about with truth,”54 and so on. Bear in mind too what we have already said, that a physician supplies what nature lacks. Does he find the cold redundant? He supplies the hot, and so on with the rest; and this is what the Lord does.

Eran.—And where will you show that the Lord has done this?

Orth.—In the holy gospels.

Eran.—Show me then and fulfil your promise.

Orth.—What did the Jews consider our Saviour Christ?

Eran.—A man.

Orth.—And that He was also God they were wholly ignorant.

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—Was it not then necessary for the ignorant to learn?

Eran.—Agreed.

Orth.—Listen to Him then saying to them: “Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of these works do ye stone me?”55 And when they replied: “For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy, and because that thou being a man makest thyself God,”56 He added “It is written in your law I said ye are gods. If he called them gods unto whom the word of God came and the scripture cannot be broken, say ye of Him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the world thou blasphemest, because I said I am the Son of God? If I do not the works of my father believe me not …that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”57

183 Eran.—In the passages you have just read you bare shewn that the Lord shewed Himself to the Jews to be God and not man.

Orth.—Yes, for they did not need to learn what they knew; that He was a man they knew, but they did not know that He was from the beginning God. He adopted this same course in the case of the Pharisees; for when He saw them accosting Him as a mere man He asked them “What think ye of Christ? Whose son is He?”58 And when they said “Of David” He went on “How then doth David calling him Lord say ‘The Lord said unto my Lord sit thou on my right hand.’”59 Then He goes on to argue, “If then He is His Lord how is He His Son?”

Eran.—You have brought testimony against yourself, for the Lord plainly taught the Pharisees to call Him not “Son of David” but “Lord of David.” Wherefore He is distinctly shown wishing to be called God and not man.

Orth.—I am afraid you have not attended to the divine teaching. He did not repudiate the name of “Son of David,” but He added that He ought also to be believed to be Lord of David. This He clearly shews in the words “If He is his Lord how is He then his Son?” He did not say “if He is Lord He is not Son,” but “how is He his Son?” instead of saying in one respect He is Lord and in another Son. These passages both distinctly show the Godhead and the manhood.

Eran.—There is no need of argument. The Lord distinctly teaches that He does not wish to be called Son of David.

Orth.—Then He ought to have told the blind men and the woman of Canaan and the multitude not to call Him Son of David, and yet the blind men cried out “Thou Son of David have mercy on us.”60 And the woman of Canaan “Have mercy on me O Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a Devil.”61 And the multitude: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.”62 And not only did He not take it ill, but even praised their faith; for the blind He freed from their long weary night and granted them the power of sight; the maddened and distraught daughter of the woman of Canaan He healed and drove out the wicked demon; and when the chief priests and Pharisees were offended at them that shouted “Hosanna to the Son of David” He did not merely not prevent them from shouting, but even sanctioned their acclamation, for, said He, “I tell you that if these should hold their peace the stones would immediately cry out.”63

Eran.—He put up with this style of address before the resurrection in condescension to the weakness of them that had not yet properly believed. But after the resurrection these names are needless.

Orth.—Where shall we rank the blessed Paul? among the perfect or the imperfect?

Eran.—It is wrong to joke about serious things.

Orth.—It is wrong to make light of the reading of the divine oracles.

Eran.—And who is such a wretch as to despise his own salvation?

184 Orth.—Answer my question, and thenyou will learn your ignorance.

Eran.—What question?

Orth.—Where are we to rank the divine Apostle?

Eran.—Plainly among the most perfect, and one of the perfect teachers.

Orth.—And when did he begin his teaching?

Eran.—After the ascension of the Saviour, the coming of the Spirit, and the stoning of the victorious Stephen.

Orth.—Paul, at the very end of his life, when writing his last letter to his disciple Timothy, and in giving him, as it were, his paternal inheritance by will, added “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel.”64 Then he went on to mention his sufferings on behalf of the gospel, and thus showed its truth saying, “Wherein I suffer trouble as an evil doer even unto bonds.”65

It were easy for me to adduce many similar testimonies, but I have judged it needless to do so.

Eran.—You promised to prove that the Lord supplied the lacking instruction to them that needed, and you have shown that He discoursed about His own Godhead to the Pharisees, and to the rest of the Jews. But that He gave also His instruction about the flesh you have not shewn.

Orth.—It would have been quite superfluous to have discoursed about the flesh which was before their eyes, for He was plainly seen eating and drinking and toiling and sleeping. Furthermore, to omit the many and various events before the passion, after His resurrection He proved to His disbelieving disciples not His Godhead but His manhood; for He said, “Behold my hands and my feet that it is I myself. Handle me and see for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.”66

Now I have fulfilled my promise, for we have proved the giving of instruction about the Godhead to them that were ignorant of the Godhead, and about the resurrection of the flesh to them that denied this latter. Cease therefore from contending, and confess the two natures of the Saviour.

185 Eran.—There were two before the union, but, after combining, they made one nature.

Orth.—When do you say that the union was effected?

Eran.—I say at the exact moment of the conception.

Orth.—And do you deny that the divine Word existed before the conception?

Eran.—I say that He was before the ages.

Orth.—And that the flesh was co-existent with Him?

Eran.—By no means.

Orth.—But was formed, after the salutation of the angel, of the Holy Ghost?

Eran.—So I say.

Orth.—Therefore before the union there were not two natures but only one. For if the Godhead pre-existed, but the manhood was not coexistent, being formed after the angelic salutation, and the union being coincident with the formation, then before the union there was one nature, that which exists always and existed before the ages. Now let us again consider this point. Do you understand the making of flesh or becoming man to be anything other than the union?

Eran.—No.

186 Orth.—For when He took flesh He was made flesh.

Eran.—Plainly.

Orth.—And the union coincides with the taking flesh.

Eran.—So I say.

Orth.—So before the making man there was one nature. For if both union and making man are identical, and He was made man by taking man’s nature, and the form of God took the form of a servant, then before the union the divine nature was one.

Eran.—And how are the union and the making man identical?

Orth.—A moment ago you confessed that there is no distinction between these terms.

Eran.—You led me astray by your arguments.

Orth.—Then, if you like, let us go over the same ground again.

Eran.—We had better so do.

Orth.—Is there a distinction between the incarnation and the union, according to the nature of the transaction?

187 Eran.—Certainly; a very great distinction.

Orth.—Explain fully the character of this distinction.

Eran.—Even the sense of the terms shows the distinction, for the word “incarnation” shows the taking of the flesh, while the word “union” indicates the combination of distinct things.

Orth.—Do yon represent the incarnation to be anterior to the union?

Eran.—By no means.

Orth.—You say that the union took place in the conception?

Eran.—I do.

Orth.—Therefore if not even the least moment of time intervened between the taking of flesh and the union, and the assumed nature did not precede the assumption and the union, then incarnation and union signify one and the same thing, and so before the union and incarnation there was one nature, while after the incarnation we speak properly of two, of that which took and of that which was taken.

Eran.—I say that Christ was of two natures, but I deny two natures.

Orth.—Explain to us then in what sense you understand the expression “of two natures;” like gilded silver? like the composition of electron?67 like the solder made of lead and tin?

Eran.—I deny that the union is like any of these; it is ineffable, and passes all understanding.

188 Orth.—I too confess that the manner of the union cannot be comprehended. But I have at all events been instructed by the divine Scripture that each nature remains unimpaired after the union.

Eran.—And where is this taught in the divine Scripture?

Orth.—It is all full of this teaching.

Eran.—Give proof of what you assert.

Orth.—Do you not acknowledge the properties of each nature?

Eran.—No: not, that is, after the union.

Orth.—Let us then learn this very point from the divine Scripture.

Eran.—I am ready to obey the divine Scripture.

Orth.—When, then, yon hear the divine Jn exclaiming “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God”68 and “By Him all things were made”69 and the rest of the parallel passages, do you affirm that the flesh, or the divine Word, begotten before the ages of the Father, was in the beginning with God, and was by nature God, and made all things?

Eran.—I say that these things belong to God the Word. But I do not separate Him from the flesh made one with Him.

Orth.—Neither do we separate the flesh from God the Word, nor do we make the union a confusion.

189 Eran.—I recognise one nature after the union.

Orth.—When did the Evangelists write the gospel? Was it before the union, or a very long time after the union?

Eran.—Plainly after the union, the nativity, the miracles, the passion, the resurrection, the taking up into heaven, and the coming of the Holy Ghost.

Orth.—Hear then Jn saying “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made”70 and so on. Hear too Matthew, “The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, Son of David,—Son of Abraham,”—and so on.71 Lc too traced His genealogy to Abraham and David.72 Now make the former and the latter quotation fit one nature. You will find it impossible, for existence in the beginning, and descent from Abraham,—the making of all things, and derivation from a created forefather, are inconsistent.

Eran.—By thus arguing you divide the only begotten son into two Persons.

Orth.—One Son of God I both know and adore, the Lord Jesus Christ; but I have been taught the difference between His Godhead and his manhood. You, however, who say that there is only one nature after the union, do you make this agree with tIle introductions of the Evangelists.

Eran.—You appear to assume the proposition to be hard, nay impossible. Be it, I beg, short and easy;—only solve our question.

Orth.—Both qualities are proper to the Lord Christ,—existence from the beginning, and generation, according to the flesh, from Abraham and David.

Eran.—You laid down the law that after the union it is not right to speak of one nature. Take heed lest in mentioning the flesh you transgress your own law.

Orth.—Even without mentioning the flesh it is quite easy to explain the point in question, for 12 am applying both to the Saviour Christ.

Eran.—I too assert that both these qualities belong to the Lord Christ.

190 Orth.—Yes; but you do so in contemplation of two natures in Him, and applying to each its own properties. But if the Christ is one nature, how is it possible to attribute to it properties which are inconsistent with one another? For to have derived origin from Abraham and David, and still more to have been born many generations after David, is inconsistent with existence in the beginning. Again to have sprung from created beings is inconsistent with being Creator of all things; to have had human fathers with existence derived from God. In short the new is inconsistent with the eternal.

Let us also look at the matter in this way. Do we say that the divine Word is Creator of the Universe?

Eran.—So we have learnt to believe from the divine Scriptures.

Orth.—And how many days after the creation of heaven and earth are we told that Adam was formed?

Eran.—On the sixth day.

Orth.—And from Adam to Abrahamhow many generations went by?

Eran.—I think twenty.

Orth.—And from Abraham to Christ our Saviour how many generations are reckoned by the Evangelist Matthew.

Eran.—Forty-two.73

Orth.—If then the Lord Christ is one nature bow can He be Creator of all things visible and invisible and, at the same time, after so many generations, have been formed by the Holy Ghost in a virgin’s womb? And how could He be at one and the same time Creator of Adam and Son of Adam’s descendants?

Eran.—I have already said that both these properties are appropriate to Him as God made flesh, for I recognise one nature made flesh of the Word.

191 Orth.—Nor yet, my good sir, do we say that two natures of the divine Word were made flesh, for we know that the nature of the divine Word is one, but we have been taught that the flesh of which He availed Himself when He was incarnate is of another nature, and here I think that you too agree with me. Tell me now; after what manner do you say that the making flesh took place?

Eran.—I know not the manner, but I believe that He was made flesh.

Orth.—You make a pretext of your ignorance unfairly, and after the fashion of the Pharisees. For they when they beheld the force of the Lord’s enquiry, and suspecting that they were on the point of conviction, uttered their reply “We do not know.”74 But I proclaim quite openly that the divine incarnation is without change. For if by any variation or change He was made flesh, then after the change all that is divine in His names and in His deeds is quite inappropriate to Him.

Eran.—We have agreed again and again that God the Word is immutable.

Orth.—He was made flesh by taking flesh.

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—The nature of God the Word made flesh is different from that of the flesh, by assumption of which the nature of the divine Word was made flesh and became man.

Eran.—Agreed.

Orth.—Was He then changed into flesh?

Eran.—Certainly not.

Orth.—If then He was made flesh, not by mutation, but by taking flesh, and both the former and the latter qualities are appropriate to Him as to God made flesh, as you said a moment ago, then the natures were not confounded, but remained unimpaired. And as long as we hold thus we shall perceive too the harmony of the Evangelists, for while the one proclaims the divine attributes of the one only begotten—the Lord Christ—the other sets forth His human qualities. So too Christ our Lord Himself teaches us, at one time calling Himself Son of God and at another Son of man: at one time He gives honour to His Mother as to her that gave Him birth;75 at another He rebukes her as her Lord.76 At one time He finds no fault with them that style Him Son of David; at another He teaches the ignorant that He is not only David’s Son but also David’s Lord.77 He calls Nazareth and Capernaum His country,78 and again He exclaims “Before Abraham was I am.”79 You will find the divine Scripture full of similar passages, and they all point not to one nature but to two.

192 Eran.—He who contemplates two natures in the Christ divides the one only begotten into two sons.

Orth.—Yes; and he who says Paul is made up of soul and body makes two Pauls out of one.

Eran.—The analogy does not hold good.

Orth.—I know it does not,80 for here the union is a natural union of parts that are coaeval, created, and fellow slaves, but in the case of the Lord Christ all is of good will, of love to man, and of grace. Here too, though the union is natural, the proper qualities of the natures remain unimpaired.

Eran.—If the proper qualities of the natures remain distinct, how does the soul together with the body crave for food?

Orth.—The soul does not crave for food. How could it when it is immortal? But the body, which derives its vital force from the soul, feels its need, and desires to receive what is lacking. So after toil it long, for rest, after waking for sleep, and so with the rest of its desires. So forthwith after its dissolution, since it has no longer its vital energy, it does not even crave for what is lacking, and, ceasing to receive it, it undergoes corruption.

Eran.—You see that to thirst and to hunger and similar appetites belong to the soul.

Orth.—Did these belong to the soul it would suffer hunger and thirst, and the similar wants, even after its release from the body.

Eran.—What then do you say to be proper to the soul?81

Orth.—The reasonable, the absolute, the immortal, the invisible.

Eran.—And what of the body?

193 Orth.—The complex, the visible, the mortal.

Eran.—And we say that man is composed of these?

Orth.—Yes.

Eran.—Then we define82 man as a mortal reasonable being.

Orth.—Agreed.

Eran.—And we give names to him from both these attributes.

Orth.—Yes.

Eran.—As then in this case we make no distinction, but call the same man both reasonable and mortal, so also should we do in the case of the Christ, and apply to Him both the divine and the human.

Orth.—This is our argument, although you do not accurately express it. For look you. When we are pursuing the argument about the human soul, do we only mention what is appropriate to its energy and nature?

Eran.—This only.

Orth.—And when our discussion is about the body, do we not only recall what is appropriate to it?

Eran.—Quite so.

194 Orth.—But, when our discourse touches the whole being, then we have no difficulty in adducing both sets of qualities, for the properties both of the body and of the soul are applicable to man.

Eran.—Unquestionably.

Orth.—Well; just in this way should we speak of the Christ, and, when arguing about His natures, give to each its own, and recognise some as belonging to the Godhead, and some as to the manhood. But when we are discussing the Person we must then make what is proper to the natures common, and apply both sets of qualities to the Saviour, and call the same Being both God and Man, both Son of God and Son of Man—both David’s Son and David’s Lord, both Seed of Abraham and Creator of Abraham, and so on.

Eran.—That the person of the Christ is one, and that both the divine and the human are attributable to Him, you have quite rightly said, and I accept this definition of the Faith; but your real position, that in discussing the natures we must give to each its own properties, seems to me to dissolve the union. It is for this reason that I object to accept these and similar arguments.

Orth.—Yet when we were enquiring about soul and body you thought the distinction of these terms admirable, and forthwith gave it your approbation. Why then do you refuse to receive the same rule in the case of the Godhead and manhood of the Lord Christ? Do you go so far as to object to comparing the Godhead and the manhood of the Christ to soul and body? So, while you grant an unconfounded union to soul and body, do you venture to say that the Godhead and manhood of the Christ have undergone commixture and confusion?

Eran.—I hold the Godhead of the Christ aye, and His flesh too, to be infinitely higher in honour than soul and body; but after the union I do assert one nature.

Orth.—But now is it not impious and shocking, while maintaining that a soul united to a body is in no way subject to confusion, to deny to the Godhead of the Lord of the universe the power to maintain its own nature unconfounded or to keep within its proper bounds the humanity which He assumed? Is it not, I say, impious to mix the distinct, and to commingle the separate? The idea of one nature gives ground for suspicion of this confusion.

Eran.—I am equally anxious to avoid the term confusion, but I shrink from asserting two natures lest I fall into a dualism of sons.

Orth.—I am equally anxious to escape either horn of the dilemma, both the impious confusion and the impious distinction; for to me it is alike an unhallowed thought to split the one Son in two and to gainsay the duality of the natures. But now in truth’s name tell me. Were one of the faction of Arius or Eunomius to endeavour, while disputing with you, to belittle the Son, and to describe Him as less than and inferior to the Father, by the help of all their familiar arguments and citations from the divine Scripture of the text “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me”83 and that other, “Now is my soul troubled”84 and other like passages, how would you dispose of his objections? How could you show that the Son is in no way diminished in dignity by these expressions and is not of another substance, but begotten of the substance of the Father?

Eran.—I should say that the divine Scripture uses some terms according to the theology and some according to the oeconomy, and that it is wrong to apply what belongs to the economy to what belongs to the theology.85

Orth.—But your opponent would retort that even in the Old Testament the divine Scripture says many things economically, as for instance, “Adam heard the voice of the Lord God walking,”86 and “I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it which has come to me; and if not I will know,”87 and again, “Now I know that thou fearest God”88 and the like.

195 Eran.—I might answer to this that there is a great distinction between the oeconomies. In the Old Testament there is an economy of words; in the New Testament of deeds.

Orth.—Then your opponent would ask of what deeds?

Eran.—He shall straightway hear of the deeds of the making flesh. For the Son of God on being made man both in word and deed at one time exhibits the flesh, at another the Godhead: as of course, in the passage quoted, He shews the weakness of the flesh and of the soul, the sense namely of fear.

Orth.—But if he were to go on to say, “But he did not take a soul but only a body; for the Godhead instead of a soul being united to the body performed all the functions of the soul,” with what arguments could you meet his objections?

Eran.—I could bring proofs from the divine Scripture shewing how God the Word took not only flesh but also soul.

Orth.—And what proofs of this shall we find in Sripture?

Eran.—Have you not heard the Lord saying “I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. …I lay it down of myself that I might take it a again.”89 And again, “Now is my soul troubled.”90 And again, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto deaths”91 and again David’s words as interpreted by Peter “His soul was not left in hell neither did His flesh see corruption.”92 These and similar passages clearly point out that God the Word assumed not only a body but also a soul.

Orth.—You have quoted this testimony most appositely and properly, but your opponent might reply that even before the incarnation God said to the Jews, “Fasting and holy day and feasts my soul hateth.”93 Then he might go on to argue that as in the Old Testament He mentioned a soul, though He had not a soul, so He does in the New.

Eran.—But he shall be told again how the divine Scripture, when speaking of God, mentions even parts of the body as “Incline thine ear and hear”94 and “Open thine eyes and see”95 and “The mouth of the Lord hath spoken it”96 and “Thy hands have made me and fashioned me”97 and countless other passages.

If then after the incarnation we are forbidden to understand soul to mean sold, it is equally forbidden to hold body to mean body. Thus the great mystery of the oeconomy will be found to be mere imagination; and we shall in no way differ from Marcion, Valentinus and Manes, the inventors of all these figments.

Orth.—But if a follower of Apollinarius were suddenly to intervene in our discussion and were to ask “Most excellent Sir; what kind of soul do you say that Christ assumed?” what would you answer?

196 Eran.—should first of all say that I know only one soul of man; then I should answer, “But if you reckon two souls, the one reasonable and the other without reason, I say that the soul assumed was the reasonable. Yours it seems is the unreasonable, inasmuch as you think that our salvation was incomplete.”

Orth.—But suppose he were to ask for proof of what you say?

Eran.—I could very easily give it. I shall quote the oracles of the Evangelists “The Child Jesus grew anti waxed strong in spirit and the grace of God was upon him”98 and again “Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and men.”99 I should say that these have nothing to do with Godhead for the body increased in stature, and in wisdom the soul—not that which is without reason, but the reasonable. God the Word then took on Him a reasonable soul.

Orth.—Good Sir, you have bravely broken through the three fold phalanx of your foes; but that union, and the famous commixture and confusion, not in two ways only but in three, you have scattered and undone; and not only have you pointed out the distinction between Godhead and manhood, but you have in two ways distinguished the manhood by pointing out that the soul is one thing and the body another, so that no longer two, according to our argument, but three natures of our Saviour Jesus Christ may be understood.

Eran.—Yes; for did not you say that there is another substance of the soul besides the nature of the body?

Orth.—Yes.

Eran.—How then does the argument seem absurd to you?

Orth.—Because while you object to two, yon have admitted three natures.

Eran.—The contest with our antagonists compels us to this, for how could any one in any other way argue against those who deny the assumption of the flesh, or of the soul, or of the mind, but by adducing proofs on these points from the divine Scripture? And how could any one confute them who in their readiness strive to belittle the Godhead of the only Begotten but by pointing out that the divine Scripture speaks sometimes theologically and sometimes oeconomically.

Orth.—What you now say is true. It is what I, nay what all say, who keep whole the apostolic rule. You yourself bare become a supporter of our doctrines.

Eran.—How do I support yours, while I refuse to acknowledge two sons?

197 Orth.—When did you ever hear of our affirming two sons?

Eran.—He who asserts two natures asserts two sons.

Orth.—Then you assert three sons, for you have spoken of three natures.

Eran.—In no other way was it possible to meet the argument of my opponents.

Orth.—Hear this same thing from us too; for both you and I confront the same antagonists.

Eran.—But I do not assert two natures after the union.

Orth.—And yet after many generations of the union a moment ago you used the same words. Explain to us however in what sense you assert one nature after the union. Do you mean one nature derived from both or that one nature remains after the destruction of the other?

Eran.—I maintain that the Godhead remains and that the manhood was swallowed up by it.100

Orth.—Fables of the Gentiles, all this, and follies of the Manichees. I am ashamed so much as to mention such things. The Greeks had their gods’ swallowings101 and the Manichees wrote of the daughter of light. But we reject such teaching as being as absurd as it is impious, for how could a nature absolute and uncompounded, comprehending the universe, unapproachable and infinite, have absorbed the nature which it assumed?

Eran.—Like the sea receiving a drop of honey, for straightway the drop, as it mingles with the ocean’s water, disappears.

Orth.—The sea and the drop are different in quantity, though alike in quality; the one is greatest, the other is least; the one is sweet and the other is bitter; but in all other respects you will find a very close relationship. The nature of both is moist, liquid, and fluid. Both are created. Both are lifeless yet each alike is called a body. There is nothing then absurd in these cognate natures undergoing commixture, and in the one being made to disappear by the other. In the case before us on the contrary the difference is infinite, and so great that no figure of the reality can be found. I will however endeavour to point out to you several instances of substances which are mixed without being confounded, and remain unimpaired.

198 Eran.—Who in the world ever heard of an unmixed mixture?

Orth.—I shall endeavour to make you admit this.

Eran.—Should what you are about to advance prove true we will not oppose the truth.

Orth.—Answer then, dissenting or assenting as the argument may seem good to you.

Eran.—I will answer.

Orth.—Does the light at its rising seem to you to fill all the atmosphere except where men shut up in caverns might remain bereft of it?

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—And does all the light seem to you to be diffused through all the atmosphere?

Eran.—I am with you so far.

Orth.—And is not the mixture diffused through all that is subject to it?

Eran.—Certainly.

199 Orth.—But, now, this illuminated atmosphere, do we not see it as light and call it light?

Eran.—Quite so.

Orth.—And yet when the light is present we sometimes are aware of moisture and aridity; frequently of heat and cold.

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—And after the departure of the light the atmosphere afterwards remains alone by itself.

Eran.—True.

Orth.—Consider this example too. When iron is brought in contact with fire it is fired.

Eran.—Certainly.

Orth.—And the fire is diffused through its whole substance?

Eran.—Well?

Orth.—How, then, does not the complete union, and the mixture universally diffused, change the iron’s nature?

200 Eran.—But it changes it altogether. It is now reckoned no longer as iron, but as fire, and indeed it has the active properties of fire.

Orth.—But does not the smith call it iron, and put it on the anvil and smite it with his hammer?

Eran.—Unquestionably.

Orth.—Then the nature of the iron was not damaged by contact with the fire. If then, in natural bodies, instances may be found of an unconfounded mixture, it is sheer folly in the case of the nature which knows neither corruption nor change to entertain the idea of confusion and destruction of the assumed nature, and all the more so when this nature was assumed to bring blessing on the race.

Eran.—What I assert is not the destruction of the assumed nature, but its change into the substance of Godhead.

Orth.—Then the human race is no longer limited as heretofore?

Eran.—No.

Orth.—When did it undergo this change?

Eran.—After the complete union.

Orth.—And what date do you assign to this?

Eran.—I have said again and again, that of the conception).

201 Orth.—Yet after the conception He was an unborn babe in the womb; after His birth. He was a babe102 and was called a babe, and was worshipped by shepherds, and in like manner became a boy, and was so called by the angel.103 Do you acknowledge all this? or do you think I am inventing fables?

Eran.—This is taught in the history of the divine gospels, and cannot be gainsaid.

Orth.—Now let us investigate what follows. We acknowledge, do we not, that the Lord was circumcised?

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—Of what was there a circumcision? Of flesh or Godhead?

Eran.—Of the flesh.

Orth.—Of what was then the growth and increase in wisdom and stature?

Eran.—This, of course, is not applicable to Godhead.

Orth.—Nor hunger and thirst?

Eran.—No.

Orth.—Nor walking about, and being weary, and failing asleep?

Eran.—No.

202 Orth.—If then the union took place at the conception, and all these things came to pass after the conception and the birth, then, after the union, the manhood did not lose its own nature.

Eran.—I have not stated my meaning exactly. It was after the resurrection from the dead that the flesh underwent the change into Godhead.

Orth.—Then, after the resurrection, nothing of all that indicates its nature remained in it?

Eran.—If it remained, the divine change did not take place.

Orth.—How then was it that He shewed His hands and His feet to the disciples who disbelieved?

Eran.—Just as He came in when the doors were shut.

Orth.—But He came in when the doors were shut just as He came out from the womb, though the virgin’s bolts and bars were undrawn, and just as He walked upon the sea. Then according to your argument not even yet had the change of nature taken place?

Eran.—The Lord shewed His hands to the Apostles in the same way as He wrestled with Jacob.

Orth.—No; the Lord does not allow us to understand it in this sense. The disciples thought they saw a spirit, but the Lord dispelled this idea, and shewed the nature of the flesh, for He said “Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.”104 And observe the exactness of the language. He does not say “is not flesh and bones,” but “has not flesh and bones,” in order to point out that the nature of the possessor and the nature of that which is possessed are distinct and separate. Just in the same way that which took and that which was taken are separate and distinct, and the Christ is beheld made one of both. Thus the part possessing is entirely different from the part possessed; and yet does not divide into two persons Him who is an object of thought in them. The Lord, indeed, while the disciples were still in doubt, asked for food and took and ate it, not consuming the food only in appearance, nor satisfyingto the need of the body.

Eran.—But one of these alternatives must be accepted; either He partook because He needed, or else, needing not, He seemed to eat, and did not really partake of food.

Orth.—His body now become immortal required no food. Of them that rise the Lord says: “they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are as Angels.”105 The apostles however bear witness that He partook of the food, for the blessed Lc in the preface to the Ac says “being assembled together with the apostles the Lord commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem”106 and the very divine Peter says more distinctly: “Who did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead.”107 For since eating is proper to them that live this present life, of necessity the Lord by means of eating and drinking proved the resurrection of the flesh to them that did not acknowledge it to be real. This same course He pursued in the case of Lazarus and of Jairus’ daughter. For when He had raised up the latter He ordered that something should be given her to eat108 and He made Lazarus sit with Him at the table109 and so shewed the reality of the rising again.

203 Eran.—If we grant that the Lord really ate, let us grant that after the resurrection all men partake of food.

Orth.—What was done by the Saviour through a certain oeconomy is not a rule and law of nature. This follows from the fact that He did other things by oeconomy which shall by no means be the lot of them that live again).

Eran.—What do you mean?

Orth.—Will not the bodies of them that rise become incorruptible and immortal?

Eran.—So the divine Paul has taught us. “It is sown” he says “in corruption; it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.”110

Orth.—But the Lord, who raises the bodies of all men, unmaimed and unmarred (for lameness of limb and blindness of eye are unknown among them that are risen),111 left in His own body the prints of the nails, and the wound in His side, whereof are witnesses both the Lord Himself and the hand of Thomas.

Eran.—True.

Orth.—If then after the resurrection the Lord both partook of food, and shewed His hands and His feet to His disciples, and in them the prints of the nails, and His side with the mark of the wound in it, and said to them, “Handle me and see for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have”112 it follows that after His resurrection the nature of His body was preserved and was not changed into another substance.

Eran.—Then after the resurrection it is mortal and subject to suffering?

Orth.—By no means; it is incorruptible, impassible, and immortal.

Eran.—If it is incorruptible, impassible, and immortal, it has been changed into another nature.

204 Orth.—Therefore the bodies of all men will be changed into another substance, for all will be incorruptible and immortal. Or have you not heard the words of the Apostle, “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality”?113

Eran.—I have heard.

Orth.—Therefore the nature remains, but its corruption is changed into incorruption, and its mortal into immortality. But let us look at the matter in this way; we call a body that is sick and a body that is whole, in the same way, a body.

Eran.—Unquestionably.

Orth.—Wherefore?

Eran.—Since both partake of the same substance.

Orth.—Yet we see in them a very great difference, for the one is whole, perfect, and unhurt; the other has either lost an eye, or has a broken leg, or has undergone some other suffering.

Eran.—But to the same nature belong both health and sickness.

Orth.—So the body is called substance; disease and health are called accident.

Eran.—Of course. For these things are accidents of the body, and again cease to be so.

Orth.—In the same way corruption and death must be called accidents, and not substances, for they too are accidents and ceaseto be so.

Eran.—True.

205 Orth.—So the body of the Lord rose incorruptible, impassible, and immortal, and is worshipped by the powers of heaven, and is yet a body having its former limitation.

Eran.—In these points you seem to say sooth, but after its assumption into heaven I do not think that you will deny that it was changed into the nature of Godhead.

Orth.—I would not so say persuaded only by human arguments, for I am not so rash as to say anything concerning which divine Scripture is silent. But I have heard the divine Paul exclaiming “God hath appointed a day in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained whereof He hath given assurance unto all men in that He hath raised Him from the dead,”114 and I have learnt from the holy Angels that He will come in like manner as the disciples saw Him going into heaven.115 Now they saw His nature not unlimited. For I have heard the words of the Lord, “Ye shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven,”116 and I acknowledge that what is seen of men is limited, for the unlimited nature is invisible. Furthermore to sit upon a throne of glory and to set the lambs upon the right and the kids upon the left117 indicates limitation.

Eran.—Then He was not unlimited even before the incarnation, for the prophet saw Him surrounded by the Seraphim.118

Orth.—The prophet did not see the substance of God, but a certain appearance accommodated to his capacity. After the resurrection, however, all the world will see the very visible nature of the judge.

Eran.—You promised that you would adduce no argument without evidence, but you are introducing arguments adapted to us.

Orth.—I have learnt these things from he divine Scripture. I have heard the words of the prophet Zechariah “They shall look on Him whom they pierced,”119 and how shall the event follow the prophecy unless the crucifiers recognise the nature which they crucified? And I have heard the cry of the victorious martyr Stephen, “Behold I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God,”120 and he saw the visible, not the invisible nature.

Eran.—These things are thus written, but I do not think that you will be able to show that the body, after the ascension into heaven, is called body by the inspired writers.

Orth.—What has been already said indicates the body perfectly plainly; for what is seen is a body; but I will nevertheless point out to you that even after the assumption the body of the Lord is called a body. Hear the teaching of the Apostle, “For our conversation is in Heaven from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus, who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.”121 It was not changed into another nature, but remained a body, full however of divine glory, and sending forth beams of light. The bodies of the saints shall be fashioned like unto it. But if it was changed into another nature, their bodies will be likewise changed, for they shall be fashioned like unto it. But if the bodies of the saints preserve the character of their nature, then also the body of the Lord in like manner keeps its own nature unchanged.

Eran.—Then will the bodies of the saints be equal with the body of the Lord?

Orth.—In its incorruption and its immortality they too will share. Moreover in its glory they will participate, as says the Apostle, “If so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.”122 It is in quantity that the vast difference may be found, a difference as great as between sun and stars, or rather between master and slaves, and that which gives and that which receives light. Yet has He given a share of His own name to His servants and as He is Light, calls His saints light, for “Ye,” He says, “are the Light of the world,”123 and being named servants and being named “Sun of Righteousness”124 He says of his servants “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the Sun.”125 It is therefore according to quality, not according to quantity, that the bodies of the saints shall be fashioned like unto the body of the Lord. Now I have shewn you plainly what you bade me. Further, if you please, let us look at the matter in yet another way.

206 Eran.—One ought “to stir every stone,” as the proverb says,126 to get at the truth; above all when it is a question of divine doctrines.

Orth.—Tell me now; the mystic symbols which are offered to God by them who perform priestly rites, of what are they symbols?

Eran.—Of the body and blood of the Lord.

Orth.—Of the real body or not?

Eran.—The real.

Orth.—Good. For there must be the archetype of the image. So painters imitate nature and paint the images of visible objects.

Eran.—True.

Orth.—If, then, the divine mysteries are antitypes of the real body,127 therefore even now the body of the Lord is a body, not changed into nature of Godhead, but filled with divine glory.

Eran.—You have opportunely introduced the subject of the divine mysteries for from it I shall be able to show you the change of the Lord’s body into another nature. Answer now to my questions.

Orth.—I will answer.

Eran.—What do you call the gift which is offered before the priestly invocation?

207 Orth.—It were wrong to say openly; perhaps some uninitiated are present.

Eran.—Let your answer be put enigmatically.

Orth.—Food of grain of such a sort.

Eran.—And how name we the other symbol?

Orth.—This name too is common, signifying species of drink.

Eran.—And after the consecration how do you name these?

Orth.—Christ’s body and Christ’s blood.

Eran.—And do yon believe that you partake of Christ’s body and blood?

Orth.—I do.

Eran.—As, then, the symbols of the Lord’s body and blood are one thing before the priestly invocation, and after the invocation are changed and become another thing; so the Lord’s body after the assumption is changed into the divine substance.

Orth.—You are caught in the net you have woven yourself. For even after the consecration the mystic symbols are not deprived of their own nature; they remain in their former substance figure and form; they are visible and tangible as they were before. But they are regarded as what they are become, and believed so to be, and are worshipped128 as being what they are believed to be. Compare then the image with the archetype, and you will see the likeness, for the type must be like the reality. For that body preserves its former form, figure, and limitation and in a word the substance of the body; but after the resurrection it has become immortal and superior to corruption; it has become worthy of a seat on the righthand; it is adored by every creature as being called the natural body of the Lord.

208 Eran.—Yes; and the mystic symbol changes its former appellation; it is no longer called by the name it went by before, but is styled body. So must the reality be called God, and not body.

Orth.—You seem to me to be ignorant—for He is called not only body but even bread of life. So the Lord Himself used this name’ and that very body we call divine body, and giver of life, and of the Master and of the Lord, teaching that it is not common to every man but belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ Who is God and Man. “For Jesus Christ” is “the same yesterday, to-day, and forever.”129

Eran.—You have said a great deal about this, but I follow the saints who have shone of old in the Church; show me then, if you can, these in their writings dividing the natures after the union.

Orth.—I will read you their works, and I am sure you will be astonished at the countless mentions of the distinction which in their struggle against impious heretics they have inserted in their writings. Hear now those whose testimony I have already adduced speaking openly and distinctly on these points.

Testimony of the holy Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, and martyr:—

From the Epistle to the Smyrnaeans:130 “I acknowledge and believe Him after His resurrection to be existent in the flesh: and when He came to hem that were with Peter He said to them ‘Take; handle me and see, for I am not a bodiless daemon.’131 And straightway they took hold of him and believed.”

Of the same from the same epistle:—

“And after His Resurrection He ate with them, and drank with them, as being of the flesh, although He was spiritually one with the Father.”

Testimony of Irenoeus, the ancient bishop of Lyons;

From the third Book of his work “Against Heresies.” (Chap. XX).

“As we have said before, He united man to God. For had not a man vanquished man’s adversary, the enemy would not have been vanquished aright; and again, had not God granted the boon of salvation we should not have possessed it in security. And had not man been united to God, he could not have shared in the incorruption. For it behoved the mediator of God and men, by means of His close kinship to either, to bring them both into friendship and unanimity, and to set man close to God and to make God known to men.”

209 Of the same from the third book of the same treatise (Chapter XVIII):—

“So again in his Epistle he says ‘Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God,’132 recognising one and the same Jesus Christ to whom the gates of heaven were opened, on account of His assumption in the flesh. Who in the same flesh in which He also suffered shall come revealing the glory of the Father.”

Of the same from the fourth book (Chapter VII):—

“As Isaiah saith ‘He shall cause them that come of Jacob to take root. Israel shall blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit.’133 So his fruit being scattered through the whole world, they who erst brought forth good fruit (for of them was produced the Christ in the flesh and the apostles) were abandoned and removed. And now they are no longer fit for bringing forth fruit.”

Of the same from the same book (Chapter LIX):—

“And he judges also them of Ebion.134 How can they be saved unless it was God who wrought their salvation on earth, or how shall man come to God unless God came to man?”

Of the same from the same book (Chapter LXIV):—

“They who preach that Emmanuel was of the Virgin set forth the union of God the Word with His creature.”

Of the same from the same treatise (Book V. Chap. I).:—

“Now these things came to pass not in seeming but in essential truth, for if He appeared to be man though He was not man then the Spirit of God did not continue to be what in truth It is; for the Spirit is invisible; nor was there any truth in Him, for He was not what He appeared to be. And we have said before that Abraham and the rest of the prophets beheld Him in prophecy prophesying what was destined to come to pass in actual sight. If then now too He appeared to be of such a character, though in reality He was not what He appeared, then a kind of prophetic vision would have been given to men, and we must still look for yet another advent in which He will really be what He is now seen to be in prophecy. Now we have demonstrated that there is no difference between the statements that He only appeared in seeming and that He took nothing from Mary, for He did not really even possess flesh and blood whereby He redeemed us, unless He renewed in Himself the old creation of Adam. The sect of Valentinus are therefore vain in teaching thus that they may cast out the life of the flesh.”

Testimony of the holy Hippolytus, bishop and martyr, from his work on the distribution of the talents:135 —

210 “Any one might say that these and those who uphold otherwise are neighbours, erring as they do in the same manner, for even they either confess that the Christ appeared in life as mere man, denying the talent of His Godhead, or else acknowledging Him as God, on the other hand they deny the man, representing that He deluded the sight of them that beheld Him by unreal appearances; and that He wore manhood not as a Man but was rather a mere imaginary semblance, as Marcion and Valentinus and the Gnostics teach, wrenching away the Word from the flesh, and rejecting the one talent, the incarnation.”

Of the same from his letter to a certain Queen:136 —

“He calls Him ‘the first fruits of them that sleep,’ as being ‘the first born from the dead,’137 and He, after His resurrection, wishing to show that that which was risen was the same as that which had undergone death, when the disciples were doubting, called Thomas to Him, and said, ‘Come hither handle me and see for a spirit hath not flesh and blood as ye see me have.’”138

Of the same from his discourse on Elkanah and Hannah:—

“Wherefore three seasons of the year typified the Saviour Himself that He might fulfil the mysteries predicted about Him. In the Passover, that He might shew Himself as the sheep doomed to be sacrificed and shew a true Passover as says the Apostle. ‘Christ, God,139 our Passover was sacrificed for us.’ At Pentecost that He might announce the kingdom of heaven ascending Himself first into heaven and offering to God man as a gift.”

Of the same from his work on the great Psalm:140 —

“He who drew from the nethermost hell man first formed of the earth When lost and held fast in bonds of death; He who came down from above and lifted up him that was down; He who became Evangelist of the dead, ransomer of souls and resurrection of them that were entombed; this was He who became succourer of vanquished man in Himself, like man firstborn Word; visiting the first formed Adam in the Virgin; the spiritual seeking the earthy in the womb; the ever-living him who by disobedience died; the heavenly calling the earthly to the world above, the highborn meaning to make the slave free by His own obedience; He who turned to adamant man crumbled into dust anti and serpents’ meat; He who made man hanging on a tree of wood Lord over him who had conquered Him and so by a tree of wood is proved victorious.”

Of the same from the same book:—

“They who do not now recognise the Son of God in the flesh will one day recognise Him when He comes as judge in glory, though now in an inglorious body suffering wrong.”

Of the same from the same book:—

“Moreover the apostles when they had come to the sepulchre on the third day did not find the body of Jesus, just as the children of Israel went up on the mountain, and could not find the tomb of Moses.”

211 Of the same from his interpretation of Psalm II.:—

“When He had come into the world He was manifested as God and Man. His manhood is easy of perception because He is ahungered and aweary, in toil He is athirst, in fear He flees,141 in prayer He grieves; He falls asleep upon a pillow, He prays that the cup of suffering may pass from Him, being in an agony He sweats, He is strengthened by an angel, betrayed by Judas, dishonoured by Caiaphas, set at nought by Herod, scourged by Pilate, mocked by soldiers, nailed to a cross by Jews, He commends His spirit to the Father with a cry, He leans His head as He breathes His last, He is pierced in the side with a spear and rolled in fine linen, is laid in a tomb, and on the third day He is raised by the Father. No less plainly may His divinity be seen when He is worshipped by angels, gazed on by shepherds, waited for by Simeon, testified to by Anna, sought out by Magi, pointed out by a Star, at the wedding feast makes water wine, rebukes the sea astir by force of winds, and on the same sea walks, makes a man blind from birth see, raises Lazarus who had been four days dead, works many and various wonders, remits sins and gives power to His disciples.”

Of the same from his work on Psalm XXIV.:—

“He comes to the heavenly gates, angels travel with Him and the gates of the heavens are shut. For He hath not yet ascended into heaven. Now first to the heavenly powers flesh appears ascending. The Word then goes forth to the powers from the angels that speed before the Lord and Saviour, ‘Lift the Gates ye princes and be ye lift up ye everlasting doors and the King of glory shall come in.’”142

Testimony of the holy Eustathius, bishop of Antioch and confessor.

From his work on The Titles of the Psalms:—

“He predicted that He would sit upon a holy throne, shewing that He has been set forth on the same throne as the divine Spirit on account of the God that dwells in Him continually.”

Of the same from his work upon the Soul:—

“Before His passion in each case He predicted His bodily death, saying that He would be betrayed to the father of the High Priest, and announcing the trophy of the Cross. And after the passion, when He had risen on the third day from the dead, His disciples being in doubt as to His resurrection, He appeared to them in His very body and confessed that He had complete flesh and bones, submitting to their sight His wounded side and shewing them the prints of the nails.”

Of the same from his discourse on “The Lord formed me in the beginning of His ways”:143 —

“Paul did not say ‘conformed to the Son of God’ but ‘conformed to the image of His Son’144 in order to point out a distinction between the Son and His image, for the Son, wearing the divine tokens of His Father’s Excellence, is an image of His Father; for since like are generated of like, offspring appear as very images of their parents, but the manhood which He wore is an image of the Son, as images even of different colours are painted on wax,145 some being wrought by hand and some by nature and likeness. Moreover the very law of truth announces this, for the bodiless spirit of wisdom is not conformed to bodily men, but the express image146 made man by the spirit bearing the same number of members with all the rest, and clad in similar form.”

212 Of the same from the same work:—

“That he speaks of the body as conformed to those of men he teaches more clearly in his Epistle to the Philippians, ‘our conversation’ he says ‘is in Heaven from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body.’147 And if by changing the form of the vile body of men He fashions it like unto His own body, then the false teaching of our opponents is shewn to be in every way worthless.”

Of the same from the same work:—

“But as being born of the Virgin He is said to have been made man of the woman,148 so He is described as being made under the law because of His sometimes walking by the precepts of the law, as for instance when His parents zealously urged His circumcision, when He was a child eight days old, as relates the evangelist Luke, afterwards ‘they brought Him to present Him to the Lord,’ ‘bringing the offerings of purification’ ‘to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons.’149 As then the gifts of purification were offered on His behalf according to the law, and He underwent circumcision on the eighth day, the Apostle very properly writes that He was thus brought under the law. Not indeed that the Word was subject to the law, (as our calumnious opponents suppose) being Himself the law, nor did God, who by one breath can cleanse and hallow all things, need sacrifices of purification. But He took from the Virgin the members of a man and became subject to the law and was purified according to the rite of the firstborn, not because He submitted to this treatment from any need on His part of such observance, but in order that He might redeem from the slavery of the law them that were sold to the doom of the curse.”

Testimony of the holy Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria.

From his Second Discourse against heresies:150 —

“We should not have been redeemed from sin and the curse had not the flesh which the Word wore been by nature that of man, for we should have had nothing in common with that which was not our own; just so man would not have been made God, had not the Word which was made flesh been by nature of the Father and verily and properly His. And the combination is of this character that to the natural God may be joined the natural man, and so his salvation and deification be secure. Therefore let them that deny Him to be naturally of the Father, and own Son of His substance, deny too that He took very flesh of man from the Virgin Mary.”

Of the same from his Epistle to Epictetus:—

“If on account of the Saviour’s Body being, and being described in the Scriptures as being, derived from Mary, and a human Body, they fancy that a quaternity is substituted for a Trinity, as though some addition were made by the body, they are quite wrong; they put the creature on a par with the Creator, and suppose that the Godhead is capable of being added to. They fail to see that the Word was not made flesh on account of any addition to Godhead, but that the flesh may rise. Not for the aggrandisement of the Word did He come forth from Mary, but that the human race may be redeemed. How can they think that the body ransomed and quickened by the Word can add anything in the way of Godhead to the Word that quickened it?”

Of the same from the same Epistle:—

“Let them be told that if the Word had been a creature, the creature would not have assumed a body to quicken it. For what help can creatures get from a creature standing itself in need of salvation? But the Word, Himself Creator, was made maker of created things, and therefore in the fulness of the ages He attached the creature to Himself, that once more as a Creator He might renew it, and might be able to create it afresh.”

213 From the longer Discourse “De Fide”:—

“This also we add concerning the words ‘Sit thou on my right hand,’151 that they are said of the Lord’s body. For if ‘the Lord saith, do not I fill heaven and earth,’152 as says Jeremiah, and God contains all things, and is contained of none, on what kind of throne does He sit? It is therefore the body to which He says ‘Sit thou on my right hand,’ of which too the devil with his wicked powers was foe, and Jews and Gentiles too. Through this body too He was made and was called High Priest and Apostle through the mystery whereof He gave to us, saying ‘This is my Body for you’153 and ‘my Blood of the New Testament’ (not of the Old), shed for you.”154 Now Godhead hath neither body nor blood; but the manhood which He bore of Mary was the cause of them, of whom the Apostles said ‘Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you.’”155

Of the same from his book against the Arians:—

“And when he says ‘Wherefore God hath also highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name’156 he speaks of the temple of the body, not of the Godhead, for the Most High is not exalted, but the flesh of the Most High is exalted, and to the flesh of the Most High He gave a name which is above every name. Nor did the Word of God receive the designation of God as a favour, but His flesh was held divine as well as Himself.”

Of the same from the same work:—

“And when he says ‘the Holy Ghost was not yet because that Jesus was not yet glorified,’157 he says that His flesh was not yet glorified, for the Lord of glory is not glorified, but the flesh itself receives glory of the glory of the Lord as it mounts with Him into Heaven; whence he says the spirit of adoption was not yet among men, because the first fruits taken from men had not yet ascended into heaven. Wherever then the Scripture says that the Son received and was glorified, it speaks because of His manhood, not His Godhead.”

Of the same from the same work:—

“So that He is very God both before His being made man and after His being made mediator of God and men, Jesus Christ united to the Father in spirit, and to us in flesh, who mediated between God and men, and who is not only man but also God.”

Testimony of the Holy Ambrosius, bishop of Milan.

In his Exposition of the Faith:—

“We confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, was begotten before all ages, without beginning, of the Father, and that in these last days the same was made flesh of the holy Virgin Mary, assumed the manhood, in its perfection, of a reasonable soul and body, of one substance with the Father as touching His Godhead and of one substance with us as touching His manhood. For union of two perfect natures hath been after an ineffable manner. Wherefore we acknowledge one Christ, one Son, our Lord Jesus Christ; knowing that being coeternal with His own Father as touching His Godhead, by virtue of which also He is creator of all, He deigned, after the assent of the Holy Virgin, when she said to the angel ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word’158 to build after an ineffable fashion a temple out of her for Himself, and to unite this temple to Himself by her conception, not taking and uniting with Himself a body coeternal with His own substance, and brought from heaven, but of the matter of our substance, that is of the Virgin. God the Word was not turned into flesh; His appearance was not unreal; keeping ever His own substance immutably and invariably He took the first fruits of our nature, and united them to Himself. God the Word did not take His beginning from the Virgin, but being coeternal with His own Father He of infinite kindness deigned to unite to Himself the first fruits of our nature, undergoing no mixture but in either substance appearing one and the same, as it is written ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.’159 For the divine Christ, as touching my substance which he took is destroyed, and the same Christ raises the destroyed temple as touching the divine substance in which also He is Creator of all things. Never at any time after the Union which He deigned to make with Himself from the moment of the conception did He depart from His own temple, nor indeed through His ineffable love for mankind could depart.

214 “The same Christ is both passible and impassible; as touching His manhood passible and as touching His Godhead impassible. ‘Behold behold me, it is I, I have undergone no change’—and when God the Word had raised His own temple and in it had wrought out the resurrection and renewal of our nature, He shewed this nature to His disciples and said ‘Handle me and see for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me,’ not ‘be’ but ‘have.’160 So He says, referring to both the possessor and the possessed in order that you may perceive that what had taken place was not mixture, not change, not variation, but union. On this account too He shewed the prints of the nails and the wound of the spear and ate before His disciples to convince them by every means that the resurrection of our nature had been renewed in Him; and further because in accordance with the blessed substance of His Godhead unchanged, impassible, immortal, He lived in need of nought, He by concession permitted all that can be felt to be brought to His own temple, and by His own power raised it up, and by means of His own temple made perfect the renewal of our nature.

“Them therefore that assert that the Christ was mere man, that God the Word was passible, or changed into flesh, or that the body which He had was consubstantial, or that He brought it from Heaven, or that it was an unreality; or assert that God the Word being mortal needed to receive His resurrection from the Father, or that the body which He assumed was without a soul, or manhood without a mind, or that the two natures of the Christ became one nature by confusion and commixture; them that deny that our Lord Jesus Christ was two natures unconfounded, but one person, as He is one Christ and one Son, all these the catholic and apostolic Church condemns.”

Of the same:161 —

“If then the flesh of all was in Christ or hath been in Christ snbject to wrongs, how can it be held to be of one essence with the Godhead? For if the Word and the flesh which derives its nature from earth are of one essence, then the Word and the soul which He took in its perfection are of one essence, for the Word is of one nature with God both according to the Word of the Father, and the confession of the Son Himself in the words, ‘I and my Father are one.’162 Thus the Father must be held to be of the same substance with the body. Why any longer are ye wroth with the Arians, who say that the Son is a creature of God, while you assert yourselves that the Father is of one substance with His creatures?”

Of the same from his letter to the Emperor Gratianus:163 —

“Let us preserve a distinction between Godhead and flesh. One Son of God speaks in both, since in Him both natures exist. The same Christ speaks, yet not always in the same but sometimes in a different manner. Observe how at one time He expresses divine glory and at another human feeling. As God He utters the things of God, since He is the Word; as man He speaks with humility because He converses in my essence.”

On the same from the same book:164 —

“As to the passage where we read that the Lord of glory was crucified,165 let us not suppose that He was crucified in His own glory. But since He is both God and man, as touching His Godhead God, and as touching the assumption of the flesh, a man, Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, is said to have been crucified. For He partakes of either nature—that is the human and the divine. In the nature of manhood He underwent the passion in order that He who suffered might be said to be without distinction both Lord of Glory and Son of Man. As it is written ‘He that came down from Heaven.’”166

Similarly of the same:167 —

“Let then vain questions about words be silent, as it is written, the kingdom of God is not in ‘enticing words’ but in ‘demonstration of the spirit.’168 For there is one Son of God who speaks in both ways, since both natures exist in Him; but although He Himself speaks He does not speak always in the same way; for you see in Him at one time God’s glory, at another time man’s feeling. As God He utters divine things, being the Word; as man He utters human things, since in this nature He spoke.”

Of the same from his work on the Incarnation of the Lord against the Apollinarians:169 —

215 “But while we are confuting these, another set spring up who assert the body of the Christ and His godhead to be of one nature. What hell hath vomited forth so terrible a blasphemy? Really Arians are more tolerable, whose infidelity, on account of these men, is strengthened, so that with greater opposition they deny Father, Son and Holy Ghost to be of one substance, for they did at least endeavour to maintain the Godhead of the Lord and His flesh to be of one nature.”

Of the same (from the same chapter):—

“He has frequently told me that he maintains the exposition of the Nicene Council, but in that examination our Fathers laid down that the Word of God, not the flesh, was of one substance with the Father, and they confessed that the Word came from the substance of the Father but that the flesh is of the Virgin. Why then do they hold out to us the name of the Nicene Council, while in reality they are introducing innovations of which our forefathers never entertained the thought?”

Of the same against Apollinarius:170 —

“Refuse thou to allow that the body is by nature on a par with the Godhead. Even though thou believe the body of the Christ to be real and bring it to the altar for transformation,171 and fail to distinguish the nature of the body and of the Godhead we shall say to thee, ‘If thou offer rightly and fail to distinguish rightly, thou sinnest; hold thy peace.’172 Distinguish what belongs naturally to us, and what is peculiar to the Word. For I had not what was naturally His, and He had not what was naturally mine, but He took what was naturally mine in order to make us partakers of what was His. And He received this not for confusion but for completion.”

Of the same, a little further on:173 —

“Let them who say that the nature of the Word has been changed into nature of the body say so no more, lest by the same interpretation the nature of the Word seem to have been changed into the corruption of sin. For there is a distinction between what took, and what was taken. Power came over the Virgin, as in the words of the angel to her, ‘The power of the highest shall overshadow thee.’174 But what was born was of the body of the Virgin, and on this account the descent was divine but the conception human. Therefore the nature of the flesh and of the godhead could not be the same.”175

The testimony of St. Basil, Bishop of Coesarea.

From his homily on Thanksgiving:—

“Wherefore when He wept over His friend He shewed His participation in human nature and set us free from two extremes, suffering us neither to grow over soft in suffering nor to be insensible to pain. As then the Lord suffered hunger after solid food had been digested, and thirst when the moisture in His body was exhausted; and was aweary when His nerves and sinews were strained by His journeying, it was not that His divinity was weighed down with toil, but that His body showed the wonted symptoms of its nature. Thus too when He allowed Himself to weep He permitted the flesh to take is natural course.”

From the same against Eunomius:—

216 “I say that being in the form of God has the same force as being in God’s substance for as to have taken the form of a servant shews our Lord to have been of the substance of the manhood, so the statement that He was in the form of God attributes to Him the peculiar qualities of the divine substance.”176

The testimony of the holy Gregorius, bishop of Nazianzus.

From his discourse De nova dominica:177 —

“Believe that He will come again at His glorious advent judging quick and dead,178 no longer flesh but not without a body.”

“In order that He may be seen by them that pierced Him179 and remain God without grossness.”

Of the same from his Epistle to Cledonius:—

“God and man are two natures, as soul and body are two; but there are not two sons, nor yet are there here two men although Paul thus speaks of the outward man and the inward man.180 In a word the sources of the Saviour’s being are of two kinds, since the visible is distinct from the invisible and the timeless from that which is of time, but He is not two beings. God forbid.”

Of the same from the same Exposition to Cledonius:—

“If any one says that the flesh has now been laid aside, and that the Godhead is bare of body, and that it is not and will not come with that which was assumed, let him be deprived of the vision of the glory of the advent! For where is the body now, save with Him that assumed it? For it assuredly has not been, as the Manichees fable, swallowed up by the Son, that it may be honoured through dishonour; it has not been poured out and dissolved in the air like a voice and stream of perfume or flash of unsubstantial lightning. And where is the capacity of being handled after the resurrection, wherein one day it shall be seen by them that pierced Him? For Godhead of itself is in visible.”

Of the same from the second discourse about the Son:—

“As the Word He was neither obedient nor disobedient, for these qualities belong to them that are in subjection and to inferiors; the former of the more tractable and the latter of them that deserve condemnation. But in the form of a servant He accommodates Himself to his fellowservants and puts on a form that was not His own, bearing in Himself all of me with all that is mine, that in Himself He may waste and destroy the baser parts as wax is wasted by fire or the mist of the earth by the sun.”

217 Of the same from his discourse on the Theophany:—

“Since He came forth from the Virgin with the assumption of two things mutually opposed to one another, flesh and spirit, whereof the one was taken into God and the other exhibited the grace of the Godhead.”

Of the same a little further on:—

“He was sent, but as Man. For His nature was twofold, for without doubt He thenceforth was aweary and hungered and thirsted and suffered agony and shed tears after the custom of a human body.”

Of the same from his second discourse about the Son:—

“He would be called God not of the Word, but of the visible creation, for how could He be God of Him that is absolutely God? Just so He is called Father, not of the visible creation, but of the Word. For He was of two-fold nature. Wherefore the one belongs absolutely to both, but the other not absolutely.181 For He is absolutely our God, but not absolutely our Father. And it is this conjunction of names which gives rise to the error of heretics. A proof of this lies in the fact that when natures are distinguished in thought, there is a distinction in names. Listen to the words of Paul. ‘The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Father of Glory,’182 —of Christ He is God, of glory Father, and if both are one this is so not by nature but by conjunction. What can be plainer than this? Fifthly let it be said that He receives life, authority, inheritance of nations, power over all flesh, glory, disciples or what you will; all these belong to the manhood.”

Of the same from the same work:—

“‘For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men the man Christ Jesus.’183 As man He still pleads for my salvation, because He keeps with Him the body which He took, till he made me God by the power of the incarnation—though He be no longer known according to the flesh that is by affections of the flesh and though He be without sin.”

Of the same from the same work:—

“Is it not plain to all that as God He knows, and is ignorant, He says, as man? If that is, any one distinguish the apparent from that which is an object of intellectual perception. For what gives rise to this opinion is the fact that the appellation of the Son is absolute without relation, it not being added of whom He is the Son; so to give the most pious sense to this ignorance we hold it to belong to the human, and not to the divine.”

Testimony of the Holy Gregorius, bishop of Nyssa.

218 From his catechetical discourse:—

“And who says this that the infinity of the Godhead is comprehended by the limitation of the flesh, as by some vessel?”

Of the same from the same work:—

“But if man’s soul by necessity of its nature commingled with the body, is everywhere in authority, what need is there of asserting that the Godhead is limited by the nature of the flesh?”

Of the same from the same work:—

“What hinders us then, while recognising a certain unity and approximation of a divine nature in relation to the human, from retaining the divine intelligence even in this approximation, believing that the divine even when it exists in men is beyond all limitation?”

Of the same from his work against Eunomius:—

“The Son of Mary converses with brothers, but the only begotten has no brothers, for how could the name of only begotten be preserved among brothers? And the same Christ that said ‘God is a spirit’184 says to His disciples ‘Handle me,’185 to shew that the human nature only can be handled and that the divine is intangible; and He that said ‘I go’186 indicates removal from place to place, while He that comprehends all things and ‘by Whom,’ as says the Apostle, ‘all things were created and by Whom all things consist,’187 had among all existing things nothing without and beyond Himself which can stand to Him in the relation of motion or removal.”

Of the same from the same work:—

“‘Being by the right hand of God exalted.’188 Who then was exalted? The lowly or the most high? And what is the lowly if it be not the human? And what is the most high save the divine? But God being most high needs no exaltation, and so the Apostle says that the human is exalted, exalted that is in being ‘made both Lord and Christ.’189 Therefore the Apostle does not mean by this term ‘He made’ the everlasting existence of the Lord, but the change of the lowly to the exalted which took place on the right hand of God. By this word he declares the mystery of piety, for when he says ‘by the right hand of God exalted’ he plainly reveals the ineffable oeconomy of the mystery that the right hand of God which created all things, which is the Lord by whom all things were made and without whom nothing consists of things that were made,190 through the union lifted up to Its own exaltation the manhood united to It.”

Testimony of St. Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium.

219 From his discourse on “My Father is greater than I”:191 —

“Henceforth distinguish the natures; that of God and that of man. For He was not made man by falling away from God, nor God by increase and advance from man.”

Of the same from his discourse on “the Son can do nothing of Himself”:192 —

“For after the resurrection the Lord shews both—both that the body is not of this nature, and that the body rises, for remember the history. After the passion and the resurrection the disciples were gathered together, and when the doors were shut the Lord stood in the midst of them. Never at any time before the passion did He do this. Could not then the Christ have done this even long before? For all things are possible to God.193 But before the passion He did not do so lest you should suppose the incarnation an unreality or appearance, and think of the flesh of the Christ as spiritual, or that it came down from heaven and is of another substance than our flesh. Some have invented all these theories with the idea that thereby they reverence the Lord, forgetful that through their thanksgiving they blaspheme themselves, and accuse the truth of a lie: for I say nothing of the lie being altogether absurd. For if He took another body how does that affect mine, which stands in need of salvation? If He brought down flesh from heaven, how does this affect my flesh which was derived from earth?”

Of the same from the same work:—

“Wherefore not before the passion, but after the passion, the Lord stood in the midst of the disciples when the doors were shut, that thou mayest know that thy natural body after being sown is ‘raised a spiritual body,’194 and that thou mayest not suppose the body that is raised to be a different body. When Thomas after the resurrection doubted, He shews him the prints of the nails, He shews him the marks of the spears. But had He not power to heal Himself after the resurrection too, when even before the resurrection He had healed all men? But by shewing the prints of the nails He shews that it is this very body; by coming in when the doors were shut He shews that it has not the same qualities; the same body to fulfil the work of the incarnation by raising that which had become a corpse, but a changed body that it fall not again under corruption nor be subject again to death.”

Testimony of the blessed Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria.

From his work against Origen:—

“Our likeness which He assumed is not changed into the nature of Godhead nor is His Godhead turned into our likeness. For He remains what He was from the beginning God, and He so remains preserving our subsistence in Himself.”

Of the same from the same treatise:—

“But you persist continually in your blasphemies attacking the Son of God, and using these words ‘as the Son and the Father are one, so also are the soul which the Son took and the Son Himself one.’ You are ignorant that the Son and the Father are one on account of their one substance and the same Godhead; but the soul and the Son are each of a different substance and different nature. For if the soul of the Son and the Son Himself are one in the same sense in which the Father and the Son are one, then the Father and the Soul will be one and the soul of the Son shall one day say ‘He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father;’195 but this is not so; God forbid. For the Son and the Father are one because there is no distinction between their qualities, but the soul and the Son are distinguished alike in nature and substance, in that the soul which is naturally of one substance with us was made by Him. For if the soul and the Son are one in the same manner in which the Father anti the Son are one, as Origen would have it, then the soul equally with the Son will be ‘the brightness of God’s glory and express image of His person.’196 But this is impossible; impossible that the Son and the soul should be one as He and the Father are one. And what will Origen do when again he attacks himself? For he writes, never could the soul distressed and ‘exceeding sorrowful’197 be the ‘firstborn of every creature.’198 For God the Word, as being stronger than the soul, the Son Himself, says ‘I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again.’199 If then the Son is stronger than His own soul, as is agreed, how can His soul be equal to God and in the form of God? For we say that ‘He emptied Himself and took upon Him the form of a servant.’200 In the extravagance of his impieties Origen surpasses all other heretics, as we have shewn, for if the Word exists in the form of God and is equal to God and if he supposes thus daring to write the soul of the Saviour to be in the form of God and equal with God, how can the equal be greater, when the inferior in nature testifies to the superiority of what is beyond it?”

220 Testimony of the Holy Jn Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople.

From the Discourse held in the Great Church:—

“Thy Lord exalted man to heaven, and thou wilt not even give him a share of the agora. But why do I say ‘to heaven’? He seated man on a kingly throne. Thou expellest him from the city.”

Of the same, on the beginning of Ps xlii.:—

“Up to this day Paul does not cease to say ‘We are ambassadors for Christ as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.’201 Nor did He stand here, but taking the first fruits of thy nature He sat down ‘above all principality and power and might, and every name that is named not only in this world but in the world to come.’202 What could be equal to this honour? The first fruits of our race which has so much offended and is so dishonoured sits so high and enjoys honour so vast.”

Of the same about the division of tongues:—

“For bethink thee what it is to see our nature riding on the Cherubim and all the power of heaven mustered round about it. Consider too Paul’s wisdom and how many terms he searches for that he may set forth the love of Christ to men, for he does not say simply the grace, nor yet simply the riches, but the ‘exceeding great riches of His grace in His kindness.’”203

Of the same from his Dogmatic Oration, on the theme that the word spoken and deeds done in humility by Christ were not so spoken and done on account of infirmity, but on account of differences of dispensation:—

“And after His resurrection, when He saw His disciple disbelieving, He did not shrink from shewing him both wound and print of nails, and letting him lay his hand upon the scars, and said ‘Examine and see, for a spirit hath not flesh and bones.’204 The reason of His not assuming the manhood of full age from the beginning, and of His deigning to be conceived, to be born, to be suckled, and to live so long upon the earth, was that by the long period of the time and all the other circumstances, He might give a warranty for this very thing.”

Of the same against those who assert that demons rule human affairs:—

“Nothing was more worthless than man and than man nothing has become more precious. He was the last part of the reasonable creation, but the feet have been made the head, and through the firstfruits have been borne up to the kingly throne. Just as some man noble and bountiful, on seeing a wretch escaped from shipwreck who has saved nothing but his bare body from the waves, welcomes him with open hands, clothes him in a radiant robe, and exalts him to the highest honour, so too hath God done towards our nature. Man had lost all that he had, his freedom, his intercourse with God, his abode in Paradise, his painless life, whence he came forth like a man all naked from a wreck, but God received him and straightway clothed him, and, taking him by the hand, led him onward step by step and brought him up to heaven.”

221 Of the same from the same work:—

“But God made the gain greater than the loss, and exalted our nature to the royal throne. So Paul exclaims ‘And have raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places’205 at His right hand.”

Of the same from his IIIrd oration against the Jews:—

“He opened the heavens; of foes he made friends; He introduced them into heaven; He seated our nature on the right hand of the throne; He gave us countless other good things.”

Of the same from his discourse on the Ascension:—

“To this distance and height did He exalt our nature. Look where low it lay, and where it mounted up. Lower it was impossible to descend than where man descended; higher it was impossible to rise than where He exalted him.”

Of the same from his interpretation of the Epistle to the Ephesians:—

“According to His good pleasure, which He had proposed in himself, that is which He earnestly desired, He was as it were in labour to tell us the mystery. And what is this mystery? That He wishes to seat man on high; as in truth came to pass.”

Of the same from the same interpretation:—

“God of our Lord Jesus Christ speaks of this and not of God the Word.”

Of the same from the same interpretation:—

222 “‘And when we were dead in sins He quickened us together in Christ;’206 again Christ stands in the midst, and the work is wonderful. If the first fruits live we live also. He quickened both Him and us. Seest thou that all these things are spoken according to the flesh?”

Of the same from the gospel according to St. John:—

“Why does he add ‘and dwelt among us’?207 It is as though he said: Imagine nothing absurd from the phrase ‘was made.’ For I have not mentioned any change in that unchangeable nature, but of tabernacling208 and of inhabiting. Now that which tabernacles is not identical with the tabernacle, but one thing tabernacles in another; otherwise there would be no tabernacling. Nothing inhabits itself. I spoke of a distinction of substance. For by the union and the conjunction God the Word and the flesh are one without confusion or destruction of the substances, but by ineffable and indescribable union.”

Of the same from the gospel according to St. Matthew:—

“Just as one standing in the space between two that are separated from one another, stretches out both his hands and joins them, so too did He, joining the old and the new, the divine nature and the human, His own with ours.”

Of the same from the Ascension of Christ:—

“For so when two champions stand ready for the fight, some other intervening between them, at once stops the struggle, and puts an end to their ill will, so too did Christ. As God He was wroth, but we made light of His wrath, and turned away our faces from our loving Lord. Then Christ flung Himself in the midst, and restored both natures to mutual love, and Himself took on Him the weight of the punishment laid by the Father on us.”

Of the same froth the same work:—

“Lo He brought the first fruits of our nature to the Father and the Father Himself approved the gift, alike on account of the high dignity of Him that bought it and of the faultlessness of the offering. He received it in His own hands, He made a chair of His own throne; nay more He seated it on His own right hand, let us then recognise who it was to whom it was said ‘Sit thou on my right hand’209 and what was that nature to which God said ‘Dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return.’”210

Of the same a little further on:—

“What arguments to use, what words to utter I cannot tell; the nature which was rotten, worthless, declared lowest of all, vanquished everything and overcame the world. To-day it hath been thought worthy to be made higher than all, to-day it hath received what from old time angels havedesired; to-day it is possible for archangels to be made spectators of what has been for ages longed for, and they contemplate our nature, shining on the throne of the King in the glory of His immortality.”

223 Testimony of St. Flavianus, bishop of Antioch.

From the Gospel according to St. Luke:—

“In all of us the Lord writes the express image of His holiness, and in various ways shows our nature the way of salvation. Many and clear proofs does He give us both of His bodily advent and of His Godhead working by a body’s means. For He wished to give us assurance of both His natures.”

Of the same on the Theophany:—

“‘Who can express the noble acts of the Lord, or shew forth all His praise?’211 who could express in words the greatness of His goodness toward us? Human nature is joined to Godhead, while both natures remain independent.”

Testimony of Cyril, bishop Jerusalem.

From his fourth catechetical oration concerning the ten dogmas.

Of the birth from a virgin:—

“Believe thou that this only begotten Son of God, on account of our sins, came down from heaven to earth, having taken on Him this manhood of like passions with us, and being born of holy Virgin and of Holy Ghost. This incarnation was effected, not in seeming and unreality, but in reality. He did not only pass through the Virgin, as through a channel, but was verily made flesh of her. Like us He really ate, and of the Virgin was really suckled. For if the incarnation was an unreality, then our salvation is a delusion. The Christ was twofold—the visible man, the invisible God. He ate as man, verily like ourselves, for the flesh that He wore was of like passions with us; He fed the five thousand with five loaves212 as God. As man He really died. As God He raised the dead on the fourth day.213 As man He slept in the boat. As God He walked upon the waters.”214

Testimony of Antiochus, bishop of Ptolemais:215 —

“Do not confound the natures and you will have a lively apprehension of the incarnation.”

224 Testimony of the holy Hilarius, bishop and confessor,216 in his ninth book, “de Fide”:

“He who knoweth not Jesus the Christ as very God and as very man, knoweth not in reality his own life, for we incur the same peril if we deny Christ Jesus or God the spirit, or the flesh of our own body. ‘Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men him will I confess also before my Father which is in Heaven, but whosoever shall deny me before men him will I also deny before my Father which is in Heaven.’217 These things spoke the Word made flesh; these things the man Christ Jesus, Lord of Glory, taught, being made Mediator for the salvation of the Church in the very mystery whereby He mediated between God and men. Both being made one out of the natures united for this very purpose, He was one and the same through either nature, but so that in both He fell short in neither, lest haply by being born as man He should cease to be God, or by remaining God should not be man. Therefore this is the blessedness of the true faith among men to preach both God and man, to confess both word and flesh, to recognise that God was also man, and not to be ignorant that the flesh is also Word.”

Of the same from the same book:218 —

“So the only begotten God being born man of a Virgin and in the fulness of the time, being Himself ordained to work out the advance of man to God, observed this order of things, through all the words of the gospels, that He might teach belief in Himself, as Son of God, and keep us in mind to preach Him as Son of Man. As being man He always spoke and acted as is proper to man, but in such a manner as never to speak in this same mode of speech as touching both save with the intention of signifying both God and Man. But hence the heretics derive a pretext for catching in their traps simple and ignorant men: what was spoken by our Lord in accordance with His manhood they falsely assert to have been uttered in the weakness of His divine nature, and since one and the same person spake all the words He used they urged that all He uttered He uttered about Himself. Now even we do not deny that all His extant words are of His own nature. But granted that the one Christ is man and God; granted that when man He was not then first God; granted that when man He was then also God, granted that after the assumption of the manhood in the Lord, the Word was man and the Word was God, it follows of necessity that there is one and the same mystery of His words as there is of His generation. Whenever in Him, as occasion may require, you distinguish the manhood from the Godhead, then also endeavour to separate the words of God from the words of man. And whenever you confess God and man, then discern the words of God and man. And when the words are spoken of God and man, and again of man wholly and wholly of God, consider carefully the occasion. If anything was spoken to signify what was appropriate to a particular occasion, apply the words to the occasion. A distinction must be observed between God before the manhood, man and God, man wholly and God wholly after the union of the manhood and Godhead. Take heed therefore not to confuse the mystery of the incarnation in the words and acts. For it must needs be that according to the quality of the kinds of natures a distinction lies in the manner of speech, before the manhood was born, in accordance with the mystery when it was still approaching death, and again when it was everlasting. ‘For if in His birth and in His passion and in His death He acted in accordance with our nature He nevertheless effected all this by the power of His own nature.’”

Of the same in the same book:—

“Do you then see that thus God and man are confessed, so that death is predicated of man, and the resurrection of the flesh, of God; for consider the nature of God and the power of the resurrections, and recognise in the death the oeconomy as touching man. And since both death and resurrection have been brought about in their own natures, bear in mind, I beg you, the one Christ Jesus, who was of both. I have shortly demonstrated these points to you to the end that we may remember both natures to have been in our Lord Jesus Christ ‘for being in the form of God He took the form of a servant.’”219

Testimony of the very holy bishop Augustinus.

From his letter to Volusianus. Epistle III:

“But now He appeared as Mediator between God and man, so as in the unity of His person to conjoin both natures, by combining the wonted with the unwonted, and the unwonted with the wonted.”

Of the same from his exposition of the Gospel according to John:220 —

“What then, O heretic? Since Christ is also man, He speaks as man; and dost thou slander God? He in Himself lifts man’s nature on high, and thou hast the hardihood to cheapen His divine nature.”

225 Of the same from his book on the Exposition at the Faith:—

“It is ours to believe, but His to know, and so let God the Word Himself, after receiving all that is proper to man, be man, and let man after His assumption and reception of all that is God, be no other than God. It must not be supposed because He is said to have been incarnate and mixed that therefore His substance was diminished. God knows that He mixes Himself without the natural corruption, and He is mixed in reality. He knows also that He so received in Himself as that no addition of increment accrues to Himself, as also He knows He infused His whole self so as to incur no diminution. Let us not then, in accordance with our weak intelligence, and forming conjectures on the teaching of experience and the senses, suppose that God and man are mixed after the manner of things created and equal mixed together, and that from such a confusion as this of the Word and of the flesh a body as it were was made. God forbid thatthis should be our belief, test we should suppose that after the manner of things which are confounded together two natures were brought into one hypostasis.221 For a mention of this kind implies destruction of both parts; but Christ Himself, containing butnot contained, who examines us but is Himself beyond examination, making full but not made full, everywhere at one and the same time being Himself whole and pervading the universe, through His pouring out His own power, as being moved with mercy, was mingled with the nature of man, though the nature of man was not mingled with the divine.”

Testimony of Severianus, bishop of Gabala.222

From “the Nativity of Christ”:—

“O mystery truly heavenly and yet on earth—mystery seen and not apparent for so was the Christ after His birth; heavenly and yet on earth; holding and not held; seen and invisible; of Heaven as touching the nature of the Godhead, on earth as touching the nature of the manhood; seen in the flesh, invisible in the spirit; held as to the body not to be holden as to the Word.”

Testimony of Atticus,223 bishop of Constantinople.

From his letter to Eupsychius:—

“How then did it behave the Most Wise to act? By mediation of the flesh assumed, and by union of God the Word with man born of Mary, He is made of either nature, so that the Christ made one of both, as constituted in Godhead, abides in the proper dignity of His impassible nature, but in flesh. being brought near to death, at one and the same time shews the kindred nature of the flesh how through death to despise death, and by His death confirms the righteousness of the new covenant.”

Testimony of Cyril, bishop of Alexandria.

From his letter to Nestorius:224 —

“The natures which have been brought together in the true unity are distinct, and of both there is one God and Son, but the difference of the natures has not been removed in consequence of the union.”

226 Of the same from his letter against the Orientals:225 —

“There is an union of two natures, wherefore we acknowledge one Christ, one Son, one Lord. In accordance with this perception of the unconfounded union we acknowledge the Holy Virgin as Mother of God226 because the Word of God was made flesh and was made man, and from the very conception united to Himself the temper taken from her.”227

Of the same:—

“There is one Lord Jesus Christ, even if the difference be recognised of the natures of which we assert the ineffable union to have been made.”

Of the same:—

“Therefore, as I said, while praising the manner of the incarnation, we see that two natures came together in inseparable union without confusion and without division,228 for the flesh is flesh and no kind of Godhead, although it was made flesh of God; in like manner the Word is God, and not flesh, although He made the flesh His own according to the oeconomy.”

Of the same from his interpretation of the Epistle to the Hebrews:—

“For although the natures which came together in unity are regarded as different and unequal with one another, I mean of flesh and of God, nevertheless the Son, Who was made of both, is one.”

Of the same from his interpretation of the same Epistle:—

“Yet though the only begotten Word of God is said to be united in hypostasis to flesh, we deny there was any confusion of the natures with one another, and declare each to remain what it is.”

Of the same from his commentaries:—

227 “The Father’s Word, born of the Virgin, is named man, though being by nature God as partaking of flesh and blood like us229 for thus He was seen by men upon earth, without getting rid of His own nature, but assuming our Manhood perfect according to its own reason.”

Of the same concerning the Incarnation (Schol. c. 13):—

“Then before the incarnation there is one Very God, and in manhood He remains what He was and is and will be; the one Lord Jesus Christ then must not be separated into man apart and into God apart, but recognising the difference of the natures and preserving them unconfounded with one another, we assert that there is one and the same Christ Jesus.”

Of the same after other commentaries:—

“There is plain perception of one thing dwelling in another, namely the divine nature in manhood, without undergoing commixture or any confusion, or any change into what it was not. For what is said to dwell in another does not become the same as that in which it dwells, but is rather regarded as one thing in another. But in the nature of the Word and of the manhood the difference points out to us a difference of natures alone, for of both is perceived one Christ. Therefore he says that the Word ‘Tabernacled among us,’230 carefully observing the freedom from confusion, for he recognises one only begotten Son who was made flesh and became man.”

Now, my dear sir, you have heard the great lights of the world; you have seen the beams of their teaching, and you have received exact instruction how, not only after the nativity, but after the passion which wrought salvation, and the resurrection, and the ascension, they have shewn the union of the Godhead and of the manhood to be without confusion.

Eran.—I did not suppose that they distinguished the natures after the union, but Ihave found an infinite amount of distinction.

Orth.—It is mad and rash against those noble champions of the faith so much as to wag your tongue. But I will adduce for you the words of Apollinarius, in order that you may know that he too asserts the union to be without confusion. Now hear his words.

Testimony of Apollinarius.

From his summary:—

“There is an union between what is of God and what is of the body. On the one side is the adorable Creator Who is wisdom and power eternal; these are of the Godhead. On the other hand is the Son of Mary, born at the last time, worshipping God, advancing in wisdom, strengthened in power; these are of the body. The suffering on behalf of sin and the curse came and will not pass away nor yet be changed into the incorporeal.”

228 And again a little further on:—

“Men are consubstantial with the unreasoning animals as far as the unreasoning body is concerned; they are of another substance in so far forth as they are reasonable. Just so God who is consubstantial with men according to the flesh is of another substance in so far forth as He is Word and Man.”

And in another place he says:—

“Of things which are mingled together the qualities are mixed and not destroyed. Thus it comes to pass that some are separate from the mixed parts as wine from water, nor yet is there mingling with a body, nor yet as of bodies with bodies, but the mingling preserves also the unmixed, so that, as each occasion may require, the energy of the Godhead either acts independently or in conjunction, as was the case when the Lord fasted, for the Godhead being in conjunction in proportion to its being above need, hunger was hindered, but when it no longer opposed to the craving its superiority to need, then hunger arose, to the undoing of the devil. But if the mixture of the bodies suffered no change, how much more that of the Godhead?”

And in another place he says:—

“If the mixture with iron which makes the iron itself fire does not change its nature, so too the union of God with the body implies no change of the body, even though the body extend its divine energies to what is within its reach.”

To this he immediately adds:—

“If a man has both soul and body, and these remain in unity, much more does the Christ, who has Godhead and body, keep both secure and unconfounded.”

And again a little further on:—

“For human nature is partaker of the divine energy, as far as it is capable, but it is as distinct as the least from the greatest. Man is a servant of God, but God is not servant of man, nor even of Himself. Man is a creature of God, but God is not a creature of man, nor even of Himself.”

And again:—

229 “If any one takes in reference to Godhead and not in reference to flesh the passage the ‘Son doeth what He seeth the Father do,’231 wherein He Who was made flesh is distinct from the Father Who was not made flesh, divides two divine energies. But there is no division. So He does not speak in reference to Godhead.”

Again he says:—

“As man is not an unreasoning being, on account of the contact of the reasoning and the unreasoning, just so the Saviour is not a creature on account of the contact of the creature with God uncreate.”

To this he also adds:—

“The invisible which is united to a visible body and thereby is beheld, remains invisible, and it remains without composition because it is not circumscribed with the body, and the body, remaining in its own measure, accepts the union with God in accordance with its being quickened, nor is it that which is quickened which quickens.”

And a little further on he says:—

“If the mixture with soul and body, although from the beginning they coalesce, does not make the soul visible on account of the body, nor change it into the other properties of the body, so as to allow of its being cut or lessened, how much rather God, who is not of the same nature as the body, is united to the body without undergoing change, if the body of man remains in its own nature, and this when it is animated by a soul, then in the case of Christ the commingling does not so change the body as that it is not a body.”

And further on he says again:—

“He who confesses that soul and body are constituted one by the Scripture, is inconsistent with himself when he asserts that this union of the Word with the body is a change, such change being not even beheld in the case of a soul.”

Listen to him again exclaiming clearly:—

“If they are impious who deny that the flesh of the Lord abides, much more are they who refuse wholly to accept His incarnation.”

230 And in his little book about the Incarnation he has written:—

“The words ‘Sit thou on my right hand’232 He speaks as to man, for they are not spoken to Him that sits ever on the throne of glory, as God the Word after His ascension from earth, but they are said to Him who hath now been exalted to the heavenly glory as man, as the Apostles say ‘for David is not ascended into the heavens, but he saith himself the Lord said unto my Lord sit thou on my right hand.’233 The order is human, giving a beginning to the sitting; but it is a divine dignity to sit together with God ‘to whom thousand thousands minister and before whom ten thousand times ten thousand stand.’”234

And again a little further on:—

“He does not put His enemies under Himas God but as man, but so that the God who is seen and man are the same. Paul too teaches us that the words ‘until I make thy foes thy footstool’235 are spoken to men, describing the success as His own of course in accordance with His divinity ‘According to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.’236 Behold Godhead and manhood existing inseparably in One Person.”

And again:—

“‘Glorify me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.’237 The word ‘glorify’ He uses as man, but His having this glory before the ages He reveals as God.”

And again:—

“But let us not be humiliated as thinking the worship of the Son of God humiliation, even in His human likeness, but as though honouring some king appearing in poor raiment with his royal glory, and above all seeing that the very garb in which He is clad is glorified, as became the body of God and of the world’s Saviour which is seed of eternal life, instrument of divine deeds destroyer of all wickedness, slayer of death and prince of resurrection; for though it had its nature from man it derived its life from God, and its power and divine virtue from heaven.”

And again:—

“Whence we worship the body as the Word; we partake of the body as of the spirit.”

Now it has been plainly shewn you that the author who was first to introduce the mixture of the natures openly uses the argument of a distinction between them; thus he has called the body garb, creature and instrument; he even went so far as to call it slave, which none of us has ever ventured to do. He also says that it was deemed worthy of the seat on the right hand, and uses many other expressions which are rejected by your vain heresy.

231 Eran.—But why then did he who was the first to introduce the mixture insert so great a distinction in his arguments?

Orth.—The power of truth forces even them that vehemently fight against her to agree with what she says, but, if you will, let us now begin a discussion about the impassibility of the Lord.

Eran.—You know that musicians are accustomed to give their strings rest, and they slacken them by turning the pegs; if then things altogether void of reason and soul stand in need of some recreation, we who partake of both shall do nothing absurd if we mete out our labour in proportion to our power. Let us then put it off till tomorrow.

Orth.—The divine David charges us to give heed to the divine oracles by night and by day; but let it be as you say, and let us keep the investigation of the remainder of our subject till to-morrow.
Dialogue III.—The Impassible.

Orthodoxus and Eranistes.


Orth.—In our former discussions we have proved that God the Word is immutable, and became incarnate not by being changed into flesh, but by taking perfect human nature. The divine Scripture, and the teachers of the churches and luminaries of the world have clearly taught us that, after the union, He remained as He was, unmixed, impassible, unchanged, uncircumscribed; and that He preserved unimpaired the nature which He had taken. For the future then the subject before us is that of His passion, and it will be a very profitable one, for thence have been brought to us the waters of salvation.

Eran.—I am also of opinion that this discourse will be beneficial. I shall not however consent to our former method, but I propose myself to ask questions.

Orth.—And I will answer, without making any objection to the change of method. He who has truth on his side, not only when he questions but also when he is questioned, is supported by the might of the truth. Ask then what you will.

Eran.—Who, according to your view, suffered the passion?

Orth.—Our Lord Jesus Christ.

232 Eran.—Then a than gave us our salvation.

Orth.—No; for have we confessed that our Lord Jesus Christ was only man?

Eran.—Now define what you believe Christ to be.

Orth.—Incarnate Son of the living God.

Eran.—And is the Son of God God?

Orth.—God, having the same substance as the God Who begat Him).

Eran.—Then God underwent the passion.

Orth.—If He was nailed to the cross without a body, apply the passion to the Godhead; but if he was made man by taking flesh, why then do you exempt the passible from the passion and subject the impassible to it?

Eran.—But the reason why He took flesh was that the impassible might undergo the passion by means of the passible.

Orth.—You say impassible and apply passion to Him.

Eran.—I said that He took flesh to suffer.

233 Orth.—If He had had a nature capable or the Passion He would have suffered without flesh; so the flesh becomes superfluous.

Eran.—The divine nature is immortal, and the nature of the flesh mortal, so the immortal was united with the mortal, that through it He might taste of death.

Orth.—That which is by nature immortal does not undergo death, even when conjoined with the mortal; this is easy to see.

Eran.—Prove it; and remove the difficulty.

Orth.—Do you assert that the humansoul was immortal, or mortal?

Eran.—Immortal.

Orth.—And is the body mortal or immortal?

Eran.—Indubitably mortal.

Orth.—And do we say that man consists of these natures?

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—So the immortalis conjoinedwith the mortal?

Eran.—True.

234 Orth.—But when the connexion or union is at an end, the mortal submits to the law of death, while the soul remains immortal though sin has introduced death, or do you not hold death to be a penalty?

Eran.—So divine Scripture teaches. For we learn that when God forbade Adam to partake of the tree of knowledge He added “on the day that ye eat thereof ye shall surely die.”1

Orth.—Then death is the punishment of them that have sinned?

Eran.—Agreed.

Orth.—Why then, when soul and body have both sinned together, does the body alone undergo the punishment of death?

Eran.—It was the body that cast its evil eye upon the tree, and stretched forth its hands, and plucked the forbidden fruit. It was the mouth that bit it with the teeth, and ground it small, and then the gullet committed it to the belly, and the belly digested it, and delivered it to the liver; and the liver turned what it had received into blood and passed it on to the hollow vein2 and the vein to the adjacent parts and they through the rest, and so the theft of the forbidden food pervaded the whole body. Very properly then the body alone underwent the punishment of sin.

Orth.—You have given us a physiological disquisition on the nature of food, on all the parts that it goes through and on the modifications to which it is subject before it is assimilated with the body. But there is one point that you have refused to observe, and that is that the body goes through none of these processes which you have mentioned without the soul. When bereft of the soul which is its yoke mate the body lies breathless, voiceless, motionless; the eye sees neither wrong nor aright; no sound of voices reaches the ears, the hands cannot stir; the feet cannot walk; the body is like an instrument without music. How then can you say that only the body sinned when the body without the soul cannot even take a breath?

Eran.—The body does indeed receive life from the soul, and it furnishes the soul with the penal possession of sin.

Orth.—How, and in what manner?

Eran.—Through the eyes it makes it see amiss; through the ears it makes it hear unprofitable sounds; and through the tongue utter injurious words, and through all the other parts act ill.

Orth.—Then I suppose we may say Blessed are the deaf; blessed are they that have lost their sight and have been deprived of their other faculties, for the souls of men so incapacitated have neither part nor lot in the wickedness of the body. And why, O most sagacious sir, have you mentioned those functions of the body which are culpable, and said nothing about the laudable? It is possible to look with eyes of love and of kindliness; it is possible to wipe away a tear of compunction, to hear oracles of God, to bend the ear to the poor, to praise the Creator with the tongue, to give good lessons to our neighbour, to move the hand in mercy, and in a word to use the parts of the body for complete acquisition of goodness.

235 Eran.—This is all true.

Orth.—Therefore the observance and transgression of law is common to both soul and body.

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—It seems to me that the soul takes the leading part in both, since it uses reasoning before the body acts.

Eran.—In what sense do you say this?

Orth.—First of all the mind makes, as it were, a sketch of virtue or of vice, and then gives to one or the other form with appropriate material and colour, using for its instruments the parts of the body.

Eran.—So it seems.

Orth.—If then the soul sins with the body; nay rather takes the lead in the sin, for to it is entrusted the bridling and direction of the animal part, why, as it shares the sin, does it not also share the punishment?

Eran.—But how were it possible for the immortal soul to share death?

Orth.—Yet it were just that after sharing the transgression, it should share the chastisement.

Eran.—Yes, just.

236 Orth.—But it did not do so.

Eran.—Certainly not.

Orth.—At least in the life to come it will be sent with the body to Gehenna.

Eran.—So He said “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”3

Orth.—Therefore in this life it escapes death, as being immortal; in the life to come; it will be punished, not by undergoing death, but by suffering chastisement in life.

Eran.—That is what the divine Scripture says.

Orth.—It is then impossible for the immortal nature to undergo death.

Eran.—So it appears.

Orth.—How then do you say, God the Word tasted death? For if that which was created immortal is seen to be incapable of becoming mortal, how is it possible for him that is without creation and eternally immortal, Creator of mortal and immortal natures alike, to partake of death?

Eran.—We too know that His nature is immortal, but we say that He shared death in the flesh.

Orth.—But we have plainly shewn that it is in no wise possible for that which is by nature immortal to share death, for even the soul created together with, and conjoined with, the body and sharing in its sin, does not share death with it, on account of the immortality of its nature alone. But let us look at this same position from another point of view.

237 Eran.—There is every reason why we should leave no means untried to arrive at the truth.

Orth.—Let us then examine the matter thus. Do we assert that of virtue and vice some are teachers and some are followers?

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—And do we say that the teacher of virtue deserves greater recompense?

Eran.—Certainly.

Orth.—And similarly the teacher of vice deserves twofold and threefold punishment?

Eran.—True.

Orth.—And what part shall we assign to the devil, that of teacher or disciple?

Eran.—Teacher of teachers, for he himself is father and teacher of all iniquity.

Orth.—And who of men became his first disciples?

Eran.—Adam and Eve.

238 Orth.—And who received the sentence of death?

Eran.—Adam and all his race.

Orth.—Then the disciples were punished for the bad lessons they had learnt, but the teacher, whom we have just declared to deserve two-fold and three-fold chastisement, got off the punishment?

Eran.—Apparently.

Orth.—And though this so came about we both acknowledge and declare that the Judge is just.

Eran.—Certainly.

Orth.—But, being just, why did He not exact an account from him of his evil teaching?

Eran.—He prepared for him the unquenchable flame of Gehenna, for, He says, “Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”4 And the reason why he did not here share death with his disciples is because he has an immortal nature.

Orth.—Then even the greatest transgressors cannot incur death if they have an immortal nature.

Eran.—Agreed.

Orth.—If then even the very inventor and teacher of iniquity did not incur death on account of the immortality of his nature, do you not shudder at the thought of saying that the fount of immortality and righteousness shared death?

239 Eran.—Had we said that he underwent the passion involuntarily, there would have been some just ground for the accusation which yon bring against us. But if the passion which is preached by us was spontaneous and the death voluntary, it becomes you, instead of accusing us, to praise the immensity of His love to man. For He suffered because He willed to suffer, and shared death because He wished it.

Orth.—You seem to me to be quite ignorant of the divine nature, for the Lord God wishes nothing inconsistent with His nature, and is able to do all that He wishes, and what He wishes is appropriate and agreeable to His own nature.

Eran.—We have learnt that all things are possible with God.5

Orth.—In expressing yourself thus indefinitely you include even what belongs to the Devil, for to say absolutely all things is to name together not only good, but its opposite.

Eran.—But did not the noble Jb speak absolutely when he said “I know that thou canst do all things and with thee nothing is impossible”?6

Orth.—If you read what the justman said before, you will see the meaning of the one passage from the other, for he says “Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay and wilt thou bring me into dust again? Hast thou not poured me out as milk and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh and hast fenced me with bones and sinews, thou hast granted me life and favour.”7

And then he adds:—

“Having this in myself I know that thou canst do all things and that with thee nothing is impossible.”8 Is it not therefore all that belongs to these things that he alleges to belong to the incorruptible nature, to the God of the universe?

Eran.—Nothing is impossible to Almighty God.

Orth.—Then according to your definition sin is possible to Almighty God?

Eran.—By no means.

240 Orth.—Wherefore?

Eran.—Because He does not wish it.

Orth.—Wherefore does He not wish it?

Eran.—Because sin is foreign to His nature.

Orth.—Then there are many things which He cannot do, for there are many kinds of transgression.

Eran.—Nothing of this kind can be wished or done by God.

Orth.—Nor can those things which are contrary to the divine nature.

Eran.—What are they?

Orth.—As, for instance, we have learnt that God is intelligent and true Light.

Eran.—True.

Orth.—And we could not call Him darkness or say that He wished to become, or could become, darkness.

241 Eran.—By no means.

Orth.—Again, the Divine Scripture calls His nature invisible.

Eran.—It does.

Orth.—And we could never say that It is capable of being made visible.

Eran.—No, surely.

Orth.—Nor comprehensible.

Eran.—No; for He is not so.

Orth.—No; for He is incomprehensible, and altogether unapproachable.

Eran.—You are right.

Orth.—And He that is could never become non-existent.

Eran.—Away with the thought!

242 Orth.—Nor yet could the Father become Son.

Eran.—Impossible.

Orth.—Nor yet could the unbegotten become begotten.

Eran.—How could He.

Orth.—And the Father could never become Son?

Eran.—By no means.

Orth.—Nor could the Holy Ghost ever become Son or Father.

Eran.—All this is impossible.

Orth.—And we shall find many other things of the same kind, which are similarly impossible, for the Eternal will not become of time, nor the Uncreate created and made, nor the infinite finite, and the like.

Eran.—None of these is possible.

Orth.—So we have found many things which are impossible to Almighty God.

Eran.—True.

243 Orth.—But not to be able in any of these respects is proof not of weakness, but of infinite power, and to be able would certainly be proof not of power but of impotence.

Eran.—How do you say this?

Orth.—Because each one of these proclaims the unchangeable and invariable character of God. For the impossibility of good becoming evil signifies the immensity of the goodness; and that He that is just should never become unjust, nor He that is true a liar, exhibits the stability and the strength that there is in truth and righteousness. Thus the true light could never become darkness; He that is could never become nonexistent, for the existence is perpetual and the light is naturally invariable. And so, after examining all other examples, you will find that the not being able is declaratory of the highest power. That things of this kind are impossible in the case of God, the divine Apostle also both perceived and laid down, for in his Epistle to the Hebrews9 he says, “that by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie we might have a strong consolation.”10 He shews that this incapacity is not weakness, but very power, for he asserts Him to be so true that it is impossible for there to be even a lie in Him. So the power of truth is signified through its want of power. And writing to the blessed Timothy, the Apostle adds “It is a faithful saying, for if we be dead with Him we shall also live with Him, if we suffer we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him He will also deny us, if we believe not yet He abideth faithful, He cannot deny Himself.”11 Again then the phrase “He cannot” is indicative of infinite power, for even though all men deny Him He says God is Himself, and cannot exist otherwise than in His own nature, for His being is indestructible. This is what is meant by the words “He cannot deny Himself.” Therefore the impossibility of change for the worse proves infinity of power.

Eran.—This is quite true and in harmony with the divine words.

Orth.—Granted then that with God many things are impossible,—everything, that is, which is repugnant to the divine nature,—how comes it that while you omit all the other qualities which belong to the divine nature, goodness, righteousness, truth, invisibility, incomprehensibility, infinity, and eternity, and the rest of the attributes which we assert to be proper to God, you maintain that His immortality and impassibility alone are subject to change, and in them concede the possibility of variation and give to God a capacity indicative of weakness?

Eran.—We have learnt this from the divine Scripture. The divine Jn exclaims “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,”12 and the divine Paul,“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more being reconciled we shall be saved by His life.”13

Orth.—Of course all this is true, for these are divine oracles,14 but remember what we have often confessed.

Eran.—What?

Orth.—We have confessed that God the Word the Son of God did not appear without a body, but assumed perfect human nature.

Eran.—Yes; this we have confessed.

Orth.—And He was called Son of Man because He took a body and human soul.

Eran.—True.

244 Orth.—Therefore the Lord Jesus Christ is verily our God; for of these two natures the one was His from everlasting and the other He assumed.

Eran.—Indubitably.

Orth.—While, then, as man He underwent the passion, as God He remained incapable of suffering.

Eran.—How then does the divine Scripture say that the Son of God suffered?

Orth.—Because the body which suffered was His body. But let us look at the matter thus; when we hear the divine Scripture saying “And it came to pass when Isaac was old his eyes were dim so that he could not see,”15 whither is our mind carried and on what does it rest, on Isaac’s soul or on his body?

Eran.—Of course on his body.

Orth.—Do we then conjecture that his soul also shared in the affection of blindness?

Eran.—Certainly not.

Orth.—We assert that only his body was deprived of the sense of sight?

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—And again when we hear Amaziah saying to the prophet Amos, “Oh thou seer go flee away into the land of Judah,”16 and Saul enquiring: “Tell me I pray thee where the seer’s house is,”17 we understand nothing bodily.

245 Eran.—Certainly not.

Orth.—And vet the words used are significant of the health of the organ of sight.

Eran.—True.

Orth.—Yet we know that the power of the Spirit when given to purer souls inspires prophetic grace and causes them to see even hidden things, and, in consequence of their thus seeing, they are called seers and beholders.

Eran.—What you say is true.

Orth.—And let us consider this too.

Eran.—What?

Orth.—When we hear the story of the divine evangelists narrating how they brought to God a man sick of the palsy, laid upon a bed, do we say that this was paralysis of the parts of the soul or of the body?

Eran.—Plainly of the body.

Orth.—And when while reading the Epistle to the Hebrews we light upon the passage where the Apostle says “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees and make straight paths for your feet lest that which is lame be turned out of the way, but let it rather be healed,”18 do we say that the divine Apostle said these things about the parts of the body?

Eran.—No.

246 Orth.—Shall we say that he was for removing the feebleness and infirmity of the soul and stimulating the disciples to manliness?

Eran.—Obviously.

Orth.—But we do not find these things distinguished in the divine Scripture, for in describing the blindness of Isaac he made no reference to the body, but spoke of Isaac as absolutely blind, nor in describing the prophets as seers and beholders did he say that their souls saw and beheld what was hidden, but mentioned the persons themselves.

Eran.—Yes; this is so.

Orth.—And he did not point out that the body of the paralytic was palsied, but called the man a paralytic.

Eran.—True.

Orth.—And even the divine Apostle made no special mention of the souls, though it was these that he purposed to strengthen and to rouse.

Eran.—No; he did not.

Orth.—But when we examine the meaning of the words, we understand which belongs to the soul and which to the body.

Eran.—And very naturally; for God made us reasonable beings.

Orth.—Then let us make use of this reasoning faculty in the case of our Maker and Saviour, and let us recognise what belongs to His Godhead and what to His manhood.

247 Eran.—But by doing this we shall destroy the supreme union.

Orth.—In the case of Isaac, of the prophets, of the man sick of the palsy, and of the rest, we did so without destroying the natural union of the soul and of the body; we did not even separate the souls from their proper bodies, but by reason alone distinguished what belonged to the soul and what to the body. Is it not then monstrous that while we take this course in the case of souls and bodies, we should refuse to do so in the caseof our Saviour, and confound natures which differ not in the same proportion as soul from body, but in as vast a degree as the temporal from the eternal and the Creator from the created?

Eran.—The divine Scripture says that the Son of God underwent the passion.

Orth.—We deny that it was suffered by any other, but none the less, taught by the divine Scripture, we know that the nature of the Godhead is impassible. We are told of impassibility and of passion, of manhood and of Godhead, and we therefore attribute the passion to the passible body, and confess that no passion was undergone by the nature that was impassible.

Eran.—Then a body won our salvation for us.

Orth.—Yes; but not a mere man’s body, but that of our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God. If you regard this body as insignificant and of small account, how can you hold its type to be an object of worship and a means of salvation? and how can the archetype be contemptible and insignificant of that of which the type is adorable and honourable?

Eran.—I do not look on the body as of small account, but I object to dividing it from the Godhead.

Orth.—We, my good sir, do not divide the union but we regard the peculiar properties of the natures, and I am sure that in a moment you will take the same view.

Eran.—You talk like a prophet.

Orth.—No; not like a prophet, but as knowing the power of truth. But now answer me this. When you hear the Lord saying “I and my Father are one,” and “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,”19 do you say that this refers to the flesh or to the Godhead?

Eran.—How can the flesh and the Father possibly be of one substance?

248 Orth.—Then these passages indicate the Godhead?

Eran.—True.

Orth.—And so with the text, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God,”20 and the like.

Eran.—Agreed.

Orth.—Again when the divine Scripture says. “Jesus therefore being wearied with his journey sat thus on the well,”21 of what is the weariness to be understood, of the Godhead or of the body?

Eran.—I cannot bear to divide what is united.

Orth.—Then it seems you attribute the weariness to the divine nature?

Eran.—I think so.

Orth.—But then yon directly contradict the exclamation of the prophet “He fainteth not neither is weary; there is no searching of His understanding. He giveth power to the faint and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.”22 And a little further on “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary and they shall walk and not faint.”23 Now how can He who bestows upon others the boon of freedom from weariness and want, possibly be himself subject to hunger and thirst?

Eran.—I have said over and over again that God is impassible, and free from all want, but after the incarnation He became capable of suffering.

Orth.—But did He do this by admitting the sufferings in His Godhead, or by permitting the passible nature to undergo its natural sufferings and by suffering proclaim that what was seen was no unreality, but was really assumed of human nature? But now let us look at the matter thus: we say that the divine nature was uncircumscribed.

Eran.—Aye.

249 Orth.—And uncircumscribed nature is circumscribed by none.

Eran.—Of course not.

Orth.—It therefore needs no transition for it is everywhere.

Eran.—True.

Orth.—And that which needs no transition needs not to travel.

Eran.—That is clear.

Orth.—And that which does not travel does not grow weary.

Eran.—No.

Orth.—It follows then that the divine nature, which is uncircumscribed, and needs not to travel, was not weary.

Eran.—But the divine Scripture says that Jesus was weary, and Jesus is God; “And our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.”24

Orth.—But the exact expression of the divine Scripture is that Jesus “was wearied” not “is wearied.”25 We must consider how one and the other can be applied to the sameperson.

250 Eran.—Well; try to point this out, for you are always for forcing on us the distinctionof terms.

Orth.—I think that even a barbarian might easily make this distinction. The union of unlike natures being conceded, the person of Christ on account of the union receives both; to each nature its own properties are attributed; to the uncircumscribed immunity from weariness, to that which is capable of transition and travel weariness. For travelling is the function of the feet; of the muscles to be strained by over exercise.

Eran.—There is no controversy about these being bodily affections.

Orth.—Well then; the prediction which I made, and you scoffed at, has come true; for look; you have shewn us what belongs to manhood, and what belongs to Godhead.

Eran.—But I have not divided one son into two.

Orth.—Nor do we, my friend; but giving heed to the difference of the natures, we consider what befits godhead, and what is proper to a body.

Eran.—This distinction is not the teaching of the divine Scripture; it says that the Son of God died. So the Apostle;—“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.”26 And he says that the Lord was raised from the dead for “God” he says “raised the Lord from the dead.”27

Orth.—And when the divine Scripture says “And devout men carried Stephen to his burial and made great lamentation over him”28 would any one say that his soul was committed to the grave as well as his body?

Eran.—Of course not.

Orth.—And when you hear the Patriarch Jacob saying “Bury me with my Fathers.”29 do you suppose this refers to the body or to the soul?

Eran.—To the body; without question.

251 Orth.—Now read what follows.

Eran.—“There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife and there I buried Leah.”30

Orth.—Now, in the passages which you have just read, the divine Scripture makes no mention of the body, but as far as the words used go, signifies soul as well as body. We however make the proper distinction and say that the souls of the patriarchs were immortal, and that only their bodies were buried in the double cave.31

Eran.—True.

Orth.—And when we read in the Ac how Herod slew James the brother of Jn with a sword,32 we are not likely to hold that his soul died.

Eran.—No; how could we? We remember the Lord’s warning “Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul.”33

Orth.—But does it not seem to you impious and monstrous in the case of mere men to avoid the invariable connexion of soul and body, and in the case of scriptural references to death and burial, to distinguish in thought the soul from the body and connect them only with the body, while in trust in the teaching of the Lord you hold the soul to be immortal, and then when you hear of the passion of the Son of God to follow quite a different course? Are you justified in making no mention of the body to which the passion belongs, and in representing the divine nature which is impassible, immutable and immortal as mortal and passible? While all the while you know that if the nature of God the Word is capable of suffering, the assumption of the body was superfluous.

Eran.—We have learnt from the Divine Scriptures that the Son of God suffered.

Orth.—But the divine apostle interprets the Passion, and shews what nature suffered.

Eran.—Show me this at once and clear the matter up.

Orth.—Are you not acquainted with the passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews in which the divine Paul34 says “For which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren saying ‘I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the Church will I sing praise unto Thee.’ And again, ‘Behold I and the children which God hath given me.’”35

252 Eran.—Yes, I know this, but this does not give us what you promised.

Orth.—Yes: even these suggest what I promised to shew. The word brotherhood signifies kinship, and the kinship is due to the assumption of the nature, and the assumption openly proclaims the impassibility of the Godhead. But to understand this the more plainly read what follows.

Eran.—“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same that through death He might destroy him that hath the power of death …and deliver them who through fear of death were all their life subject to bondage.”36

Orth.—This, I think, needs no explanation; it teaches clearly the mystery of the oeconomy.

Eran.—I see nothing here of what you promised to prove.

Orth.—Yet the divine Apostle teaches plainly that the Creator, pitying this nature not only seized cruelly by death, but throughout all life made death’s slave, effected the resurrection through a body for our bodies, and, by means of a mortal body, undid the dominion of death; for since His own nature was immortal He righteously wished to stay the sovereignty of death by taking the first fruits of them that were subject to death, and while He kept these first fruits (i.e. the body) blameless and free from sin, on the one hand He gave death license to lay hands on it and so satisfy its insatiability, while on the other, for the sake of the wrong done to this body, he put a stop to the unrighteous sovereignty usurped over all the rest of men. These firstfruits unrighteously engulfed He raised again and will make the race to follow them.

Set this explanation side by side with the words of the Apostle, and you will understand the impassibility of the Godhead.

Eran.—In what has been read there is no proof of the divine impassibility.

Orth.—Nay: does not the statement of the divine Apostle, that the reason of His making the children partakers of the flesh and blood was that through death He might destroy him that hath the power of death, distinctly signify the impassibility of the Godhead, and the passibility of the flesh, and that because the divine nature could not suffer He assumed the nature that could and through it destroyed the power of the devil?

Eran.—How did He destroy the power of the devil and the dominion of death through the flesh?

Orth.—What arms did the devil use at the beginning when he enslaved the nature of men?

253 Eran.—The means by which he took captive him who had been constituted citizen of Paradise, was sin.

Orth.—And what punishment did God assign for the transgression of the commandment?

Eran.—Death.

Orth.—Then sin is the mother of death, and the devil its father).

Eran.—True.

Orth.—War then was waged against human nature by sin. Sin seduced them that obeyed it to slavery, brought them to its vile father, and delivered them to its very bitter offspring.

Eran.—That is plain.

Orth.—So with reason the Creator, with the intention of destroying either power, assumed the nature against which war was being waged, and, by keeping it clear of all sin, both set it free from the sovereignty of the devil, and, by its means, destroyed the devil’s dominion. For since death is the punishment of sinners, and death unrighteously and against the divine law seized the sinless body of the Lord, He first raised up that which was unlawfully detained, and then promised release to them that were with justice imprisoned.

Eran.—But how do you think it just that the resurrection of Him who was unlawfully detained should be shared by the bodies which had been righteously delivered to death?

Orth.—And how do you think it just that, when it was Adam who transgressed the commandment, his race should follow their forefather?

Eran.—Although the race had not participated in the famous transgression, yet it committed other sins, and for this cause incurred death.

254 Orth.—Yet not sinners only but just men, patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and men who have shone bright in many kinds of virtue have come into death’s meshes.

Eran.—Yes; for how could a family sprung of mortal parents remain immortal? Adam after the transgression and the divine sentence, and after coming under the power of death, knew his wife, and was called father; having himself become mortal he was made father of mortals; reasonably then all who have received mortal nature follow their forefather.

Orth.—You have shewn very well the reason of our being partakers of death. The same however must be granted about the resurrection, for the remedy must be meet for the disease. When the head of the race was doomed, all the race was doomed with him, and so when the Saviour destroyed the curse, human nature won freedom; and just as they that shared Adam’s nature followed him in his going down into Hades, so all the nature of men will share in newness of life with the Lord Christ in His resurrection.

Eran.—The decrees of the Church must be given not only declaratorily but demonstratively. Tell me then how these doctrines are taught in the divine Scripture.

Orth.—Listen to the Apostle writing to the Romans, and through them teaching all mankind: “For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift; for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ”37 and again: “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”38 And when introducing to the Corinthians his argument about the resurrection he shortly reveals to them the mystery of the oeconomy, and says: “But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the first fruits of them which slept. For since by man came death by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”39 So I have brought you proofs from the divine oracles. Now look at what belongs to Adam compared with what belongs to Christ, the disease with the remedy, the wound with the salve, the sin with the wealth of righteousness, the ban with the blessing, the doom with the delivery, the transgression with the observance, the death with the life, hell with the kingdom, Adam with Christ, the man with the Man. And yet the Lord Christ is not only man but eternal God, but the divine Apostle names Him from the nature which He assumed, because it is in this nature that he compares Him with Adam. The justification, the struggle, the victory, the death, the resurrection are all of this human nature; it is this nature which we share with Him; in this nature they who have exercised themselves beforehand in the citizenship of the kingdom shall reign with Him. Of this nature I spoke, not dividing the Godhead, but referring to what is proper to the manhood.

Eran.—You have gone through long discussions on this point, and have strengthened your argument by scriptural testimony, but if the passion was really of the flesh, how is it that when he praises the divine love to men, the Apostle exclaims, “He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all,”40 what son does he say was delivered up?

Orth.—Watch well your words. There is one Son of God, wherefore He is called only begotten.

Eran.—If then there is one Son of God, the divine Apostle called him own Son.

Orth.—True.

Eran.—Then he says that He was delivered up.

Orth.—Yes, but not without a body, as we have agreed again and again.

255 Eran.—It has been agreed again and again that He took body and soul.

Orth.—Therefore the Apostle spoke of what relates to the body.

Eran.—The divide Apostle says distinctly “Who spared not his own Son.”

Orth.—When then you hear God saying to Abraham “Because thou hast not withheld thy son thy only son,”41 do you allege that Isaac was slain?

Eran.—Of course not.

Orth.—And yet God said “Thou hast not withheld,” and the God of all is true.

Eran.—The expression “thou hast not withheld” refers to the readiness of Abraham, for he was ready to sacrifice the lad, but God prevented it.

Orth.—Well; in the story of Abraham you were not content with the letter, but unfolded it and made the meaning clear. In precisely the same manner examine the meaning of the words of the Apostle. Your will then see that it was by no means the divine nature which was not withheld, but the flesh nailed to the Cross. And it is easy to perceive the truth even in the type. Do you regard Abraham’s sacrifice as a type of the oblation offered on behalf of the world?

Eran.—Not at all, nor yet can I make words spoken rhetorically in the churches a rule of faith.

Orth.—You ought by all means to follow teachers of the Church, but, since you improperly oppose yourself to these, hear the Saviour Himself when addressing the Jews; “Your Father Abraham rejoiced to see my day and he saw it and was glad.”42 Note that the Lord calls His passion “a day.”

Eran.—I accept the Lord’s testimony and do not doubt the type.

256 Orth.—Now compare the type with the reality and you will see the impassibility of the Godhead even in the type. Both in the former and in the latter there is a Father; both in the former and the latter a well beloved Son, each bearing the material for the sacrifice. The one bore the wood, the other the cross upon his shoulders. It is said that the top of the hill was dignified by the sacrifice of both. There is a correspondence moreover between the number of days and nights and the resurrection which followed, for after Isaac had been slain by his father’s willing heart, on the third day after the bountiful God had ordered the deed to be done, he rose to new life at the voice of Him who loves mankind.43 A lamb was seen caught in a thicket, furnishing an image of the cross, and slain instead of the lad. Now if this is a type of the reality, and in the type the only begotten Son did not undergo sacrifice, but a lamb was substituted and laid upon the altar and completed the mystery of the oblation, why then in the reality do you hesitate to assign the passion to the flesh, and to proclaim the impassibility of the Godhead?

Eran.—In your observations upon this type you represent Isaac as living again at the divine command. There is nothing therefore unseemly if, fitting the reality to the type, we declare that God the Word suffered and came to life again.

Orth.—I have said again and again that it is quite impossible for the type to match the archetypal reality in every respect, and this may also be easily understood in the present instance. Isaac and the lamb, as touching the difference of their natures, suit the image, but as touching the separation of their divided persons44 they do so no longer. We preach so close an union of Godhead and of manhood as to understand one person45 undivided, and to acknowledge the same to be both God and man, visible and invisible, circumscribed and uncircumcscribed, and we apply to one of the persons all the attributes which are indicative alike of Godhead and of manhood. Now since the lamb, an unreasoning being, and not gifted with the divine image,46 could not possibly prefigure the restoration to life, the two divide between them the type of the mystery of the oeconomy, and while one furnishes the image of death, the other supplies that of the resurrection. We find precisely the same thing in the Mosaic sacrifices, for in them too may. be seen a type outlined in anticipation of the passion of salvation.

Eran.—What Mosaic sacrifice foreshadows the reality?

Orth.—All the Old Testament, so to say, is a type of the New. It is for this reason that the divine Apostle plainly says—“the Law having a shadow of good things to come”47 and again “now all these things happened unto them for ensamples.”48 The image of the archetype is very distinctly exhibited by the lamb slain in Egypt, and by the red heifer burned without the camp, and moreover referred to by the Apostle in the Epistle to the Hebrews, where he writes “Wherefore Jesus also that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.”49

But of this no more for the present. I will however mention the sacrifice in which two goats were offered, the one being slain, and the other let go.50 In these two goats there is an anticipative image of the two natures of the Saviour;—in the one let go, of the impassible Godhead, in the one slain, of the passible manhood.

Eran.—Do you not think it irreverent to liken the Lord to goats?

Orth.—Which do you think is a fitter object of avoidance and hate, a serpent or a goat?

Eran.—A serpent is plainly hateful, for it injuries those who come within its reach, and often hurts people who do it no harm. A goat on the other hand comes, according to the Law, in the list of animals that are clean and may be eaten.

Orth.—Now hear the Lord likening the passion of salvation to the brazen serpent. He says: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”51 If a brazen serpent was a type of the crucified Saviour, of what impropriety are we guilty in comparing the passion of salvation with the sacrifice of the goats?

Eran.—Because Jn called the Lord “a lamb,”52 and Isaiah called Him “lamb” and “sheep.”53

257 Orth.—But the blessed Paul calls Him “sin”54 and “curse.”55 As curse therefore He satisfies the type of the accursed serpent; as sin He explains the figure of the sacrifice of the goats, for on behalf of sin, in the Law, a goat, and not a lamb, was offered. So the Lord in the Gospels likened the just to lambs, but sinners to kids;56 and since He was ordained to undergo the passion not only on behalf of just men, but also of sinners, He appropriately foreshadows His own offering through lambs and goats.

Eran.—But the type of the two goats leads us to think of two persons.

Orth.—The passibility of the manhood and the impassibility of the Godhead could not possibly be prefigured both at once by one goat. The one which was slain could not have shewn the living nature. So two were taken in order to explain the two natures. The same lesson may well be learnt from another sacrifice.

Eran.—From which?

Orth.—From that in which the lawgiver bids two pure birds be offered—one to be slain, and the other, after having been dipped in the blood of the slain, to be let go. Here also we see a type of the Godhead and of the manhood—of the manhood slain and of the godhead appropriating the passion.

Eran.—You have given us many types, but I object to enigmas.

Orth.—Yet the divine Apostle says that the narratives are types.57 Hagar is called a type of the old covenant; Sarah is likened to the heavenly Jerusalem; Ishmael is a type of Israel, and Isaac of the new people. So you must accuse the loud trumpet of the Spirit for giving its enigmas for us all.

Eran.—Though you urge any number of arguments, you will never induce me to divide the passion. I have heard the voice of the angel saying to Mary and her companions, “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”58

Orth.—This is quite in accordance with our common customs; we speak of the part by the name which belongs to all the parts. When we go into the churches where are buried the holy apostles or prophets or martyrs, we ask from time to time, “Who is it who lies in the shrine?” and those who are able to give us information say in reply, Thomas, it may be, the Apostle,59 or John the Baptist,60 or Stephen the protomartyr,61 or any other of the saints, mentioning them by name, though perhaps only a few scanty relics of them lie here. But no one who hears these names which are common to both body and soul will imagine that the souls also are shut up in the chests; everybody knows that the chests contain only the bodies or even small portions of the bodies. The holy angel spoke in precisely the same manner when he described the body by the name of the person.

Eran.—But how can you prove that the angel spoke to the women about the Lord’s body?

Orth.—In the first place, the tomb itself suffices to settle the question, for to a tomb is committed neither soul nor Godhead whose nature is uncircumscribed; tombs are made for bodies. Furthermore this is plainly taught by the divine Scripture, for so the holy Matthew narrates the event, “When the even was come there came a rich man of Arimathaea named Joseph who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: he went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered, and when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre and departed.”62 See how often he mentions the body in order to stop the mouths of them who blaspheme the Godhead. The same course is pursued by the thrice blessed Mark, whose narrative I will also quote. “And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marvelled if He were already dead; and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether He had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph, and he brought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped Him in the linen, and laid Him in a sepulchre,”63 and so on. Observe with admiration, the harmony of terms, and how consistently and continuously the word body is introduced. The illustrious Luke, too, relates just in the same way how Joseph begged the body and after he had received it treated it with due rites.64 By the divine Jn we are told yet more, “Joseph of Arimathaea being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore and took the body of Jesus. And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes about a hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury. Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid. There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day, for the sepulchre was nigh at band.”65 Observe how often mention is made of the body; how the Evangelist shows that it was the body which was nailed to the cross, the body begged by Joseph of Pilate, the body taken down from the tree, the body wrapped in linen clothes with the myrrh and aloes, and then the name of the person given to it; and Jesus said to have been laid in a tomb. Thus the angel said, “Come see the place where the Lord lay,”66 naming the part by the name of the whole; and we constantly do just the same. In this place, we say, such an one was buried; not the body of such an one. Every one in his senses knows that we are speaking of the body, and such a mode of speech is customary in divine Scripture. Aaron, we read, died and they buried him on Mount Hor.67 Samuel died and they buried him at Ramah,68 and there are many similar instances. The same use is followed by the divine Apostle when speaking of the death of the Lord. “I delivered unto you first of all,” he writes, “that which I also received how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”69 and so on.

258 Eran.—In the passages we have just now read the Apostle does not mention a body, but Christ the Saviour of us all. You have brought evidence against your own side, and wounded yourself with your own weapon.

Orth.—You seem to have very quickly forgotten the long discourse in which I proved to you over and over again that the body is spoken of by the name of the person. This is what is now done by the divine Apostle, and it can easily be proved from this very passage. Now let us look at it. Why did the divine writer write thus to the Corinthians?

Eran.—They had been deceived by some into believing that there is no resurrection. When the teacher of the world learnt this he furnished them with his arguments about the resurrection of the bodies.

Orth.—Why then does he introduce the resurrection of the Lord, when he wishes to prove the resurrection of the bodies?

Eran.—As sufficient to prove the resurrection of us all.

Orth.—In what is His death like the death of the rest; that by His resurrection may be proved the resurrection of all?

Eran.—The reason of the incarnation, suffering, and death of the only begotten Son of God, was that He might destroy death. Thus, after rising, by His own resurrection He preaches the resurrection of all.

Orth.—But who, hearing of a resurrection of God, would ever believe that the resurrection of all men would be exactly like it? The difference of the natures does not allow of our believing in the argument of the resurrection. He is God and they are men, and the difference between God and men is incalculable. They are mortal, and subject to death, like to the grass and to the flower. He is almighty.

Eran.—But after His incarnation God the Word had a body, and through this He proved His likeness to men.

Orth.—Yes; and for this reason the suffering and the death and the resurrection are all of the body, and in proof of this the divine Apostle in another place promises renewal of life to all, and to them that believe in the resurrection of their Saviour, yet look upon the general resurrection of all as fable, he exclaims, “Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen, and if Christ he not risen …your faith is vain, you are yet ill your sins.”70 And from the past he confirms the future, and from what is disbelieved he disproves what is believed, for he says, If the one seems impossible to you, then the other will be false; if the one seems real and true, then let the other in like manner seem true, for here too a resurrection of the body is preached, and this body is called the first fruits of those. The resurrection of this body after many arguments he affirms directly, “But now is Christ risen from the dead and become the firstfruits of them that slept, for since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead, for as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive,”71 and he does not only confirm the argument of the resurrection, but also reveals the mystery of the oeconomy. He calls Christ man that he may prove the remedy to be appropriate to the disease.

Eran.—Then the Christ is only a man.

259 Orth.—God forbid. On the contrary, we have again and again confessed that He is not only man but eternal God. But He suffered as man, not as God. And this the divine Apostle clearly teaches us when he says “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.”72 And in his letter to the Thessalonians, he strengthens his argument concerning the general resurrection by that of our Saviour in the passage “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”73

Eran.—The Apostle proves the general resurrection by means of the Lord’s resurrection, and it is clear that in this case also what died and rose was a body. For he would never have attempted to prove the general resurrection by its means unless there had been some relation between the substance of the one and the other. I shall never consent to apply the passion to the human nature alone. It seems agreeable to my view to say that God the Word died in the flesh.

Orth.—We have frequently shewn that what is naturally immortal can in no way die. If then He died He was not immortal; and what perils lie in the blasphemy of the words.

Eran.—He is by nature immortal, but He became man and suffered.

Orth.—Therefore He underwent change, for how otherwise could He being immortal submit to death? But we have agreed that the substance of the Trinity is immutable. Having therefore a nature superior to change, He by no means shared death.

Eran.—The divine Peter says “Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh.”74

Orth.—This agrees with what we have said, for we have learnt the rule of dogmas from the divine Scripture.

Eran.—How then can you deny that God the Word suffered in the flesh?

Orth.—Because we have not found this expression in the divine Scripture.

Eran.—But I have just quoted you the utterance of the great Peter.

Orth.—You seem to ignore the distinction of the terms.

260 Eran.—What terms? Do you not regard the Lord Christ as God the Word?

Orth.—The term Christ in the case of our Lord and Saviour signifies the incarnate Word the Immanuel, God with us,75 both God and man, but the term “God the Word” so said signifies the simple nature before the world, superior to time, and incorporeal. Wherefore the Holy Ghost that spake through the holy Apostles nowhere attributes passion or death to this name.

Eran.—If the passion is attributed to the Christ, and God the Word after being made man was called Christ, I hold that he who states God the Word to have suffered in the flesh is in no way unreasonable.

Orth.—Hazardous and rash in the extreme is such an attempt. But let us look at the question in this way. Does the divine Scripture state God the Word to be of God and of the Father?

Eran.—True.

Orth.—And it describes the Holy Ghost as being in like manner of God?

Eran.—Agreed.

Orth.—But it calls God the Word only begotten Son.

Eran.—It does.

Orth.—It nowhere so names the Holy Ghost.

Eran.—No.

261 Orth.—Yet the Holy Ghost also has Its subsistence of the Father and God.

Eran.—True.

Orth.—We grant then that both the Son and the Holy Ghost are both of God the Father; but would you dare to call the Holy Ghost Son?

Eran.—Certainly not.

Orth.—Why?

Eran.—Because I do not find this term in the divine Scripture.

Orth.—Or begotten?

Eran.—No.

Orth.—Wherefore?

Eran.—Because I no more learn this in the divine Scripture.

Orth.—But what name can properly be given to that which is neither begotten nor created?

262 Eran.—We style it uncreated and unbegotten.

Orth.—And we say that the Holy Ghost is neither created nor begotten.

Eran.—By no means.

Orth.—Would you then dare to call the Holy Ghost unbegotten?

Eran.—No.

Orth.—But why refuse to call that which is naturally uncreate, but not begotten, unbegotten?

Eran.—Because I have not learnt so from the divine Scripture, and I am greatly afraid of saying, or using language which Scripture does not use.

Orth.—Then, my good sir, I maintain the same caution in the case of the passion of salvation; do you too avoid all the divine names which Scripture has avoided in the case of the passion, and do not attribute the passion to them.

Eran.—What names?

Orth.—The passion is never connected with the name “God.”

Eran.—But even I do not affirm that God the Word suffered apart from a body, but say that He suffered in flesh.

263 Orth.—You affirm then a mode of passion, not impassibility. No one would ever say this even in the case of a human body. For who not altogether out of his senses would say that the soul of Paul died in flesh? This could never be said even in the case of a great villain; for the souls even of the wicked are immortal. We say that such or such a murderer has been slain, but no one would ever say that his soul had been killed in the flesh. But if we describe the souls of murderers and violators of sepulchres as free from death, far more right is it to acknowledge as immortal the soul of our Saviour, in that it never tasted sin. If the souls of them who have most greatly erred have escaped death on account of their nature, how could that soul, whose nature was immortal and who never received the least taint of sin, have taken death’s hook?

Eran.—It is quite useless for you to give me all these long arguments. We are agreed that the soul of the Saviour is immortal.

Orth.—But of what punishment are you not deserving, you who say that the soul, which is by nature created, is immortal, and are for making the divine substance mortal for the Word; you who deny that the soul of the Saviour tasted death in the flesh, and dare to maintain that God the Word, Creator of all things, underwent the passion?

Eran.—We say that lie underwent the passion impassibly.

Orth.—And what man in his senses would ever put up with such ridiculous riddles? Who ever heard of an impassible passion, or of an immortal mortality? The impassible has never undergone passion, and what has undergone passion could not possibly be impassible. But we hear the exclamation of the divine Paul: “Who only hath immortality dwelling in the light which no than can approach unto.”76

Eran.—Why then do we say that the invisible powers too and the souls of men, aye and the very devils, are immortal?

Orth.—We do say so; that God is absolutely immortal. He is immortal not by partaking of substance, but in substance; He does not possess an immortality which He has received of another. It is He Himself who has bestowed their immortality on the angels and on them that thou hast just now mentioned. How, moreover, when the divine Paul styles Him immortal and says that He only hath immortality, can you attribute to Him the passion of death?

Eran.—We say that He tasted death after the incarnation.

Orth.—But over and over again we have confessed Him immutable. If being previously immortal He afterwards underwent death through the flesh, a change having preceded His undergoing death; if His life left Him for three days and three nights, how do such statements fall short of the most extreme impiety? For I think that not even they that are struggling against impiety can venture to let such words fall from their lips without peril.

Eran.—Cease from charging us with impiety. Even we say that not the divine nature suffered but the human; but we do say that the divine shared with the body in suffering.

Orth.—What can you mean by sharing in suffering? Do you mean that when the nails were driven into the body the divine nature felt the sense of pain?

Eran.—I do.

264 Orth.—Both now and in our former investigations we have shewn that the soul does not share all the faculties of the body but that the body while it receives vital force has the sense of suffering through the soul. And even supposing us to grant that the soul shares in pain with the body we shall none the less find the divine nature to be impassible, for it was not united to the body instead of a soul. Or do you not acknowledge that He assumed a soul?

Eran.—I have often acknowledged it.

Orth.—And that He assumed a reasonable Soul?

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—If then together with the body He assumed the soul, and we grant that the soul shared in suffering with the body, then the soul, not the Godhead, shared the passion with the body; it shared the passion, receiving pangs by means of the body. But possibly somebody might agree to the soul sharing suffering with the body, but might deny its sharing death, because of its having an immortal nature. On this account the Lord said “Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul.”77 If then we deny that the soul of the Saviour shared death with the body, how could any one accept the blasphemy you and your friends presumptuously promulgate when you dare to say that the divine nature participated in death? This is the more inexcusable when the Lord points out at one time that the body78 was being offered, at another that the soul was being troubled.79

Eran.—And where doth the Lord shew that the body was being offered? Or are you going to bring me once more that well worn passage “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up”?80 Or with your conceited self-sufficiency are you going to quote me the words of the Evangelist? “But He spake of the temple of his body. When therefore He was risen from the dead His disciples remembered that He had said this unto them and they believed the Scripture and the words which He had said.”81

Orth.—If you have such a detestation of the divine words which preach the mystery of the incarnation, why, like Marcion and Valentinus and Manes, do you not destroy texts of this kind? For this is what they have done. But if this seems to you rash and impious, do not turn the Lord’s words into ridicule, but rather follow the Apostles in their belief after the resurrection that the Godhead raised again the temple which the Jews had destroyed.

Eran.—If you have any good evidence to adduce, give over gibing and fulfil your promise.

Orth.—Remember specially those words of the gospels in which the Lord made a comparison between manna and the true bread.

Eran.—I remember.

Orth.—In that passage after speaking at some length about the bread of life, he added, “The bread that I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world.”82 In these words may be understood alike the bounty of the Godhead and the boon of the flesh.

265 Eran.—One quotation is not enough to settle the question.

Orth.—The Ethiopian eunuch had not read much of the Bible, but when he had found one witness from the prophets he was guided by it to salvation. But not all Apostles and prophets and all the preachers of the truth who have lived since then are enough to convince you. Nevertheless I will bring you some further testimony about the Lord’s body. You cannot but know that passage in the Gospel history where, after eating the passover with His disciples, our Lord pointed to the death of the typical lamb and taught what body corresponded with that shadow.83

Eran.—Yes I know it.

Orth.—Remember then what it was which our Lord took and broke, and what He called it when He had taken it.

Eran.—I will answer in mystic language for the sake of the uninitiated. After taking and breaking it and giving it to His disciples He said, “This is my body which was given for you”84 or according to the apostle “broken”85 and again, “This is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for many.”86

Orth.—Then when exhibiting the type of the passion He did not mention the Godhead?

Eran.—No.

Orth.—But He did mention the body and blood.

Eran.—Yes.

Orth.—And the body was nailed to the Cross?

Eran.—Even so.

266 Orth.—Come, then; look at this. When after the resurrection the doors were shut and the Lord came to the holy disciples and beheld them affrighted, what means did He use to destroy their fear and instead of fear to infuse faith?

Eran.—He said to them “Behold my hands and my feet that it is I myself; handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.”87

Orth.—So when they disbelieved He shewed them the body?

Eran.—He did.

Orth.—Therefore the body rose?

Eran.—Clearly.

Orth.—And I suppose what rose was what had died?

Eran.—Even so.

Orth.—And what had died was what was nailed to the cross?

Eran.—Of necessity.

Orth.—Then according to your own argument the body suffered?

267 Eran.—Your series of arguments forces us to this conclusion.

Orth.—Consider this too. Now I will be questioner, and do you answer as becomes a lover of the truth.

Eran.—I will answer.

Orth.—When the Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles, and that wonderful sight and sound collected thousands to the house, what did the chief of the apostles in the speech he then made say concerning the Lord’s resurrection?

Eran.—He quoted the divine David, and said that he had received promises from God that the Lord Christ should be born of the fruit of his loins and that in trust in these promises he prophetically foresaw His resurrection, and plainly said that His soul was not left in Hades and that His flesh did not see corruption.88

Orth.—His resurrection therefore is of these.

Eran.—How can any one in his senses say that there is a resurrection of the soul which never died?

Orth.—How comes it that you who attribute the passion, the death and the resurrection to the immutable and uncircumscribed Godhead have suddenly appeared before us in your right mind and now object to connecting the word resurrection with the soul?

Eran.—Because the word resurrection is applicable to what has fallen.

Orth.—But the body does not obtain resurrection apart from a soul, but being renewed by the divine will, and conjoined with its yokefellow, it receives life. Was it not thus that the Lord raised Lazarus?

Eran.—It is plain that not the body alone rises.

268 Orth.—This is more distinctly taught by the divine Ezekiel,89 for he points out how the Lord commanded the bones to come together, and how all of them were duly fitted together, and how He made sinews and veins and arteries grow with all the flesh pertaining to them and the skin that clothes them all, and then ordered the souls to come back to their own bodies.

Eran.—This is true.

Orth.—But the Lord’s body did not undergo this corruption, but remained unimpaired, and on the third day recovered its own soul.

Eran.—Agreed.

Orth.—Then the death was of what had suffered?

Eran.—Without question.

Orth.—And when the great Peter mentioned the resurrection, and the divine David too, they said that His soul was not left in Hell, but that His body did not undergo corruption?

Eran.—They did.

Orth.—Then it was not the Godhead which underwent death, but the body by severance from the soul?

Eran.—I cannot brook these absurdities.

Orth.—But you are fighting against your own arguments; it is your own words which you are calling absurd.

269 Eran.—You slander me; not one of these words is mine.

Orth.—Suppose any one to ask what is the animal which is at once reasonable and mortal, and suppose some one else to answer—man; which of the two would you call interpreter of the saying? The questioner or the answerer?

Eran.—The answerer.

Orth.—Then I was quite right in calling the arguments yours? For you, I ween, in your answers, by rejecting some points and accepting others, confirmed them.

Eran.—Then I will not answer any longer; do you answer.

Orth.—I will answer.

Eran.—What do you say to those words of the Apostle “Had they known it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory”?90 in this passage he mentions neither body nor soul.

Orth.—Therefore you must not put the words “in the flesh” in it,—for this is your ingenious invention for decrying the Godhead of the Word—but must attribute the passion to the bare Godhead of the Word.

Eran.—No; no. He suffered in the flesh, but His incorporeal nature was not capable of suffering by itself.

Orth.—Ah! but nothing must be added to the Apostle’s words.

Eran.—When we know the Apostle’s meaning there is nothing absurd in adding what is left out.

270 Orth.—But to add anything to the divine words is wild and rash. To explain what is written and reveal the hidden meaning is holy and pious.

Eran.—Quite right.

Orth.—We two then shall do nothing unreasonable and unholy in examining the mind of the Scriptures.

Eran.—No.

Orth.—Let us then look together into what seems to be hidden.

Eran.—By all means.

Orth.—Did the great Paul call the divine James the Lord’s brother?91

Eran.—He did.

Orth.—But in what sense are we to regard him as brother? By relationship of His godhead or of His manhood?

Eran.—I will not consent to divide the united natures.

Orth.—But you have often divided them in our previous investigations, and yon shall do the same thing now. Tell me; do you say that God the Word was only begotten Son?

Eran.—I do.

271 Orth.—And only begotten means only Son.

Eran.—Certainly.

Orth.—And the only begotten cannot have a brother?

Eran.—Of course not, for if He had had a brother He would not be called the only begotten.

Orth.—Then they were wrong in calling James the brother of the Lord. For the Lord was only begotten, and the only begotten cannot have a brother.

Eran.—No, but the Lord is not incorporeal and the proclaimers of the truth are referring only to what touches the godhead.

Orth.—How then would you prove the word of the apostle true?

Eran.—By saying that James was of kin with the Lord according to the flesh.

Orth.—See how you have brought in again that division which you object to.

Eran.—It was not possible to explain the kinship in any other way.

Orth.—Then do not find fault with those who cannot explain similar difficulties in any other way.

272 Eran.—Now you are getting the argument off the track because you want to shirk the question.

Orth.—Not at all, my friend. That will be settled too by the points we have investigated. Now look; when you were reminded of James the brother of the Lord, you said that the relationship referred not to the Godhead but to the flesh.

Eran.—I did.

Orth.—Well, now that you are told of the passion of the cross, refer this too to the flesh.

Eran.—The Apostle called the crucified “Lord of Glory,”92 and the same Apostle called the Lord “brother of James.”

Orth.—And it is the same Lord in both cases. If then you are right in referring the relationship to the flesh you must also refer the passion to the flesh, for it is perfectly ridiculous to regard the relationship without distinction and to refer the passion to Christ without distinction.

Eran.—I follow the Apostle who calls the crucified “Lord of glory.”

Orth.—I follow too, and believe that He was “Lord of glory.” For the body which was nailed to the wood was not that of any common man but of the Lord of glory. But we must acknowledge that the union makes the names common. Once more: do you say that the flesh of the Lord came down from heaven?

Eran.—Of course not.

Orth.—But was formed in the Virgin’s womb?

Eran.—Yes.

273 Orth.—How, then, does the Lord say “If ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where He was before,”93 and again “No man hath ascended up to heaven but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven?”94

Eran.—He is speaking not of the flesh, but of the Godhead.

Orth.—Yes; but the Godhead is of the God and Father. How then does He call him Son of man?

Eran.—The peculiar properties of the natures are shared by the person, for on account of the union the same being is both Son of man and Son of God, everlasting and of time, Son of David and Lord of David, and so on with the rest.

Orth.—Very right. But it is also important to recognise the fact that no confusion of natures results froth both having one name. Wherefore we are endeavouring to distinguish how the same being is Son of God and also Son of man, and how He is “the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever,”95 and by the reverent distinction of terms we find that the contradictions are in agreement.

Eran.—You are right.

Orth.—You say that the divine nature came down from heaven and that in consequence of the union it was called the Son of man. Thus it behoves us to say that the flesh was nailed to the tree, but to hold that the divine nature even on the cross and in the tomb was inseparable from this flesh, though from it it derived no sense of suffering, since the divine nature is naturally incapable of undergoing both suffering and death and its substance is immortal and impassible. It is in this sense that the crucified is styled Lord of Glory, by attribution of the title of the impassible nature to the passible, since, as we know, a body is described as belonging to this latter.

Now let us examine the matter thus. The words of the divine Apostle are “Had they known it they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory.”96 They crucified the nature which they knew, not that of which they were wholly ignorant: had they known that of which they were ignorant they would not have crucified that which they knew: they crucified the human because they were ignorant of the divine. Have you forgotten their own words. “For a good work we stone thee not but for blasphemy, and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.”97 These words are a plain proof that they recognised the nature they saw, while of the invisible they were wholly ignorant: had they known that nature they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

Eran.—That is very probable, but the exposition of the faith laid down by the Fathers in council at Nicae says that the only begotten Himself, very God, of one substance with the Father, suffered and was crucified.

Orth.—You seem to forget what we have agreed on again and again.

Eran.—What do you mean?

274 Orth.—I mean that after the union the holy Scripture applies to one person terms both of exaltation and of humiliation. But possibly you are also ignorant that the illustrious Fathers first mentioned His taking flesh and being made man, and then afterwards added that He suffered and was crucified, and thus spoke of the passion after they had set forth the nature capable of passion.

Eran.—The Fathers said that the Son of God, Light of Light, of the substance of the Father, suffered and was crucified.

Orth.—I have observed more than once that both the Divine and the human are ascribed to the one Person. It is in accordance with this position that the thrice blessed Fathers, after teaching how we should believe in the Father, and then passing on to the person of the Son, did not immediately add “and in the Son of God,” although it would have very naturally followed that after defining what touches God the Father they should straightway bare introduced the name of Son. But their object was to give us at one and the same time instruction on the theology and on the oeconomy,98 lest there should be supposed to be any distinction between the Person of the Godhead and the Person of the Manhood. On this account they added to their statement concerning the Father that we must believe also in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Now after the incarnation God the Word is called Christ, for this name includes alike all that is proper to the Godhead and to the manhood. We recognise nevertheless that some properties belong to the one nature and some to the others, and this may at once be understood from the actual terms of the Creed. For tell me: to what do you apply the phrase “of the substance of the Father”? to the Godhead, or to the nature that was fashioned of the seed of David?

Eran.—To the Godhead, as is plain.

Orth.—And the clause “Very God of very God”; to which do you hold this belongs, to the Godhead or to the manhood?

Eran.—To the Godhead.

Orth.—Therefore neither the flesh nor the soul is of one substance with the Father, for they are created, but the Godhead which formed all things.

Eran.—True.

Orth.—Very well, then. And when we are told of passion and of the cross we must recognise the nature which submitted to the passion; we must avoid attributing it to the impassible, and must attribute it to that nature which was assumed for the distinct purpose of suffering. The acknowledgment on the part of the most excellent Fathers that the divine nature was impassible; and their attribution of the passion to the flesh is proved by the conclusion of the creed, which runs “But they who state there was a time when He was not, and before He was begotten He was not, and He was made out of the non-existent, or who allege that the Son of God was of another essence or substance mutable or variable, these the holy catholic and apostolic Church anathematizes.” See then what penalties are denounced against them that attribute the passion to the divine nature.99

Eran.—They are speaking in this place of mutation and variation.

Orth.—But what is the passion but mutation and variation? For if, being impassible before His incarnation, He suffered after His incarnation, He assuredly suffered by undergoing mutation; and if being immortal before He became man, He tasted death, as you say, after being made man, He underwent a complete alteration by being made mortal after being immortal. But expressions of this kind, and their authors with them, have all been expelled by the illustrious Fathers from the bounds of the Church, and cut off like rotten limbs from the sound body. We therefore exhort you to fear the punishment and abhor the blasphemy.

275 Now I will show you that in their own writings the holy Fathers have held the opinions we have expressed. Of the witnesses I shall bring forward some took part in that great Council; some flourished in the Church after their time; some illuminated the world long before. But their harmony is broken neither by difference of periods nor by diversity of language; like the harp their strings are several and separate but like the harp they make one harmonious music.

Eran.—I was anxious for and shall be delighted at such citations. Instruction of this kind cannot be gainsaid, and is most useful.

Orth.—Now; open your ears and receive the streams that flow from the spiritual springs.

Testimony of the holy Ignatius, bishop ofAntioch, and martyr.

From his Epistle to the Smyrnaeans:—

“They do not admit Eucharists and oblations, because they do not confess the Eucharist to be flesh of our Saviour Jesus Christ which suffered for our sins and which of His goodness the Father raised.”100

Testimony of lrenaeus, bishop of Lyons.

From his third book against heresies (Chap. XX).:—

“It is clear then that Paul knew no other Christ save Him that suffered and was buried and rose and was born, whom he calls man, for after saying, ‘If Christ be preached that He rose from the dead,’101 he adds, giving the reason of His incarnation, ‘For since by man came death by man came also the resurrection of the dead,’102 and on all occasions in reference to the passion, the manhood and the dissolution of the Lord, he uses the name of Christ as in the text, ‘Destroy not him with thy meat for whom Christ died,’103 and again, ‘But now in Christ ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ,’104 and again, ‘Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.’”105

Of the same from the same work. (Chapter xxi).:—

“For as He was Man that He might be tempted, so was He Word that He might be glorified. In His temptation, His crucifixion and His dying, the Word was inoperative; but in His victory, His patience, His goodness, His resurrection and His assumption it was co-operative with the manhood.”

276 Of the same from the fifth book of the same work:—

“When with His own blood the Lord had ransomed us, and given His soul on behalf of our souls, and His flesh instead of our flesh.”

The testimony of the holy Hippolytus, bishop and martyr.

From his letter to a certain Queen:—

“So he calls Him ‘The firstfruits of them that slept,’106 and ‘The first born of the dead.’107 When He had risen and was wishful to show that what had risen was the same body which died, when the Apostles doubted, He called to Him Thomas and said ‘Handle me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.’”108

Of the same from the same letter:—

“By calling Him firstfruits He bore witness to what we have said, that the Saviour, after taking the flesh of the same material, raised it, making it firstfruits of the flesh of the just, in order that all we that believe might have expectation of our resurrection through trust in Him that is risen.”

Of the same from his discourse on the two thieves:—

“The body of the Lord gave both to the world,—the holy blood and the sacred water.”

Of the same from the same discourse:—

“And the body being, humanly speaking, a corpse, has in itself great power of life, for there flowed from it what does not flow from dead bodies—blood and water,—that we might know what vital force lies in the indwelling power in the body, so that it is a corpse evidently unlike others, and is able to pour forth for us causes of life.”109

277 Of the same from the same discourse:—

“Not a bone of the holy Lamb is broken. The type shews that the passion cannot touch the power, for the bones are the power of the body.”

Testimony of the holy Eustathius, bishop of Antioch, and confessor.

From his book on the soul:—

“Their impious calumny can be refuted in a few words; they may be right, unless He voluntarily gave up His own body to the destruction of death for the sake of the salvation of men. First of all they attribute to Him extraordinary infirmity in not being able to repel His enemies assault.”

Of the same from the same book:—

“Why do they, in the concoction of their earth-born deceits, make much of proving that the Christ assumed a body without a soul? In order that if they could seduce any to lay down that this is the case, then, by attributing to the divine Spirit variations of affection, they might easily persuade them that the mutable is not begotten of the immutable nature.”

Of the same from his discourse on “the Lord created me in the beginning of His ways”:110 —

“The man Who died rose on the third day, and, when Mary was eager to lay hold of His holy limbs, He objected and cried ‘Touch me not.111 For I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father and to my God and your God.’112 Now the words ‘I am not yet ascended to my Father,’ were not spoken by the Word and God, who came down from heaven, and was in the bosom of the Father, nor by the Wisdom which contains all created things, but were uttered by the man who was compacted of various limbs, who had risen from the dead, who had not yet after His death gone back to the Father, and was reserving for Himself the first fruits of His progress.”

Of the same from the same work:—

“As he writes he expressly describes the man who was crucified as Lord of Glory, declaring Him to be Lord and Christ, just as the Apostles with one voice when speaking to Israel in the flesh say ‘Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, Whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.’113 He so made Jesus Christ who suffered. He did not so make the Wisdom nor yet the Word who has the might of dominion from the beginning, but Him who was lifted up on high and stretched out His hands upon the Cross.”

278 Of the same from the same work:—

“For if He is incorporeal and not subject to manual contact, nor apprehended by eyes of flesh, He undergoes no wound, He is not nailed by nails, He has no part in death, He is not hidden in the ground, He is not shut in a grave, He does not rise from a tomb.”

Of the same from the same book:—

“‘No man taketh it from me. …I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again.’114 If as God He had the double power, He yet yielded to them who were striving of evil counsel to destroy the temple, but by His resurrection He restored it in greater splendour. It is proved by incontrovertible evidence that He of Himself rose and renewed His own house, and the great work of the Son is to be ascribed to the divine Father; for the Son does not work without the Father, as is declared in the unimpeachable utterances of the holy Scriptures. Wherefore at one time the divine Parent is described as having raised the Christ from the dead, at another time the Son promises to raise His own temple. If then from what has previously been laid down the divine spirit of the Christ is proved to be impassible, in vain do the accursed assail the apostolic definitions. If Paul says that the Lord of Glory was crucified, clearly referring to the manhood, we must not on this account refer suffering to the divine. Why then do they put these two things together, saying that the Christ was crucified from infirmity?”

Of the same from the same work:—

“But had it been becoming to attribute to Him any kind of infirmity, any one might have said that it was natural to attach these qualities to the manhood, though not to the fulness of the Godhead, or to the dignity of the highest wisdom, or to Him who according to Paul is described as God over all.”115

Of the same from the same book:—

“This then is the manner of the infirmity according to which He is described by Paul as coming to death, for the man lives by God’s power when plainly associated with God’s spirit, since from the preceding statements He who is believed to be in Him is proved to be also the power of the Most High.”

Of the same from the same:—

“As by entering the Virgin’s womb He did not lessen His power, so neither by the fastening of His body to the wood of the cross is His spirit defiled. For when the body was crucified on high the divine Spirit of wisdom dwelt even within the body, trod in heavenly places, filled all the earth, reigned over the depths, visited and judged the soul of every man, and continued to do all that God continually does, for the wisdom that is on high is not prisoned and contained within bodily matter, just as moist and dry material are contained within their vessels and are contained by but do not contain them. But this wisdom, being a divine and ineffable power, embraces and confirms alike all that is within and all that is without the temple, and thence proceeding beyond comprehends and sways at once all matter.”

Of the same from the same work:—

279 “But if the sun being a visible body, apprehended by the senses, endures everywhere such adverse influences without changing its order, or feeling any blow, be it small or great; can we suppose the incorporeal Wisdom to be defiled and to change its nature because its temple is nailed to the cross or destroyed or wounded or corrupted? The temple suffers, but the substance abides without spot, and preserves its entire dignity without defilement.”

Of the same from his work on the titles of the Psalms of Degrees:—

“The Father who is perfect, infinite, incomprehensible. and is incapable alike of adornment or disfigurement, receives no acquired glory; nor yet does His Word, who is God begotten of Him, through whom are angels and heaven and earth’s boundless bulk and all the form and matter of created things; but the man Christ raised from the dead is exalted and glorified to the open discomfiture of His foes.”

Of the same from the same work:—

“They however who have lifted up hatred against Him, though they be fenced round with the forces of His foes, are scattered abroad, while the God and Word gloriously raised His own temple.”

Of the same from his interpretation of the 92nd Psalm:—

“Moreover the prophet Isaiah following the tracks of His sufferings, among other utterances exclaims with a mighty voice ‘And we saw Him and He had no form nor beauty. His form was dishonoured and rejected among the sons of men,’116 thus distinctly showing that the marks of indignity and the sufferings must be applied to the human but not to the divine. And immediately afterwards be adds ‘Being a man under stroke, and able to bear infirmity.’117 He it is who after suffering outrage was seen to have no form or comeliness, then again was changed and clothed with beauty, for the God dwelling in Him was not led like a lamb to death and slaughtered like a sheep, for His nature is invisible.”

Testimony of the Holy Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, and confessor.

From his letter to Epictetus:—

“Whoever reached such a pitch of impiety as to think and say that the Godhead itself of one substance with the Father was circumcised, and from perfect became imperfect; and to deny that what was crucified on the tree was the body, asserting it on the contrary to be the very creative substance of wisdom?”

Of the same from the same treatise:—

280 “The Word associated with Himself and brought upon Himself what the humanity of the Word suffered, that we might be able to share in the Godhead of the Word. And marvellous it was that the sufferer and He who did not suffer were the same; sufferer in that His own body suffered and He was in it while suffering, but not suffering because the Word, being by nature God, was impassible. And He Himself the incorporeal was in the passible body, and the body contained in itself the impassible Word, destroying the infirmities of His body.”

Of the same from the same letter:—

“For being God and Lord of Glory, He was in the body ingloriously crucified; but the body suffered when smitten on the tree, and water and blood flowed from its side; but being temple of the Word, it was full of the Godhead. Wherefore when the sun saw its Creator suffering in His outraged body, it drew in its rays, and darkened the earth. And that very body with a mortal nature rose superior to its own nature, on account of the Word within it, and is no longer touched by its natural corruption, but clothed with the superhuman Word, became incorruptible.”

Of the same from his greater discourse on the Faith:—

“Was what rose from the dead, man or God? Peter, the Apostle, who knows better than we, interprets and say, ‘and when they had fulfilled all that was written of Him they took Him down from the tree and laid Him in a sepulchre, but God raised Him from the dead.’118 Now the dead body of Jesus which was taken down from the tree, which had been laid in a sepulchre, and entombed by Joseph of Arimathaea, is the very body which the Word raised, saying, ‘Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.’119 It is He who quickens all the dead, and quickened the man Christ Jesus, born of Mary, whom He assumed. For if while on the cross120 He raised corpses of the saints that had previously undergone dissolution, much more can God the everliving Word raise the body, which He wore, as says Paul, ‘For the word of God is quick and powerful.’”121

Of the same from the same work:—

“Life then does not die, but quickens the dead; for as the light is not injured in a dark place, so life cannot suffer when it has visited a mortal nature, for the Godhead of the Word is immutable and invariable as the Lord says in the prophecy about Himself ‘I am the Lord I change not.’”122

Of the same from the same work:—

“Living He cannot die but on the contrary quickens the dead. He is therefore, by the Godhead derived from the Father, a fount of light; but He that died, or rather rose from the dead, our intercessor, who was born of the Virgin Mary, whom the Godhead of the Word assumed for our sake, is man.”

Of the same from the same work:—

“It came to pass that Lazarus fell sick and died; but the divine Man did not fall sick nor against His own will did He die, but of His own accord came to the dispensation of death, being strengthened by God the Word who dwelt within Him, and who said ‘No man taketh it from me but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it again.’123 The Godhead then which lays down and takes the life of man which He wore is of the Son, for in its completeness He assumed the manhood, in order that in its completeness He might quicken it, and, with it, the dead.”

281 Of the same from his discourse against the Arians:—

“When therefore the blessed Paul says the Father ‘raised’ the Son ‘from the dead’124 John tells us that Jesus said ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up …but He spake’ of His own ‘body.’125 So it is clear to them that take heed that at the raising of the body the Son is said by Paul to have been raised from the dead, for he refers what concerns the body to the Son’s person, and just so when he says ‘the Father gave life to the Son’126 it must be understood that the life was given to the Flesh. For if He Himself is life bow can the life receive life?”

Of the same from his work on the incarnation:—

“For when the Word was conscious that in no other way could tile ruin of men be undone save by death to the uttermost, and it was impossible that the Word who is immortal and Son of the Father should die, to effect His end He assumes a body capable of death, that this body, being united to the Word, who is over all, might, in the stead of all, become subject to death, and because of the indwelling Word might remain incorruptible, and so by the grace of the resurrection corruption for the future might lose its power over men. Thus offering to death, as a sacrifice and victim free from every spot, the body which He had assumed, by His corresponding offering He straightway destroyed death’s power over all His kind; for being the Word of God above and beyond all men, He rightly offered and paid His own temple and bodily instrument, as a ransom for all souls due to death. And thus by means of the like (body) being associated with all men, the incorruptible Son of God rightly clothed all men with incorruption by the promise of the resurrection, for the corruption inherent in death no longer has any place with men, for the sake of the Word who dwelt in them by the means of the one body.”

Of the same from the same work:—

“Wherefore, after His divine manifestations in His works, now also on behalf of all He offered sacrifice, yielding to death His own temple instead of all, that He might make all men irresponsible and free from the ancient transgression, and, exhibiting His own body as incorruptible firstfruits of the resurrection of mankind, might shew Himself stronger than death. For the body, as having a common substance—for it was a human body, although by a new miracle its constitution was of the Virgin alone—being mortal, died after the example of its like; but by the descent of the Word into it no longer suffered corruption, according to its own nature, but, on account of God the Word who dwelt within it, was delivered fromcorruption.”

Of the same from the same work:—

“Whence, as I have said, since it was not possible for the Word being immortal to die, He took upon Himself a body capable of death, in order that He might offer this same body for all, and He Himself in His suffering on behalf of all through His descent into this body might ‘destroy Him that hath the power of death.’”127

Ofthe same from the same work:128 —

“For the body in its passion, as is the nature of bodies, died, but it had the promise of incorruption through the Word that dwelt within it. For when the body died the Word was not injured; but He was Himself impassible, incorruptible, and immortal, as being God’s Word, and being associated with the body He kept from it the natural corruption of bodies, as says the Spirit to Him ‘thou wilt not suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.’”129

The testimony of the holy Damasus, bishop of Rome:130 —

282 “If any one say that, in the passion of the Cross, God the Son of God suffered pain, and not the flesh with the soul, which the form of the servant put on and assumed, as the Scripture saith, Let him be anathema.”

Testimony of the holy Ambrosius, bishop of Milan.

From his book on the Catholic faith:—

“There are some men who have reached such a pitch of impiety as to think that the Godhead of the Lord was circumcised, and from perfect was made imperfect; and that the divine substance, Creator of all things, and not the flesh, was on the tree.”

Of the same from the same work:—

“The flesh suffered; but the Godhead is free from death. He yielded His body to suffer according to the law of human nature. For how can God die, when the soul cannot die? ‘Fear not,’ He says, ‘them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul.’131 If then the soul cannot be slain how can the Godhead be made subject to death?”

Testimony of the holy Basilius, bishop of Caearea:—

“It is perfectly well known to every one who has the least acquaintance with the meaning of the words of the Apostle that he is not delivering to us a mode of theology but is explaining the reasons of the oeconomy,132 for he says ‘God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord aim Christ.’133 Thus he is plainly directing his argument to His human and visible nature.”

Testimony of the holy Gregorius, bishop of Nazianzus.

From his letter to the blessed Nectarius, bishop of Constantinople:—

“The saddest thing in what has befallen the churches is the boldness of the utterances of Apollinarius and his party. I cannot understand how your Holiness has allowed them to arrogate to themselves the power of assembling on the same terms with us.”

283 And a little further on:—

“I will no longer call this serious; it is indeed saddest of all that the only begotten God Himself, Judge of all who exist, the Prince of Life, the Destroyer of Death, is made by him mortal and alleged to receive suffering in His own Godhead. He represents the Godhead to have shared with the body in the dissolution of that three days death of the body, and so after the death to have been again raised by the Father.”

Of the same from his former exposition to Cledonius:—

“It is the contention of the Arians that the manhood was without a soul, that they may refer the passion to the Godhead and represent the same power as both moving the body and suffering.”

Of the same from his discourse about the Son:—

“It remained for us to treat of what was commanded Him and of His keeping the commandments and doing all things pleasing to Him; and further of His perfection, exaltation, and learning obedience by all that He suffered,134 His priesthood, His offering, His betrayal, His entreaty to Him that hath power to save Him from death, His agony, His bloody sweat, His prayer and similar manifestations, were it not clear to all that all these expressions in connexion with His Passion in no way signify the nature which was immutable and above suffering.”

Of the same from his Easter Discourse (Or. ii).:—

“‘Who is this that cometh from Edom?’135 and from the earth, and how can the garments of the bloodless and bodiless be red as of one that treadeth in the wine-fat? Urge in reply the beauty of the garment of the body which suffered and was made beautiful in suffering, and was made splendid by the Godhead, than which nothing is lovelier nor more fair.”

Testimony of Gregory, bishop of Nyssa.

From his catechetical oration:—

“And this is the mystery of the dispensation of God concerning the manhood and of the resurrection from the dead, not to prevent the soul from being separated from the body by death according to the necessary law ofhuman nature, and to bring them together again through the resurrection.”

284 Of the same from the same work:—

“The flesh which received the Godhead, and which through the resurrection was exalted with the Godhead, is not formed of another material, but of ours; so, just as in the case of our own body, the operation of one of the senses moves to general sensation the whole man united to that part, in like manner just as though all nature were one single animal, the resurrection of the part pervades the whole, being conveyed from the part to the whole by what is continuous and united in nature. What then do we find extraordinary in the mystery that the upright stoops to the fallen to raise up him that lies low?”

Of the same from the same work:—

“It would be natural also in this part not to heed the one and neglect the other; but in the immortal to behold the human, and to be curiously exact about the diviner quality in the manhood.”

Of the same from his work against Eunomius:—

“’Tis not the human nature which raises Lazarus to life. ’Tis not the impassible power which sheds tears over the dead. The tear belongs to the man; the life comes from the very life. The thousands are not fed by human poverty; omnipotence does not hasten to the fig tree. Who was weary in the way, and who by His word sustains all the world without being weary? What is the brightness of His glory, what was pierced by the nails? What form is smitten in the passion, what is glorified for everlasting? The answer is plain and needs no interpretation.”

Of the same from the same treatise:—

“He blames them that refer the passion to the human nature. He wishes himself wholly to subject the Godhead itself to the passion, for the proposition being twofold and doubtful, whether the divinity or the humanity was concerned in the passion, the denial of the one becomes the positive condemnation of the other. While therefore they blame them who see the passion in the humanity, they will bestow unqualified praise on them that maintain the Divinity of the Son of God to be passible. But the point established by these means becomes a confirmation of their own absurdity of doctrine; for if, as they allege, the Godhead of the Son suffers while that of the Father in accordance with its substance is conserved in complete impassibility, it follows that the impassible nature is at variance with the nature which sustains suffering.”

The testimony of the holy Amphilochius, bishop of Iconium.

From his discourse on the text “Verily, verily I say unto you, he that heareth my word and believeth on Him that sent me hath everlasting life”:136 —

“Whose then are the sufferings? Of the flesh. Therefore if you give to the flesh the suffering, give it also the lowly words; and ascribe the exalted words to Him to Whom you assign the miracles. For the God when He is in the act of working wonders naturally speaks in high and lofty language worthy of His works and the man when He is suffering fitly utters lowly words corresponding with His sufferings.”

285 Of the same from his discourse on “My Father is greater than I”:137 —

“But when you give the sufferings to the flesh and the miracles to God, you must of necessity, though unwillingly, give the lowly words to the man born of Mary, and the high and lofty words becoming God, to the Word who existed in the beginning. The reason why I utter sometimes lofty words and sometimes lowly is that by the lofty I may show the nobility of the indwelling Word, and by the lowly make known the infirmity of the lowly flesh. So at one time I call myself equal to the Father and at another I call the Father greater; and in this I am not inconsistent with myself, but I shew that I am God and man; God by the lofty and man by the lowly. And if you wish to know in what sense my Father is greater than I, I spoke in the flesh and not in the person of the Godhead.”

Of the same from his discourse on “If it be possible let this cup pass from me”:138 —

“Ascribe not then the sufferings of the flesh to the impassible God, for I, O heretic, am God, and man; God, as the miracles prove man as is shewn by the sufferings. Since then I am God and man, tell me, who was it who suffered? If God suffered, you have spoken blasphemy; but if the flesh suffered, why do you not attribute the passion to Him to whom you ascribe the dread? For while one is suffering another feels on dread; while man is being crucified God is not troubled.”

Of the same from his discourse against the Arians:—

“And not to prolong what I am saying, I will shortly ask you, O heretic, did He who was begotten of God before the ages suffer, or Jesus who was born of David in the last days? If the Godhead suffered, thou hast spoken blasphemy; if, as the truth is, the manhood suffered, for what reason do you hesitate to attribute the passion to man?”

Of the same from his discourse concerning the Son:—

“Peter said, ‘God hath made this Jesus both Lord and Christ’139 and said too, ‘this Jesus whom ye crucified God hath raised up.’140 Now it was the manhood, not the Godhead, which became a corpse, and He who raised it was the Word, the power of God, who said in the Gospel, ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.’141 So when it is said that God hath made Him who became a corpse and rose from the dead both Lord and Christ, what is meant is the flesh, and not the Godhead of the Son.”

Of the same from his discourse on “The Son can do nothing of Himself”:142 —

“For He had not such a nature as that His life could be held by corruption, since His Godhead was not forcibly reduced to suffering. For how could it? But the manhood was renewed in incorruption. So he says ‘For this mortal must put on immortality and this corruptible must put on incorruption.’143 You observe the accuracy; he points distinctly to ‘this mortal’ that you may not entertain the idea of the resurrection of any other flesh.”

Testimony of the holy Flavianus, bishop of Antioch.

On Easter Day:—

286 “Wherefore also the cross is boldly preached by us, and the Lord’s death confessed among us, though in nothing did the Godhead suffer, for the divine is impassible, but the dispensation was fulfilled by the body.”

Of the same on Judas the traitor:—

“When therefore you hear of the Lord being betrayed, do not degrade the divine dignity to insignificance, nor attribute to divine power the sufferings of the body. For the divine is impassible and invariable. For if through His love to mankind He took on Him the form of a servant, He underwent no change in nature. But being what He ever was, he yielded the divine144 body to experience death.”

Testimony of Theophilus, bishop of Alexandria.

From his Heortastic Volume:—

“Of unreasoning beings the souls are not taken and replaced: they share in the corruption of the bodies, and are dissolved into dust. But after the Saviour at the time of the cross had taken the soul from His own body, He restored it to the body again when He rose from the dead. To assure us of this He uttered the words of the psalmist, the predictive exclamation, ‘Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hell nor suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.’”145

Testimony of the blessed Gelasius, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine:—

“He was bound, He was wounded, He was crucified, He was handled, He was marked with scars, He received a lance’s wound, and all these indignities were undergone by the body born of Mary, while that which was begotten from the Father before the ages none was able to harm, for the Word had no such nature. For how can any one constrain Godhead? How wound it? How make red with blood the incorporeal nature? How surround it with grave bands? Grant now what you cannot contravene and, constrained by invincible reason, honour Godhead.”

Testimony of the holy John, bishop of Constantinople.

From his discourse on the words “My Father worketh hitherto and I work”:146 —

“‘What sign shewest Thou unto us seeing that Thou doest these things?’147 What then does He reply Himself? ‘Destroy this temple,’ He says, ‘and in three days I will raise it up,’148 speaking of His own body, but they did not understand Him.”

287 And a little further on:—

“Why does not the evangelist pass this by? Why did he add the correction, ‘But He spake of the temple of his body’?149 for He did not say destroy this ‘body,’ but ‘temple’ that He might shew the indwelling God. Destroy this temple which is far more excellent than that of the Jews. The Jewish temple contained the Law; this temple contains the Lawgiver; the former the letter that killeth; the latter the spirit that giveth life.”150

Of the same from the discourse “That what was spoken and done in humility was not so done and spoken on account of infirmity of power but different dispensations”:—

“How then does He say ‘If it be possible’?151 He is pointing out to us the infirmity of the human nature, which did not choose to be torn away from this present life, but stepped back and shrank on account of the love implanted in it by God in the beginning for the present life. If then when the Lord Himself so often spoke in such terms, some have dared to say that He did not take flesh, what would they have said if none of these words had been spoken by Him?”

Of the same from the same work:—

“Observe how they spoke of His former age. Ask the heretic the question Does God dread? Does He draw back? Does He shrink? Does He sorrow? and if he says yes, stand off from him for the future, rank him down below with the devil, aye lower even than the devil, for even the devil will not dare to say this. But, should he say that each of these things is unworthy of God, reply—neither does God pray; for apart from these it will be yet another absurdity should the words be the words of God, for the words indicate not only an agony, but also two wills; one of the Son and another of the Father, opposed to one another. For the words ‘Not as I will, but as Thou wilt,’ are the words of one indicating this.”

Of the same from the same work:—

“For if this be spoken of the Godhead there arises a certain contradiction, and many absurdities are thereby produced. If on the contrary it be spoken of the flesh, the expressions are reasonable, and no fault can be found with them. For the unwillingness of the flesh to die incurs no condemnation; such is the nature of the flesh and He exhibits all the properties of the flesh except sin, and indeed in full abundance, so as to stop the mouths of the heretics. When therefore He says ‘If it be possible let this cup pass from me’ and ‘not as I will but as Thou wilt,’ He only shews that He is really clothed with the flesh which fears death, for it is the nature of the flesh to fear death, to draw back and to suffer agony. Now He leaves it abandoned and stripped of its own activity, that by shewing its weakness He may convince us also of its nature. Sometimes however He conceals it, because He was not mere man.”

Testimony of Severianus, bishop of Gabala.

From his discourse on the seals:—

“The Jews withstand the apparent, ignorant of the non-apparent; they crucify the flesh; they do not destroy the Godhead. For if my words are not destroyed together with the letter which is the clothing of speech, how could God the Word, the fount of life, die together with the flesh? The passion belongs to the body, but impassibility to the dignity.”

288 See then how they whose husbandry is in the East and in the West, as well as in the South and in the North, have all been shewn by us to condemn your vain heresy, and all openly to proclaim the impassibility of the divine Nature. See how both tongues, I mean both Greek and Latin, make one harmonious confession about the things of God).

Eran.—I am myself astonished at their harmony, but I observe a considerable difference in the terms they use.

Orth.—Do not be angry. The very force of their fight against their adversaries is the cause of their seeming immoderate. The same thing is to be observed in the case of planters; when they see a plant bent one way or another, they are not satisfied with bringing it to a straight line, but bend it still further in the opposite direction, that by its being bent still further from the straight it may attain its upright stature. But that you may know that the very promoters and supporters of this manifold heresy strive to surpass even the heretics of old by the greatness of their blasphemies, listen once more to the writings of Apollinarius which proclaim the impassibility of the divine nature, and confess the passion to be of the body.

Testimony of Apollinarius.

From his summary:—

“Jn spoke of the temple which was destroyed, namely the body of Him that raised it, and the body is entirely united to Him and He is not another among them. And if the body of the Lord was one with the Lord, the properties of the body were constituted His properties on account of the body.”

And again:—

“And the truth is that His conjunction with the body does not take place by circumscription of the Word, so that He has nothing beyond His incorporation. Wherefore even in death immortality abides with Him; for if He transcends this composition, so does He also the dissolution. Now death is dissolution. But He was not comprehended in the composition; had He been so, the universe would have been made void; nor in the dissolution did He, like the soul, suffer the deprivation which succeeds dissolution.”

And again:—

“As the Saviour says that the dead bodies go forth from their tombs, though their souls do not go forth thence, just so He says that He Himself will rise from the dead, although it is only His body that rises.”

In another similar work he writes:—

289 “Of man is the rising from the dead; of God is the raising. Now Christ both rose and raised, for He was God and man. Had the Christ been only man He would not have quickened the dead, and if He had been only God, He would not on His own account apart from the Father have quickened any of the dead. But Christ did both; the same being is both God and man. If the Christ had been only man He would not have saved the world; if He had been only God He would not have saved it through suffering, but Christ did both, so He is God and man. If the Christ had been only man or if only God He could not have been a Mediator between men and God.”

And a little further on:—

“Now flesh is an instrument of life fitted to the capacity for suffering in accordance with the divine will. Words are not proper to the Flesh, nor are deeds. Being made subject to the capacity for suffering, as is natural to the flesh, it prevails over the suffering because it is the flesh of God.”

And again a little further on:—

“The Son took flesh of the Virgin and travelled to the world. This flesh He filled with the Holy Ghost to the sanctification of us all. So He delivered death to death and destroyed death through the resurrection to the raising of us all.”

From his tract concerning the faith:—

“Since the passions are concerned with the flesh His power possessed its own impassibility, so to refer the passion to the power is an impious error.”

And in his tract about the incarnation he further writes:—

“Here then He shews that it was the same man who rose from the dead and God who reigns over all creation.”

You see now that one of the professors of vain heresy plainly preaches the impassibility of the Godhead, calls the body a temple, and persists in maintaining that this body was raised by God the Word.

Eran.—I have heard and I am astonished; and I am really ashamed that our doctrines should appear less tenable than the innovation of Apollinarius.

290 Orth.—But I will bring you a witness from yet another heretical herd distinctly preaching the impassibility of the Godhead of the only begotten.

Eran.—Whom do you mean?

Orth.—You have probably heard of Eusebius the Phoenician, who was bishop of Emesa by Lebanon.152

Eran.—I have met with some of his writings, and found him to be a supporter of the doctrines of Arius.

Orth.—Yes; he did belong to that sect, but in his endeavour to prove that the Father was greater than the only begotten he declares the Godhead of the depreciated Son to be im- passible and for this opinion he contended with long and extraordinary perseverance.

Eran.—I should be very much obliged if you would quote his words too.

Orth.—To comply with your wish I will adduce somewhat longer evidence. Now listen to what he says, and fancy that the man himself is addressing us.

Testimony of Eusebius of Emesa:

“Wherefore does he fear death? Lest he suffer anything from death? For what was death to Him? Was it not the severance of the power from the flesh? Did the power receive a nail that it should fear? If our soul suffers not the body’s infirmities when united with it, but the eye grows blind and yet the mind retains its force; and a foot is cut off and yet the reasoning power does not halt—and this nature evidences, and the Lord sets His seal on, in the words ‘Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul’ (and if they cannot kill the soul, it is not because they do not wish, but because they are not able, though they would like to make the soul share the suffering of the body yoked with it)—shall He who created the soul and formed the body suffer as the body suffers, although He does take upon Himself the body’s sufferings? But Christ suffered for us, and we lie not. ‘And the bread that I will give is my flesh.’153 This He gave for us.

“That which can be mastered was mastered; that which can be crucified was crucified, but He that had power alike to dwell in it and to leave it said ‘Father into thy hands I commend my Spirit,’154 not into the hands of them who were trying to hasten His death. I am not fond of controversy; I rather avoid it; with all gentleness I wish to enquire into the points at issue between us as between brothers. Do not I say truly that the power could not be subject to the sufferings of the flesh? I say nothing; let him who will say what the power suffered. Did it fail? See the danger. Was it extinct? See the blasphemy. Did it no longer exist? This is the death of power. Tell me what can so master it that it suffered and I withdraw. But, if you cannot tell me, why do you object to my not telling you? What you cannot tell me, that it did not receive. Drive a nail into a soul and I will admit that it can be driven into power. But it was in sympathy. Tell me what you mean by ‘in sympathy.’ As a nail went into the flesh, so pain into the power. Let us understand ‘was in sympathy’ in this sense. Then pain was felt by the power which was not smitten. For pain always follows on suffering. But if a body often despises pain while the mind is sound, on account of the vigour of its thought, then in this case let some one explain impartially what suffered and what suffered with or was in sympathy. What then? Did not Christ die for us? How did He die? ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit.’155 The Spirit departed; the body remained; the body remained without breath. Did He not die then? He died for us. The Shepherd offered the sheep, the Priest offered the sacrifice, He gave Himself for us. ‘He that spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all.’156 I do not reject the words, but I want the meaning of the words. The Lord says that the bread of God came down from Heaven,157 and though I cannot express it more clearly on account of the mysteries, He says in explanation ‘It is my flesh.’ Did the flesh of the Son come down from heaven? No. How then does He say, and that in explanation, the bread of God lives and came down from Heaven? He refers the properties of the power to the flesh, because the power which assumed the flesh came down from heaven. Change the terms then; He refers to the power what the flesh suffers. How did Christ suffer for us? He was spat upon, He was smitten on the cheek, they put a crown about His brow, His hands and feet were pierced. All these sufferings were of the body, but they are referred to Him that dwelt therein. Throw a stone at the Emperor’s statue. What is the cry? ‘You have insulted the Emperor.’ Tear the Emperor’s robe. What is the cry? ‘You have rebelled against the Emperor.’ Crucify Christ’s body. What is the cry? ‘Christ died for us.’ But what need of me and thee? Let us go to the Evangelists. How have you received from the Lord how the Lord died? They read ‘Father into thy hands I commend my Spirit.’158 The Spirit on high, the body on the Cross for us. So far as His body is attributed to Himself He offered the sheep.”

Of the same from the same book:—

291 “He came to save our nature; not to destroy His own. If I consent to say that a camel flies, you directly count it strange, because it does not fit in with its nature; and you are quite right. And if I say that men live in the sea you will not accept it; you are quite right. It is contrary to nature. As then if I say strange things about these natures you count it strange; if I say that the Power which was before the ages, by nature incorporeal, in dignity impassible, which exists with the Father and by the Father’s side, on His right hand and in glory, if I say that this incorporeal nature suffers, will you not stop your ears? If you will not stop your ears when you hear this, I shall stop my heart. Can we do anything to an angel? Smite him with a sword? Or cut him in pieces? Why do I say to an angel? Can we to a soul? Does a soul receive a nail? A soul is neither cut nor burnt. Do you ask why? Because it was so created. Are His works impassible and He Himself passible? I do not reject the oeconomy; on the contrary, I welcome the ill-treatment. Christ died for us and was crucified. So it is written; so the nature admitted. I do not blot out the words nor do I blaspheme the nature. But this is not true. Very well, then let something truer be said. The teacher is a benefactor, never harsh, never an enemy, unless the pupil be headstrong. Have you anything good to say? My ears are gratefully open. Does any one want to quarrel? Let him quarrel at his leisure. Could the Jews crucify the Son of God and make the power itself a dead body? Can the living die? The death of this power is its failure. Even when we die, our body is left. But if we make that power a dead body we reduce it to non-existence. I am afraid you cannot hear. If the body die, the soul is separated from it and remains; but if the soul die, since it has no body, it altogether ceases to exist. A soul by dying altogether ceases to be. For the death of the immortals is a contradiction of their existence. Consider the alternative; for I do not dare even to mention it. We say these things as we understand them, but if any one is contentions, we lay down no law. But I know one thing, that every man must reap the fruit of his opinions. Each man comes to God and brings before Him what he has said and thought about Him. Do not suppose that God reads books, or is troubled by having to recollect what you said or who heard you: all is made manifest. The judge is on the throne. Paulus159 is brought before Him. ‘Thou saidst I was a man; thou hast no life with Me. Thou knewest not Me; I know not thee.’ Up comes another. ‘Thou saidst I was one of the things that are created.160 Thou knewest not My dignity; I know not thee.’ Up comes another. ‘Thou saidst that I did not assume a body. Thou madest light of My grace. Thou shalt not share My immortality.’ Up comes another. ‘Thou saidst that I was not born of a Virgin to save the body of the Virgin; thou shalt not be saved.’ Each one reaps the fruit of his opinions about the faith.”

You see the other sect of your teachers, in which you supposed that you had learnt the suffering of the Godhead of the only Begotten, abhors this blasphemy, preaches the impassibility of the Godhead, and quits the ranks of them who dare to attribute the passion to it.

Eran.—Yes;I am astonished at the conflict, and I admire the man’s sense and opinions.

Orth.—Then, my good Sir, imitate the bees. As you flit in mental flight about the meads of the divine Scripture, among the fair flowers of these illustrious Fathers, build us in your heart the honey-comb of the faith. If haply you find anywhere herbage bitter and not fit to eat, like these fellows Apollinarius and Eusebius, but still not quite without something that may be meet for making honey, it is reasonable that you should sip the sweet and leave the poisonous behind, like bees who lighting often on baneful bushes leave all the deadly bane behind and gather all the good. We give you this advice, dear friend, in brotherly kindness. Receive it and you will do well. And if you hearken not we will say to you in the word of the apostle “We are pure.”161 We have spoken, as the prophet says, what we have been commanded).
Demonstrations by Syllogisms


That God the Word is Immutable

1. We have confessed one substance of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and have agreed that it is immutable. If then there is one substance of the Trinity, and it is immutable, then the only begotten Son, who is one person of the Trinity, is immutable. And, if He is immutable, He was not made flesh by mutation, but is said to have been made flesh after taking flesh.

2. If God the Word was made flesh by undergoing mutation into flesh, then He is not immutable. For no one in his senses would call that which undergoes alteration immutable. And if He is mutable He is not of one substance with Him that begat Him. How indeed is it possible for one part of an uncompounded substance to be mutable and the other immutable? If we grant this we shall fall headlong into the blasphemy of Arius and Eunomius, who assert that the Son is of another substance.

3. If the Lord is consubstantial with the Father, and the Son was made flesh by undergoing change into flesh, then the substance is at once mutable and immutable, which blasphemy if any one has the hardihood to maintain, he will no doubt make it worse by his blasphemy against the Father, for inasmuch as the Father shares the same substance, he will assuredly call Him mutable.

4. It is written in the divine Scriptures that God the Word took flesh, and also a soul. And the most divine Evangelist says the Word was made flesh.1 We must therefore perforce do one of two things: either we must admit the mutation of the Word into flesh, and reject all divine Scripture, both Old and New, as teaching lies, or in obedience to the divine Scripture, we must confess the assumption of the flesh, banishing mutation from our thoughts, and piously regarding the word of the Evangelist. This latter we must do inasmuch as we confess the nature of God the Word to be immutable, and have countless testimonies to the assumption of the flesh.

5. That which inhabits a tabernacle is distinct from the tabernacle which is inhabited.2 The Evangelist calls the flesh a tabernacle, and says that God the Word tabernacled therein. “The Word,” he says, “was made flesh and dwelt among us.”3 Now if He was made flesh by mutation, He did not dwell in flesh. But we have been taught that He dwelt in flesh; for the same Evangelist in another place calls His body a temple.4 We must therefore believe the Evangelist’s explanation and interpretation of what to some seemed ambiguous.

292 6. If when the Evangelist wrote “the Word was made flesh” he had added nothing which could remove the ambiguity, perhaps the controversy about the passage might have had some reasonable excuse, from the obscurity of the terms used. But since he immediately went on to say “and dwelt in us,” the combatants contend to no purpose. The former clause is explained by the latter.7. The immutability of God the Word is plainly proclaimed by the most wise Evangelist, for after saying “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,” he immediately adds, “And we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”5 But if, according to the foolish, He had undergone mutation into flesh, He would not have remained what He was, but if even when enveloped in the flesh He emitted the rays of His Father’s nobility, it follows that the nature which He has is immutable, and it shines even in the body and sends abroad the brightness of the nature which is unseen. For that light nothing can dim. “For the light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not,”6 as saith the very divine John.

8. The illustrious Evangelist was desirous of explaining the glory of the only-begotten, but was unable to carry out his purpose. He therefore shews it by His fellowship with the Father. For he says He is of that nature; just as though any one to persons beholding Joseph sunk in a slavery inconsistent with his rank, and unaware of the splendour of his descent, were to point out that Jacob was his father, and his forefather Abraham. So in this sense the Evangelist said that when He dwelt among us He did not dim the glory of His nature, “For we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father.” So if even when He was made flesh it was plain who He was, then He remained who he was, and did not undergo the mutation into flesh.

9. We have confessed that God the Word took not a body only but also a soul. Why then did the divine Evangelist omit in this place mention of the soul and mention the flesh alone? Is it not plain that he exhibited the visible nature and by its means signified the nature united to it? For the mention of the soul is understood of course in that of the flesh. For when we hear the prophet saying “Let all flesh bless His holy name,”7 we do not understand the prophet to be exhorting bodies of flesh without souls, but believe the whole to be summoned to give praise in the summoning of a part.

10. The words “the Word was made flesh” are plainly indicative not of mutation, but of His unspeakable loving-kindness. For after the illustrious Evangelist had said “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God,” and had declared Him to be Creator of the visible and invisible, and had called Him life and true light, adding other similar expressions, and had spoken concerning the Godhead in such terms as human reason can take in and the language at its command can express, he went on “And the Word was made flesh,” as though smitten with amazement and astounded at the boundless loving-kindness. His existence is eternal; He is God; He made all things; He is source of eternal life and of true light; and on account of the salvation of men He put about Him the tabernacle of flesh. And He was supposed to be only that which He appeared. So for this reason he did not even mention a soul but only the perishable and mortal flesh. Of the soul as being immortal he said nothing in order to exhibit the boundlessness of the kindness.

11. The divine Apostle calls8 the Lord Christ seed of Abraham. But if this is true, as true it is, then God the Word was not changed into flesh, but took on Him the seed of Abraham, according to the teaching of the Apostle himself.

12. God swore to David that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ, as the prophet9 said and as the great Peter interpreted.10 But if God the Word was called Christ after mutation into flesh, we shall nowhere find the truth in the oaths. Yet we have been taught that God cannot lie; nay rather is Himself the truth. Therefore God the Word did not undergo change into flesh, but in accordance with the promise, took firstfruits of David’s seed.

Proofs that the Union Was Without Confusion.

1. Those who believe that after the union there was one nature both of Godhead and of manhood, destroy by this reasoning the peculiarities of the natures; and their destruction involves denial of either nature. For the confusion of the united natures prevents us from recognising either that flesh is flesh or that God is God. But if even after the union the difference of the united natures is clear, it follows that there is no confusion and that the union is without confusion. And if this is confessed then the Master Christ is not one nature, but one Son shewing either nature unimpaired.

2. We too assert the union, and ourselves confess that it took place at the conception; if then by the union the natures were mixed and confounded, how was the flesh after the birth not seen to possess any new quality, but exhibited the human character, preserved the dimensions of the babe, was wrapped in swaddling clothes, and sucked a mother’s breast? And if all this did not come to pass in mere phantasy and seeming, then they admit of neither phantasy nor seeming; then what was seen was truly a body. And if this be granted then the natures were not confounded by the union, but each remained unimpaired.

3. The authors of this patchwork and incongruous heresy at one time assert that God the Word was made flesh, and at another declare that the flesh underwent a change into nature of Godhead. Either statement is futile and vain and full of falsehood, for if God the Word, as they argue, was made flesh, why then do they call Him God, and this alone, and refuse to name Him man as well, and find great fault with us who in addition to confessing Him as God also call Him man? But if the flesh was changed into the nature of Godhead, wherefore do they substitute the antitypes of the body? For the type is superfluous when the reality is destroyed.

4. An incorporeal nature is not corporeally circumcised, but the word corporeally is added on account of the spiritual circumcision of the heart; so then the circumcision is of a body; but the Master Christ is circumcised after the union. And if this is granted then the argument of the confusion is confuted).

293 5. We have learnt that the Saviour Christ hungered and thirsted, and we have believed that this was so really and not in seeming, but such conditions belong not to a bodiless nature but to a body. The Master Christ then had a body which before the resurrection was affected according to its nature. And to this the divine Apostle bears testimony when he says “For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities but was in all points tempted like as we are yet without sin.”11 For the sin is not of the nature but of the evil will.12

6. Of the divine nature the prophet David says, “Behold He that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.”13 But the narrative of the Evangelist describes the Master Christ as sleeping in the boat. Now not sleeping and being asleep are two contrary ideas, so the prophet contradicts the Gospels if, as they argue, the Master Christ was God alone. There is no contradiction, for both prophecies and gospels flow from one and the same spirit. The Master Christ therefore had a body, akin to all other bodies, affected by the need of sleep. So the argument for the confusion is proved a fable.

7. Of the divine nature the prophet Isaiah said, “He shall neither be hungry nor weary”14 and so on. But the Evangelist says “Jesus being weary with his journey sat thus on the well;”15 and “shall not be weary” is contrary to “being weary.” Therefore the prophecy is contrary to the narrative of the gospels. But they are not contrary, for both are of one God. Not being weary is of the uncircumscribed nature which fills all things. But moving from place to place is of the circumscribed nature; and when that which moves is constrained to travel it is subject to the weariness of the wayfarer. Therefore what walked and was weary was a body, for the union did not confound the natures.

8. To the divine Paul when shut up in prison the Master Christ said “Be not afraid Paul”16 and so on. But the same Christ, who drove away Paul’s fear, Himself so feared, as testifies the blessed Lc that He sweated from all His body drops of blood, and with them sprinkled all the ground about His body, and was strengthened by angelic succour,17 and these statements are opposed to one another, for how can fearing be other than contrary to driving away fear? Yet they are not contrary. For the same Christ is by nature God and man; as God He strengthens them that need consolation; as man He receives consolation through an angel. And although the Godhead and the Spirit were present as an anointing, the body and the soul were not then supported either by the Godhead united to them or by the Holy Ghost, but this service was entrusted to an angel in order to exhibit the infirmity both of the soul and of the body and that through the infirmity might be seen the natures of the infirm. Now these things plainly happened by the permission of the divine nature, that, among them that were to live in future times, believers in the assumption of the soul and of the body might be vindicated by these demonstrations, and their opponents by plain proof convicted. If then the union was effected by the conception, and, as they argue, made both natures one, how could the properties of the natures continue unimpaired, the soul agonize, and the body sweat so as to sweat bloody drops from excess of fear? But if the one is natural to the body and the other to the soul, then the union did not effect one nature of flesh and Godhead, but one Son appeared shewing forth in Himself both the human and the divine.

9. Should they say that after the resurrection the body underwent mutation into Godhead they may properly be answered thus. Even after the resurrection the body was seen circumscribed with hands and feet and all the body’s parts; it was tangible and visible; it had wounds and scars, as it had before the resurrection. One then of two alternatives must be maintained. Either these parts must be attributed to the divine nature, if the body when changed into the divine nature had these parts; or on the other hand it must be confessed that the body remained within the bounds of its own nature. Now the divine nature is simple and incomposite, but the body is composite and divided into many parts; therefore it was not changed into the nature of Godhead, but even after the resurrection though immortal, incorruptible and full of divine glory, it remains a body with its own circumscription.

10. To the unbelieving apostles the Lord after His resurrection shewed His hands, His feet, and the prints of the nails; then further to teach them that what they saw was not a vision He added “a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have.”18 Therefore the body was not changed into spirit it was flesh and bones and hands and feet. Consequently even after the resurrection the body remained a body.

11. The divine nature is invisible, but the thrice blessed Stephen said that he saw the Lord,19 so even after the resurrection the Lord’s body is a body, and it was seen by the victorious Stephen, since the divine nature cannot be seen.

12. If all mankind shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven, according to the Lord’s own words,20 and He said to Moses “No man shall see me and live,”21 and both are true, then He will come with the body with which He ascended into heaven. For that body is visible, and of this the angel spoke to the Apostles “This same Jesus which is taken up from you into Heaven shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into Heaven.”22 If this is true, as true it is, then there is not one nature of flesh and Godhead, but the union is without confusion.

Proof that the Divinity of the Saviour is Impassible.

1. Alike by the divine Scripture and by the holy Fathers assembled at Nicaae we have been taught to confess that the Son is of one substance with God the Father. The impassibility of the Father is also taught by the nature and proclaimed by the divine Scripture. We shall then further confess the Son to be impassible, for this definition is enforced by the identity of substance. Whenever then we hear the divine Scripture proclaiming the cross and the death of the Master Christ we attribute the passion to the flesh, for in no wise is the Godhead, being by nature impassible, capable of suffering.

2. “All things that the Father hath are mine”23 says the Master Christ, and one out of all is impassibility. If therefore as God He is impassible, He suffered as man. For the divine nature does not undergo suffering.

294 3. The Lord said “the bread which I will give is my flesh which I will give for the life of the world,”24 and again “I am the good shepherd and know my sheep and am known of mine …and I lay down my life for the sheep.”25 So body and soul are both given by the good shepherd for the sheep who have soul and body.

4. The nature of men is compounded of body and soul. But it sinned and stood in need of a sacrifice free from every spot. So the Creator took a body and a soul, and keeping them clean from the stains of sin for men’s bodies gave His body and for their souls His soul. If this is true, and true it is, for these are words of truth itself, then wild and blasphemous are they who ascribe passion to the divine nature.

5. The blessed Paul called the Christ “the first born of the dead;”26 and I suppose the first born has the same nature as they of whom He is called first born. As man then He is first born of the dead, for He first destroyed the pangs of death and gave to all the sweet hope of another life. As He rose so He suffered. As man then He suffered but as awful God He remained impassible.

6. The divine Apostle calls our Saviour Christ “the firstfruits of them that slept,”27 but the firstfruits are related to the whole whereof they are firstfruits. He is not therefore called firstfruits as God, for what relationship is there between Godhead and manhood? The former is an immortal nature, the latter mortal. Such is the nature of them that sleep, of whom Christ is called firstfruits. To this nature belong death and resurrection, and in its resurrection we have a proof of the general resurrection.

7. When the Master Christ wished to persuade the doubting Apostles that He had destroyed death and risen, He shewed them parts of His body, His side, His hands, His feet and the marks of the passion preserved therein. This body then rose, and this, I ween, was shown to the disbelievers. What rose is what was buried, and what was buried is what had died, and what had died is of course what was nailed to the cross. So the divine nature united to the body remained impassible.

8. They who describe the flesh of the Lord as giver of life make life itself mortal by their words. They ought to have seen that it was giver of life through the life united to it. But if according to their argument the life is mortal, how could the flesh being itself by nature mortal, and made life-giving through the life, remain life-giving?

9. God the Word is by nature immortal, and the flesh by nature mortal, but after the passion by union with the Word the flesh itself became immortal. How then is it not absurd to say that the giver of such immortality shared death?

10. They who maintain that God the Word suffered in the flesh should be asked the meaning of what they say, and should they have the hardihood to reply that when the body was pierced with nails the divine nature was sensible of pain, let them learn that the divine nature did not fill the part of a soul. God the Word had assumed a soul with the body. Should they reject this argument as blasphemous, and should they assert that the flesh suffered by nature, and that God the Word made the passion His own as of His own flesh, let them not propound puzzling and murky phrases, but let them clearly propound the meaning of the ill sounding phrase. They will have all those who wish to follow the divine Scripture as their supporters in this interpretation.

11. The divine Peter in his Catholic Epistle says that Christ suffered in the flesh.28 But he who hears that Christ suffered does not understand God the Word incorporeal, but incarnate. The name of Christ indicates both natures; but the word “flesh” connected with the passion signifies not that both, but that one of the two, suffered. For he that hears that Christ suffered in the flesh thinks of Him as impassible in that He was God, and attributes the passion to the flesh alone. For just as when we hear him saying that God had sworn to David of the fruit of his loins according to the flesh to raise up the Christ, we do not say that God the Word derived His origin from David, but that the flesh which God the Word took was akin to David, so must he who hears that Christ suffered in the flesh, recognise that the passion belongs to the flesh, and confess the impassibility of the Godhead.

12. When on the cross the Lord Christ said, “Father into Thy hands I commend my spirit,”29 this spirit is said by the Arians and the Eunomians to be the Godhead of the only-begotten, for they hold that the body which He took was without a soul, but the heralds of the truth say that the soul was so called and they base their opinion on the following passages. The right wise Evangelist immediately adds “And having said thus He gave up the ghost.”30 So says Luke, and the blessed Mc similarly adds “He gave up the ghost.”31 The divine Matthew writes, “yielded up the Ghost,”32 and the divine John, “gave up the Ghost.”33 All speak according to the usage of men, for we are accustomed to use all these expressions about those who die; none of them conveys any meaning of Godhead, but they all signify the soul, and if any one were to receive the Arian sense of the passage none the less even thus will it shew the immortality of the divine nature. For Christ commended it to the Father. He did not yield it to death. If then they that deny the assumption of the soul, and maintain God the Word to be a creature, and assert that He was in the body in place of a soul, deny that He was delivered to death, how can they obtain pardon who while they confess one substance of the Trinity, and leave the soul in its own immortality, impudently dare to say that God the Word of one substance with the Father tasted death?

13. If Christ is both God and man, as the divine Scripture teaches, and the illustrious Fathers persistently preached, then He suffered as man, but as God remained impassible.

295 14. If they acknowledge the assumption of the flesh, and declare it to be passible before the resurrection, and preach that the nature of the Godhead is impassible, why, leaving the passible nature, do they attribute the passion to the impassible?

15. If our Lord and Saviour nailed the handwriting to the cross, as says the divine Apostle,34 He then nailed the body, for on his body every man like letters marks the prints of his sins, wherefore on behalf of sinners He gave up the body that was free from all sin.

16. When we say that the body or the flesh or the manhood suffered, we do not separate the divine nature, for as it was united to one hungering, thirsting, aweary, even asleep, and undergoing the passion, itself affected by none of these but permitting the human nature to be affected in its own way, so it was conjoined to it even when crucified, and permitted the completion of the passion, that by the passion it might destroy death; not indeed receiving pain from the passion, but making the passion its own, as of its own temple, and of the flesh united to it, on account of which flesh also the faithful are called members of Christ, and He Himself is styled the head of them that believed).
Letters of the Blessed Theodoret, Bishop of Cyrus


I. To an Unknown Correspondent.

In the words of the prophet we find the wise hearer mentioned with the excellent councillor.1 I, however, send the book I have written on the divine Apostle, not as much to a wise hearer as to a just and clever judge. When goldsmiths wish to find out if their gold is refined and unalloyed, they apply it to the touchstone; and just so I sent my book to your reverence, for I wish to know whether it is what it should be, or needs some fining down. You have read it and returned it, but have said nothing to me on this point. Your silence leads me to conjecture that the judge has given sentence of condemnation, but is unwilling to hurt my feelings by telling me so. Pray dismiss any such idea, and do not hesitate to tell me your opinion about the book.

II. To the Same.

When men love warmly, I doubt whether in the case of the children of those whom they love, they can be impartial judges. Justice is carried away by affection. Fathers fancy that their ugly boys are beautiful, and sons do not see the uncomeliness of their fathers. Brother looks at brother in the light of affection rather than of nature. It is thus that I am afraid your holiness has judged what I have written, and that the sentence has been delivered by warmth of feeling. For truly the power of love is very great, and not seldom it keeps out of sight considerable errors in our friends. It is because you have so much of it, my dear friend, that you have wreathed what I have written with your kindly praises. All I can do is to ask your piety to beseech the good Lord to ratify your eulogy, and make the man you have praised something like the picture painted in the words of his admirers.

III. To Bishop Irenaeus.2

Comparisons of this kind are forbidden by the divine Apostle. In his Epistle to the Romans he writes “Therefore judge nothing before the time until the Lord come who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness and will make manifest the counsels of the heart: and then shall every man have praise of God.”3 And he is quite right; for we can see only outward deeds, but the God of all knows also the intention of the doers, and when He delivers his sentence judges not so much the work as the will. So He will crown the divine Apostle who became to the Jews as a Jew, to them that were under the law as under the law, and to them that were without law as without law4 for his object in thus assuming an actor’s mask was that he might do good to mankind. His was no time-server’s career. The gain he got was loss, but he secured the good of them whom he taught. As I said, then, the divine Paul bids us wait for the judgment of God. But we are venturing on high themes; we are handling a theology passing understanding and words; not, like the unholy heretics, seeking blasphemous positions, but endeavouring to confute their impiety, and as far as in us lies to give praise to the Creator; we shall therefore do nothing unreasonable in attempting to reply to your enquiry.

You have suggested the case of an impious judge giving to two athletes of piety the alternative of sacrificing to demons, or flinging themselves into the sea. You describe the one as choosing the latter and plunging without hesitation into the deep, while the other, refusing both, shews quite as much abhorrence of the worship of idols as his companion, but declines to commit himself to the waves, and waits for this fate to be violently forced upon him. You have suggested these circumstances, and you ask which of these two took the better course. I think that you will agree with me that the latter was the more praiseworthy. No one ought to withdraw himself from life unbidden, but should await either a natural or a violent death. Our Lord gave us this lesson when He bade those that are persecuted in one city flee to another and again commanded them to quit even this and depart to another.5 In obedience to this teaching the divine Apostle escaped the violence of the governor of the city, and had no hesitation in speaking of the manner of his flight, but spoke of the basket, the wall, and the window, and boasted and glorified in the act.6 For what looks discreditable is made honourable by the divine command. In the same manner the Apostle called himself at one time a Pharisee7 and at another a Roman,8 not because he was afraid of death, but acting quite fairly in fight.9 In the same way when he had learnt the Jews’ plot against him he appealed to Caesar10 and sent his sister’s son to the chief captain to report the designs hatched against him, not because he clung to this present life, but in obedience to the divine law. For assuredly our Lord does not wish us to throw ourselves into obvious peril; and this is taught us by deed as well as by word, for more than once He avoided the murderous violence of the Jews. And the great Peter, first of the Apostles, when he was loosed from his chains and had escaped from the hands of Herod, came to the house of John, who was surnamed Mark, and after removing the anxiety of his friends by his visit and bidding them maintain silence, betook himself to another house in the endeavour to conceal himself more effectually by the removal.11 And we shall find just the same kind of wisdom in the old Testament, for the famous Moses, after playing the man in his struggle with the Egyptian and finding out the next day that the homicide had become known, ran away, travelled a long journey, and arrived at the land of Midian.12 In like manner the great Elias when he had learnt Jezebel’s threats did not give himself up to them which wished to kill him, but left the world and hurried to the desert.13 And if it is right and agreeable to God to escape the violence of our enemies, surely it is much more right to refuse to obey them when they order a man to become his own murderer. Our Lord did not give in to the devil when he bade Him throw Himself down,14 and when he had armed against Him the hands of the Jews by means of the scourge and the thorns and the nails, and the creature was urging Him to bring wholesale destruction on His wicked foes, the Lord Himself forbade, because He knew that His Passion was bringing salvation to the world, and it was for this reason that just before His Passion He said to His Apostles “Pray that ye enter not into temptation,”15 and taught us to pray “Lead us not into temptation.”16 Now let us shift our ground a little, and we shall see our way more clearly. Let us eliminate the sea from the argument, and suppose the judge to have given each of the martyrs a sword, and ordered the one who refused to sacrifice to cut off his own head; who in his senses would have endured to redden his hand with his own blood, become his own headsman, lift his hand against himself, in obedience to the judge’s order?

296 Clearly your second martyr deserves the higher praise. The former indeed deserves credit for his zeal, bat the latter is adorned by right judgment as well.

I have answered you according to the measure of the wisdom given me; He who knows thoughts as well as acts, will shew which of the two was right in the day of His appearing.

IV. Festal.

The Creator of our souls and bodies has given His bounty to both, and at one and the same time has overwhelmed us with good things that both heart and senses can feel. At the time of the sacred feast He has given us the rain we so much longed for, that our celebration might be clear of sadness. We have praised our bountiful Lord, and now as we are wont write a festal letter and address your piety with the request that you will aid us with your prayers.

V. Festal.

The God who made us gives us care and sorrow after our sin. But He has furnished us with divine occasions of consolation by appointing divine feasts. The thoughts they suggest both remind us of God’s gifts to us, and promise complete freedom from all our troubles. Enjoying these good things and filled with cheerfulness, we address your magnificence, and, according to the custom of the festival, pay friendship’s debt.

VI. Festal.

Our loving Lord has allowed us, with the zeal of folks who love the Christ, to celebrate the divine feast of salvation and enjoy the fruit of the spiritual blessing that flows from it. Since we know the disposition of your Piety toward us, we write to tell yon this. For they who have friendly thoughts to others are always pleased to hear cheering intelligence of them.

VII. To Theonilla.

Had I heard of the death of your dignity’s most honourable husband I should have written long ago, and now my object in writing is not to lull your great sorrow to sleep by consolatory words. They are unnecessary. They who have learnt the wisdom of philosophers and consider what this life is, find reason strong enough to meet and break grief’s rising surge. And even while you are remembering your long companionship, reason recognises the divine decrees, and to meet the forces of the tears of sorrow marshals at once the course of nature, the law of God, and the hope of the resurrection. Knowing this as I do, there is no necessity to use many words. I only beseech you to avail yourself of good sense in the hour of need. Think of the death of him who is gone as no more than a long journey, and wait for the promise of our God and Saviour. For He who promised the resurrection cannot lie, and is the fount of truth.

VIII. To Eugraphia.

297 It is needless for me to bring once more to bear upon your grief the spells of the spirit. The mere mention of the sufferings that wrought our salvation is enough to quench distress, even at its worst. Those sufferings were all undergone for humanity. Our Lord did not destroy death to make one body victorious over death, hut through that one body to effect our common resurrection, and make our hope of it a sure and certain hope. And if even while our holy celebrations are bringing you manifold refreshment of soul, you cannot overcome your sense of sorrow, let me beg you, my honoured friend, to read the very words of the marriage contract which follow on the mention of the dowry, and to see how the wedding is preceded by the reminder of death. Knowing as we do that men are mortal, and bethinking us of the peace of survivors, it is customary to lay down what are called conditions, and for no hesitation to be shewn at the mention of death before the joining together in marriage. These are the plain words “If the husband should die first it is agreed that so and so be done; if this lot should first fall to the wife, so and so.” We knew all this before the wedding; we are waiting for it so to say everyday. Why then take it amiss? The union must needs be broken either by the death of the husband or the departure of the wife. Such is the course of life. You know, my excellent friend, alike God’s will and human nature; dispel then your despondency and wait for the fulfilment of the common hope of the just.

IX. To an Anonymous Correspondent.

Your piety is annoyed and distressed at the sentence passed on me unjustly and without a trial. I am comforted that you are so feeling. Had I been justly condemned I should have been sorry at having given my judges reasonable grounds for what they have done, but, as it is, my conscience is quite clear, and I feel joyful and exultant and look forward to the remission of other sins on account of this injustice. Naboth lives in men’s memories only because he suffered that unjust death. Only pray that we be not abandoned of God and let the enemy continue to do his worst. God’s good will is enough to make me very cheerful and if He is on my side I despise all my troubles as trifles.17

X. To the Learned Elias.

Legislators have made laws in aid of the oppressed, and advocates have practised the orator’s arts to help them that stand in need of fair defence. You, my friend, have studied eloquence and the law. Now put your art in practice, and by it put down the oppressors, help them that are put down by them, and defend them with the law as with a shield. Let no guilty client enjoy the benefit of your advocacy, even though he be your friend.

Now one of these guilty men is that villain Abraham. After being settled for a considerable time on an estate belonging to the church, he then took several partners in his rascality, and has had no hesitation in owning his proceedings. I have sent him to you with an account of his doings, the parties he has wronged, and the reverend sub-deacon Gerontius. I do not want you to deliver the guilty man to the authorities, but in the hope that when his victims have told you all they have had to put up with, and have made you, my learned friend, feel sympathy for their case, you may be induced to compel the wicked fellow to restore what he has stolen).

XI. To Flavianus Bishop of Constantinople.

The Creator and Guide of the Universe has made you a luminary of the world, and changed the deep moonless night into clear noon. Just as by the haven’s side, the beacon light shews sailors in the night time the harbour mouth, so shines the bright ray of your holiness to give great comfort to all that are attacked for true religion’s sake, and shews them the safe port of the Apostles’ faith. They that know it already are filled with comfort, and they that knew it not are saved from being dashed upon the rocks. I indeed am especially bound to praise the giver of all good, because I have found a noble champion who drives away fear of men by the power of the fear of God, fights heartily in the front rank for the doctrines of the Gospel, and gladly bears the brunt of the apostolic war. So to-day every tongue is moved in eulogy of your holiness, for it is not only the nurslings of true religion who admire the purity of your faith, but the praises of your courage are sung even by the enemies of the truth. Falsehood vanishes at truth’s lightning flash.

I write thus knowing that the very reverend and pious Hypatius the reader, both readily obeys the bidding of your holiness, and constantly, my Lord, mentions your laudable deeds. I salute you as holy and right dear to God. I exhort you to support us with your prayers that we may lead the rest of our lives according to God’s laws.

XII. To the Bishop Irenaeus.18

Job, that famous tower of adamant and noble champion of goodness, was not shaken even by blows of continuous troubles of every sort and kind, but stood impregnable and firm. At the end however of all his trials the righteous Law-giver explained the reason of them in the words, “Dost thou think that I answered thee for any other reason than that thou mightest appear just?”19 I think that these words are known to your piety which is able to support the many and various attacks of troubles and anxieties, and so far from shrinking from them, exhibits the strength and stability of your administration. So the bountiful Lord, seeing the bravery and holiness of your soul, has refused to keep a worthy champion in concealment, and has brought him forth to the contest to adorn your venerable head with a crown of victory, and give your struggles as a high example of good service to the rest. So, my dear friend, conquer in this battle too, and bear bravely the death of your son-in-law, my own dear friend. Conquer in your wisdom the claims of kinsmanship and the memory of a noble and generous character, a memory which must always recall something beyond painter’s art or rhetorician’s skill. Repel the assault of sorrow by the thought of Him who wisely administers all the affairs of men, with perfect knowledge of the future and right guidance of it for our good. Let us join in the joy of him who has been delivered from this life’s storms. Let us rather give thanks because, wafted by kindly winds, he has cast anchor in the windless haven and has escaped the grievous shipwrecks whereof this life is full. But need I say all this to one who is a tried gladiator of goodness? Need I, as it were, anoint for endurance one who is a trainer of other athletes? Still I write. It is a comfort to myself to write as I do. I am really and truly grieved when I remember an intimacy that I esteemed so highly. Once more I praise the great Guide of all, Who both knows what would be good for us and guides our life accordingly. I have dictated this after writing my former communication, on one of my friends in Antioch telling me that the end had come.

XIII. To Cyrus.

298 I had heard of the island of Lesbos, and its cities Mitylene, Methymna, and the rest; but I was ignorant of the fruit of the vine cultivated in it.20 Now, thanks to your diligence, I have become acquainted with it, and I admire both its whiteness and the delicacy of its flavour. Perhaps time may even improve it, unless it turns it sour; for wine, like the body, and plants, and buildings, and other things made by hand, is damaged by time. If, as you say, it makes the drinker longlived, I am afraid it will be of little use to me, for I have no desire to live a long life, when life’s storms are so many and so hard.

I was however much pleased to hear of the health of the monk. Really my anxiety about him was quite distressing, and I wrongly blamed the doctors, for his complaint required the treatment they gave. I have sent you a little pot of honey which the Cilician bees make from storax flowers).

XIV. To Alexandra.

Had I only considered the character of the loss which you have sustained, I should have wanted consolation myself, not only because I count that what concerns you concerns me, be it agreeable or otherwise, but because I did so dearly love that admirable and truly excellent man. But the divine decree has removed him from us and translated him to the better life. I therefore scatter the cloud of sorrow from my soul, and urge you, my worthy friend, to vanquish the pain of your sorrow by the power of reason, and to bring your soul in this hour of need under the spell of God’s word. Why from our very cradles do we suck the instruction of the divine Scriptures, like milk from the breast, but that, when trouble falls upon us, we may be able to apply the teaching of the Spirit as a salve for our pain? I know how sad, how very grievous it is, when one has experienced the worth of some loved object, suddenly to be deprived of it, and to fall in a moment from happiness to misery. But to them that are gifted with good sense, and use their powers of right reason, no human contingency comes quite unforeseen; nothing human is stable; nothing lasting; nor beauty, nor wealth, nor health, nor dignity; nor any of all those things that most men rank so high. Some men fall from a summit of opulence to lowest poverty; some lose their health and struggle with various forms of disease; some who are proud of the splendour of their lineage drag the crushing yoke of slavery. Beauty is spoilt by sickness and marred by old age, and very wisely has the supreme Ruler suffered none of these things to continue nor abide, with the intent that their possessors, in fear of change, may lower their proud looks, and, knowing how all such possessions ebb and flow, may cease to put their confidence in what is short lived and fleeting, and may fix their hopes upon the Giver of all good. I am aware, my excellent friend, that you know all this, and I beg you to reflect on human nature; you will find that it is mortal, and received the doom of death from the beginning. It was to Adam that God said “Dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return.”21 The giver of the law is He that never lies, and experience witnesses to His truth. Divine Scripture tells us “all men have one entrance into life and the like going out,”22 and every one that is born awaits the grave. And all do not live a like length of time; some men come to an end all too soon; some in the vigour of manhood, and some after they have experienced the trials of old age. Thus, too, they who have taken on them the marriage yoke are loosed from it, and it must needs be that either husband first depart or wife reach this life’s end before him. Some have but just entered the bridal chamber when their lot is weeping and lamentation; some live together a little while. Enough to remember that the grief is common to give reason ground for overcoming grief. Besides all this, even they who are mastered by bitterest sorrow may be comforted by the thought that the departed was the father of sons; that he left them grown up; that he had attained a very high position, and in it, so far from giving any cause for envy, made men love him the more, and left behind him a reputation for liberality, for hatred of all that is bad, for gentleness and indeed for every kind of moral virtue.23

But what excuse for despondency will be left us if we take to heart God’s own promises and the hopes of Christians; the resurrection, I mean, eternal life, continuance in the kingdom, and all that “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him”?24 Does not the Apostle say emphatically, “I would not have you to be ignorant brethren concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not even as others which have no hope”?25 I have known many men who even without hope have got the better of their grief by the force of reason alone, and it would indeed be extraordinary if they who are supported by such a hope should prove weaker than they who have no hope at all. Let us then, I implore you, look at the end as a long journey. When he went on a journey we used indeed to be sorry, but we waited his return. Now let the separation sadden us indeed in some degree, for I am not exhorting what is contrary to human nature, but do not let us wail as over a corpse; let us rather congratulate him on his setting forth and his departure hence, because he is now free from a world of uncertainties, and fears no further change of soul or body or of corporeal conditions. The strife now ended, he waits for his reward. Grieve not overmuch for orphanhood and widowhood. We have a greater Guardian whose law it is that all should take good care of orphans and widows and about whom the divine David says “The Lord relieveth the fatherless and widow, but the way of the wicked He turneth upside down.26 Only let us put the rudders of our lives in His hands, and we shall meet with an unfailing Providence. His guardianship will be surer than can be that of any man, for His are the words “Can a woman forget her sucking child that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yet will I not forget thee.”27 He is nearer to us than father and mother for He is our Maker and Creator. It is not marriage that makes fathers, but fathers are made fathers at His will.

I am now compelled thus to write because my bonds28 do not suffer me to hasten to you, but your most God-loving and most holy bishop is able unaided to give all consolation to your very faithful soul by word and by deed, by sight and by communication of thought and by that spiritual and God-given wisdom of his whereby I trust the tempest of your grief will be lulled to sleep.

XV. To Silvanus the Primate29

I know that in my words of consolation I am somewhat late, but it is not without reason that I have delayed to send them, for I have thought it worth while to let the violence of your grief take its course. The cleverest physicians will never apply their remedies when a fever is at its height, but wait for a favourable opportunity for using the appliances of their skill. So after reckoning how sharp your anguish must be, I have let these few days go by, for if I myself was so distressed and filled with such sorrow by the news, what must not have been the sufferings of a husband and yoke-fellow, made, as the Scripture says, one flesh,30 at the violent sundering of the union cemented both by time and love? Such pangs are only natural; but let reason devise consolation by reminding you that humanity is frail and sorrow universal, and also of the hope of the resurrection and the will of Him who orders our lives wisely. We must needs accept the decrees of inestimable wisdom, and own them to be for our good; for they who reflect thus piously shall reap piety’s rewards, and so delivered from immoderate lamentations shall pass their lives in peace. On the other hand they whom sorrow makes its slaves will gain nothing by their wailing, but will at once live weary lives and grieve the Guardian of us all. Receive then, my most honoured friend, a fatherly exhortation “The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. He hath done whatsoever pleased Him. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”31

XVI. To Bishop Irenaeus.32

There is nothing good, it seems, in prospect for us, so, far from calming down, the tempest troubling the Church seems to rise higher every day. The conveners of the Council have arrived and delivered the letters of summons to several of the Metropolitans including our own, and I have sent a copy of the letter to your Holiness to acquaint you how, as the poet has it, “Woe has been welded by woe.”33 And we need only the Lord’s goodness to stay the storm. Easy it is for Him to stay it, but we are unworthy of the calm, yet the grace of His patience is enough for us, so that haply by it we may get the better of our foes. So the divine apostle has taught us to pray “for He will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it.”34 But I beseech your godliness to stop the mouths of the objectors and make them understand that it is not for them who stand, as the phrase goes, out of range, to scoff at men fighting in the ranks and giving and receiving blows; for what matters it what weapon the soldier uses to strike down his antagonists? Even the great David did not use a panoply when he slew the aliens’ champion,35 and Samson slew thousands on one day with the jawbone of an ass.36 Nobody grumbles at the victory, nor accuses the conqueror of cowardice, because he wins it without brandishing a spear or covering himself with his shield or throwing darts or shooting arrows. The defenders of true religion must be criticized in the same way, nor must we try to find language which will stir strife, but rather arguments which plainly proclaim the truth and make those who venture to oppose it ashamed of themselves.

What does it matter whether we style the holy Virgin at the same time mother of Man and mother of God, or call her mother and servant of her offspring, with the addition that she is mother of our Lord Jesus Christ as man, but His servant as God, and so at once avoid the term which is the pretext of calumny, and express the same opinion by another phrase? And besides this it must also be borne in mind that the former of these titles is of general use, and the latter peculiar to the Virgin; and that it is about this that all the controversy has arisen, which would God had never been. The majority of the old Fathers have applied the more honourable title to the Virgin, as your Holiness yourself has done in two or three discourses; several of these, which your godliness sent to me, I have in my own possession, and in these you have not coupled the title mother of Man with mother of God, but have explained its meaning by the use of other words. But since you find fault with me for having left out the holy and blessed Fathers Diodorus and Theodorus in my list of authorities, I have thought it necessary to add a few words on this point.

299 In the first place, my dear friend, I have omitted many others both famous and illustrious. Secondly this fact must be borne in mind, that the accused party is bound to produce unimpeachable witnesses, whose testimony even his accusers cannot impugn. But if the defendant were to call into court authorities accused by the prosecutors, even the judge himself would not consent to receive them. If I had omitted these holy men in compiling an eulogy of the Fathers, I should, I own, have been wrong, and should have proved myself ungrateful to my teachers. But if when under accusation I have brought forward a defence, and have produced unimpeachable witnesses, why do men who are unwilling to see any of these testimonies lay me under unreasonable blame? How I reverence these writers is sufficiently shewn by my own book in their behalf, in which I have refuted the indictment laid against them, without fear of the influence of their accusers or even of the secret attack made upon myself. These people who are so fond of foolish talk had better get some other excuse for their sleight of words. My object is not to make my words and deeds fit the pleasure of this man or that man, but to edify the church of God, and please her bridegroom and Lord. I call my conscience to witness that I am not acting as I do through care of material things, nor because I cling to the honour with all its cares, which I shrink from calling an unhappy one. I would long ago have withdrawn of my own accord, did I not fear the judgment of God. And now know well that I await my fate. And I think that it is drawing near, for so the plots against me indicate.37

XVII. To the Deaconess Casiana.

Had I only considered the greatness of your sorrow, I should have put off writing a little while, that I might make time my ally in my attempt to cure it, but I know the good sense of your piety, and so I make bold to offer you some words of consolation suggested partly by human nature, and partly by divine Scripture. For our nature is frail, and all life is full of such calamities, and the universal Governor and Ruler of the World,—the Lord who wisely orders our concerns,—gives us by means of His divine oracles consolation of various kinds, of which the writings of the holy Evangelists and the divine utterances of the blessed prophets are full. But I am sure it is needless to cull these passages, and suggest them to your piety, nurtured as you have been from the beginning in the inspired word, ruling your life in accordance with them, and needing no other teaching. But I do implore you to remember those words that charge us to master our feelings, and promise us eternal life, proclaim the destruction of death, and announce the common resurrection of us all. Besides all this, nay, before all this, I ask you to reflect that He who has bidden these things so be is the Lord, that He, is a Lord all wise and all good, Who knows exactly what is best for us, and to this end guides all our life. Sometimes death is better than life, and what seems distressing is really pleasanter than fancied joys. I beg your piety to accept the consolation offered by my humility, that you may serve the Lord of all by nobly bearing your pain, and affording to men as well as women an example of true wisdom. For all will admire the strength of mind which has bravely borne the attack of grief and broken the force of its violent assault by the magnanimity of its resolution. And we are not without great comfort in the living likenesses of your departed son; for he has left behind him offspring worthy of deep affection, who may be able to stay the excess of our sorrow.

Lastly I implore you to remember in your grief what your bodily infirmity can endure, and to avoid increasing your sufferings by mourning overmuch; and I implore our Lord of His infinite resources to give you ground of consolation.

XVIII. To Neoptolemus.

Whenever I cast my eyes on the divine law which calls those who are joined together in marriage “one flesh,”38 I am at a loss how to comfort the limb that has been sundered, because I take account of the greatness of the pang. But when I consider the course of nature, and the law which the Creator has laid down in the words “Dust thou art and to dust thou shalt return,”39 and all that goes on daily in all the world on land and sea—for either husbands first approach the end of life or this lot first befalls the wives—I find from these reflections many grounds of consolation; and above all the hopes that have been given us by our Lord and Saviour. For the reason of the accomplishment of the mystery of the incarnation was that we, being taught the defeat of death, should no more grieve beyond measure at the loss by death of those we love, but await the longed-for fulfilment of the hope of the resurrection. I entreat your Excellency to reflect on these things, and to overcome the pain of your grief; and all the more because the children of your common love are with you, and give you every ground of comfort. Let us then praise Him who governs our lives wisely, nor rouse His anger by immoderate lamentation, for in His wisdom He knows what is good for us, and in His mercy He gives it.

XIX. To the Presbyter Basilius.

I have found the right eloquent orator Athanasius to be just what your letter described him. His tongue is adorned by his speech, and his speech by his character, and all about him is brightened by his abundant faith. Ever, most God-beloved friend, send us such gifts. You have given me, be assured, very great pleasure through my intercourse with him.

XX. To the Presbyter Martyrius.

Natural disposition appears in us before resolution of character, and, in this sense, takes the lead; but disposition is overcome by resolution, as is plainly proved by the right eloquent orator Athanasius. Though an Egyptian by birth, he has none of the Egyptian want of selfcontrol, but shews a character tempered by gentleness.40 He is moreover a warm lover of divine things. On this account he has spent many days with me, expecting to reap some benefit from his stay. But I, as you know, most God-beloved friend, shrink from trying so to derive good from others, and am far from being able to impart it to those who seek it, and this not because I grudge, but because I have not the wherewithal, to give. Wherefore let your holiness pray that what is said of me may be confirmed by fact, and that not only may good things be reported of me by word, but proved in deed.

XXI. To the Learned Eusebius.

300 The disseminators of this great news, with the idea that it would be very distasteful to me, fancied that they might in this way annoy me. But I by God’s grace welcomed the news, and await the event with pleasure. Indeed very grateful to me is any kind of trouble which is brought on me for the sake of the divine doctrines. For, if we really trust in the Lord’s promises, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.”41

And why do I speak of the enjoyment of the good things which are hoped for? For even if no prize had been offered to them that struggle for the sake of true religion, Truth alone by her own unaided force would herself have been sufficient to persuade them that love her to welcome gladly all perils in her cause. And the divine Apostle is witness of what I say, exclaiming as he does, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword? As it is written, ‘For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’”42

And then to teach us that he looks for no reward, but only loves his Saviour, he adds straightway “Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”43

And he goes on further to exhibit his own love more clearly. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”44

Behold, my friend, the flame of apostolic affection; see the torch of love.45

I covet not, he says, what is His. I only long for Him; and this love of mine is an unquenchable love and I would gladly forego all present and future felicity, aye, suffer and endure again all kinds of pain so as to keep with me this flame in all its force. This was exemplified by the divine writer in deed as well as in word and everywhere by land and sea he has left behind him memorials of his sufferings. So when I turn my eyes on him and on the rest of the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, martyrs, priests, what is commonly reckoned miserable I cannot but hold to be delightful. I confess to a feeling of shame when I remember how even they who never learnt the lessons we have learnt, but followed no other guide but human nature alone, have won conspicuous places in the race of virtue. The famous Socrates, son of Sophroniscus, when under the calumnious indictment, not only treated the lies of his accusers with contempt, but expressed his cheerfulness in the midst of his troubles in the words, “Anytus and Meletus46 can kill me, but they cannot harm me.” And the orator of Paeania,47 who was as wise as he was eloquent, enriched both the men of his own day and them that should come after him with the saying: “to all the race of men the end of life is death, even though one shut himself up for safety in a cell; so good men are bound ever to put their hand to every honourable work, ever defending themselves with good hope as with a shield, and bravely to bear whatever lot may be given them by God.”48

Moreover a writer of earlier date than Demosthenes, I mean the son of Olorus, wrote many noble sentiments, and among them this “We must bear what the gods send us of necessity and the fortune of war with courage.”49 Why need I quote philosophers, historians, and orators? For even the men who gave higher honour to their mythology than to the truth have inserted many useful exhortations in their stories; as Homer in his poems introduces the wisest of the Hellenes preparing himself for deeds of valour, where he says

“He chid his angry spirit and beat his breast, And said ‘Forbear my mind, and think on this: There hath been time when bitterer agonies Have tried thy patience.’”50

Similar passages might easily be collected from poets, orators, and philosophers, but for us the divine writings are sufficient.

I have quoted what I have to prove how disgraceful it were for the mere disciples of nature to get the better of us who have had the teaching of the prophets and the apostles, trusting in the Saviour’s sufferings and looking for the resurrection of the body, freedom from corruption, the gift of immortality and the kingdom of heaven.

So, my dear friend, comfort those who are discouraged at the stories bruited abroad, and if anybody is pleased at them, tell them that we are happy too, that we are exulting and dancing with joy, and that what they call punishment we are looking for as the kingdom of heaven itself.

301 To inform those who do not know in what mind we are, be assured, most excellent friend, that we believe, as we have been taught, in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. There is no truth in the slander of some that we have been taught to believe, or have been baptized, or do believe, or teach others to believe, in two Sons. As we know one Father and one Holy Ghost so we know one Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, God the Word who was made man. We do not however deny the properties of the natures. We hold them to be in error who divide the one Lord Jesus Christ into two Sons, and we also call them enemies of the truth who endeavour to confound the natures. We believe an union to have been made without confusion, and we reckon some qualities to be proper to the manhood and others to the Godhead; for just as the man—I mean man in general—reasonable and mortal being, has a soul and has a body, and is reckoned to be one being, just so the distinction between the two natures does not divide the one man into two persons, but we recognise in the one man both the immortality of the soul and the mortality of the body, and acknowledge the invisible soul and the visible body, but, as I said, one being at once reasonable and mortal; so do we recognise our Lord and God, I mean the Son of God our Lord Christ, even after His incarnation, to be one Son; for the union is indivisible, as we know it is without confusion. We acknowledge too that the Godhead is without beginning, and that the manhood is of recent origin; for the one nature is of the seed of Abraham and David, from whom descended the holy Virgin, but the divine nature was begotten of the God and Father before the ages without time, without passions, without severance. But suppose the distinction between flesh and Godhead to be destroyed, what weapons shall we use in our war with Arius and Eunomius? How shall we undo their blasphemy against the only begotten? As it is, we apply the words of humiliation as to man, the words of exaltation and divinity as to God, and the setting forth of the truth is very easy to us.

But this disquisition on the faith is exceeding the limits of a letter. Still even these few words are enough to show the character of the apostolic faith.51

XXII. To Count Ulpianus.

It is said that what is faulty in men’s ways may be brought to order and improved by words. But I think that characters made beautiful by nature, themselves make words fair, though they stand in need of none, just as bodies naturally beautiful need no artificial colouring. These qualities are conspicuous in the right eloquent orator Athanasius, and I have been the more pleased with him because he is an ardent lover of your Excellency, and is constantly sounding your praises. Here, however, I have striven with him, and in enumerating your high qualities, have outdone him, for I know more about good deeds of yours than he. I am however vexed at not being able to praise them all, and to see that my summary of your virtues falls short of what might be said in your praise, but if God grant it even to approach the truth you will hold the pre-eminence in every kind of virtue among all your contemporaries.52

XXIII. To the Patrician Areobindas.53

In distributing wealth and poverty among men the Creator and Governor of all gives no unjust judgment, but gives the poverty of the poor to the rich as a means of usefulness. So He brings chastisement upon men not merely in the infliction of punishment for their faults, but to provide the wealthy with opportunities for shewing kindness to mankind. This year the Lord has sent us scourges, far less than our sins, but enough to distress the husbandmen, of whose sufferings I lately made your magnificence acquainted through your own hinds. Pity, I beseech you, the tillers of the ground, who have spent their toil with but very little result. Be this bad year a suggestion of spiritual abundance, and do ye through the exercise of compassion gather in the harvest of the compassion of God. On this account the excellent Dionysius has hurried to your greatness to tell you of the trouble, that he may receive the remedy. He carries this letter, like a suppliant’s branch of olive, in the hope that by its means he may receive greater kindness.

XXIV. To Andreas Bishop of Samosata.

Your piety, nursling of God’s love, longs, I am sure, for my society. But I am all the more eager for yours in proportion as I know that from it more advantage will accrue to me. Want somehow naturally makes our wishes the stronger, but the Lord of all is able to give us what we long for. He rules all things Himself; knows what is sure to do us good, and never ceases to give every man this boon. I really cannot tell you how much delighted I was with your letter, and the very honourable and devout deacon Thalassius increased my pleasure by telling me what I was very anxious to know, for what can be more welcome to me than news that all goes well with you? And what is it that so increases your welfare as the moderation of the great men among us? You have acted like a wise and active physician who does not wait to be sent for, but comes of his own accord to them that need his care. This has given me great pleasure, and I have learnt by my own experience what the poet means when he says “laughing through her tears.”54 May the bountiful Giver of all good things grant your holiness to excel in them, and to make us emulous of what is praiseworthy in all good men. Help us then my dear friend, and persuade him who can to grant our petition.55

XXV. Festal.

When the only begotten God had been made Man, and had wrought out our salvation, they who in those days saw Him from whom these bounties flowed kept no feast. But in our time, land and sea, town and hamlet, though they cannot see their benefactor with eyes of sense, keep a feast in memory of all He has done for them; and so great is the joy flowing from these celebrations that the streams of spiritual gladness run in all directions. Wherefore we now salute your piety, at once to signify the cheerfulness which the feast has caused in us, and to ask your prayers that we may keep it to the end).

XXVI. Festal.

302 The fountains of the Lord’s kindness are ever gushing forth with good things for them that believe; but some further good is conveyed by the celebrations which preserve the memory of the greatest of benefits to them that keep the feasts with more good will. We have just now celebrated the rites and enjoyed their blessing, and thus salute your piety, for so the custom of the feast and law of love enjoins.

XXVII. To Aquilinus, Deacon and Archimandrite.

No one who has won the divine adoption weeps for orphanhood, for what guardian care can be more powerful than that of our Father which is on high, because of Him fathers of earth are fathers. By His will some are made fathers by nature, some by grace. To Him then let us hold fast and keep alive the memory of them that are dead. For we shall be the better for the recollection of them that have lived well, rousing us to imitation of them.

XXVIII. To Jacobus, Presbyter and Monk.

They who have made the vigour of their manhood bright by virtuous industry hasten happily towards old age, gladdened by the recollection of their former victories, and for old age’s sake rid of further struggle. This joy I think your own piety possesses, and that you bear your old age the more easily for the recollection of the labours of your youth.

XXIX. To Apellion.

The sufferings of the Carthaginians would demand, and, in their greatness, perhaps out-task, the power of the tragic language of an Aeschylus or a Sophocles. Carthage of old was with difficulty taken by the Romans. Again and again she contended with Rome for the mastery of the world, and brought Rome within danger of destruction. Now the ruin has been the mere byplay of barbarians. Now dignified members of her far-famed senate wander all over the world, getting means of existence from the bounty of kindly strangers, moving the tears of beholders, and teaching the uncertainty and instability of the lot of man.

I have seen many who have come thence, and I have felt afraid, for I know not, as the Scripture says, “what the morrow will bring forth.”56 Not least do I admire the admirable and most honourable Celestinianus, so bravely does he bear his misfortune, and makes the loss of his happiness an occasion for philosophy, praising the governor of all, and holding that to be good which God either ordains or suffers to be. For the wisdom of divine Providence is unspeakable. He is travelling with his wife and children, and I beg your excellency to treat him with an hospitality like that of Abraham. With perfect confidence in your benevolence I have undertaken to introduce him to you, and I am telling him how generous is your right hand.57

XXX. To Aerius the Sophist.58

Now is the time for your Academy to prove the use of your discussions. I am told that a brilliant assemblage collects at your house, of which the members are both illustrious by birth and polished of speech, and that you debate about virtue and the immortality of the soul, and other kindred subjects. Show now opportunely your nobility of soul and wealth of virtue, and receive the most admirable and honourable Celestinianus in the spirit of men who have learnt the rapid changes of human prosperity. He was formerly an ornament of the city of Carthage, where he flung open the doors of his house to many priests, and never thought to need a stranger’s kindness. Be his spokesman, my friend, and aid him in his need of your voice, for he cannot suffer the advice of the poet which bids him that needeth speak though he be ashamed.59

Persuade I beg you any of your society who are capable of so doing to emulate the hospitality of Alcinous,60 to remove the poverty which has unexpectedly befallen him, and to change his evil fortune into good. Let them praise our kindly Lord for making us wise by other men’s calamities, not having sent us to strangers’ houses and having brought strangers to our doors. To men that shew kindness He promises to give what words cannot express and no intelligence can understand.

303 XXXI. To Domnus Bishop of Antioch.61

The most admirable and honourable Celestinianus is a native of the famous Carthage, and of an illustrious family in that city. Now he has been exiled from it. He is wandering in foreign parts, and has to look to the benevolence of them that love God. He carries with him a burden from which he cannot escape and which increases his care—I mean his wife, his children and his servants, for whom he is at great expense. I wonder at his spirit. For he praises the great Pilot as though he were being borne by favourable breezes, and cares nothing for the terrible storm. From his calamity he has reaped the fruit of piety, and this thrice blessed gain has been brought him by his misfortune; for while he was in prosperity he never accepted this teaching, but when the evil day left him bare, among the rest of his losses he lost his impiety too, and now possesses the wealth of the faith, and for its sake thinks little of his ruin.

I therefore beseech your holiness to let him find a fatherland in these foreign parts, and to charge them that abound in riches to comfort one who once was endowed like themselves, and to scatter the dark cloud of his calamity. It is only right and proper that among men of like nature, where all have erred, they that have escaped chastisement should bring comfort to them that have fallen on evil days, and by their sympathy for these latter propitiate the mercy of God.

XXXII. To the Bishop Theoctistus.62

If the God of all had forthwith inflicted punishment on all that err he would utterly have destroyed all men. But He spares; He is a merciful Judge; and therefore some He chastises, and to others He gives the lesson of the punishment of the chastised. An instance of this merciful dealing has been shewn in our times. Exiles from what was once known as Libya, but is now called Africa, have been brought by Him to our doors, and by shewing us their sufferings He moves us to fear, and by fear rouses us to sympathy; thus He accomplishes two ends at once, for He both benefits us by their chastisement, and to them by our means brings comfort. This comfort I now beg you to give to the very admirable and honourable Celestinianus, a man who once was an ornament of the Africans’ chief city, but now has neither city nor home, nor any of the necessaries of life. Now it is proper that those who in the jurisdiction of your holiness have been entrusted with the pastoral care of souls should bring before their fellow citizens what is for their good, for indeed they need such teaching. For this reason, as we know, the divine Apostle in his Epistle to Titus writes “Let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses,”63 for if our city, solitary as it is, and with only a small population, and that a poor one, succours the strangers, much rather may Beroea,64 which has been nurtured in true religion, be expected to do so, especially under the leadership of your holiness.

XXXIII. To Stasimus, Count and Primate.65

To narrate the sufferings of the most honourable and dignified Celestinianus would require tragic eloquence. Tragic writers set forth fully the ills of humanity, but I can only in a word inform your excellency that his country is Libya, so long on all men’s tongues, his city the far famed Carthage, his hereditary rank a seat in her famous council, his circumstances affluent. But all this is now a tale, mere words stripped bare of realities. The barbarian war has deprived him of all this. But such is fortune; she refuses to remain always with the same men and hastens to change her abode to dwell with others.66 I beg to introduce this guest to your excellency, and beseech you that he may enjoy your far famed beneficence. I beg also that through your excellency he may become known to all those who are in office and opulence, in order that you may both become a means of advantage to them and win the higher reward from our merciful God.

XXXIV. To the Count Patricius.

All kinds of goodness are praiseworthy, but all are made more beautiful by loving kindness. For it we earnestly pray the God of all; through it alone we obtain forgiveness when we err; it makes wealth stoop to the poor, and because I know that your Excellency is richly endowed with it I confidently commend to you the admirable and excellent Celestinianus, once lord of vast wealth and possessions and suddenly stripped of all, but bearing his poverty as easily as few men bear their riches. The subject of the tragedy involving the fall of his fortunes is the barbarian invasion of Libya and Carthage. I have introduced him to your greatness; pray suggest his case to others, and move them to pity. You will win greater gain by giving many a lesson in loving kindness:

XXXV. To the Bishop Irenaeus.67

You are conspicuous, my Lord, for many forms of goodness, and your holiness is beautified in an especial degree by loving-kindness, by contempt of riches, and by a generosity that gushes forth for the help of them that need. I know too that you deem worthy of more than ordinary attention those who have been brought up in prosperity and have fallen from it into trouble. Knowing this as well as I do I venture to make known to you the very admirable and excellent Celestinianus. He was once well known in Carthage for wealth and position, now stripped of these he is favourably known by his piety and philosophy, for he bears what men call misfortune with resignation because it has brought him to the salvation of his soul. He came to me with a letter which described his former prosperity, and after he had passed several days with me I proved the truth of what was said of him by experience. I have therefore no hesitation in commending him to your Holiness, and begging you to make him known to the well-to-do men of the city. It is probable that when they have learnt what has befallen him, in fear of a like fate befalling themselves, they will endeavour to escape judgment by shewing mercy. He has no resource but to go about begging, as he is put to the greater expense because he has with him his wife and children, and the domestics who with him escaped the violence of the barbarians.

304 XXXVI. To Pompianus, Bishop of Emesa.

I know very well that your means are small and your heart is great, and that in your case generosity is not prevented by limited resources. I therefore introduce to your holiness the admirable and excellent Celestinianus, once enjoying much wealth and prosperity, but now escaped from the hands of the barbarians with nothing but freedom, and having no means of livelihood except the mercy of men like your piety. And cares crowd round him, for travelling with him are his wife, children and servants, whom he has brought with him from no motives but those of humanity, for he cannot think it right to dismiss them when they refuse to abandon him. I beg you of your goodness to make him known to our wealthy citizens, for I think that, after being informed by your holiness and seeing how soon prosperity may fall away, they will bethink them of our common humanity, and, in imitation of your magnanimity, will give him such help as they can.

XXXVII. To Salustius the Governor.68

When rulers keep the scales of justice true, and let them hang in even balance, they confer all kinds of benefits upon their subjects; if they are also gifted with prudence and further show loving-kindness to him that needs it, manifold advantages accrue from their rule to them that live under it. Having enjoyed these good things through your excellency, and having experienced them in your former administration, they have now been moved with joy at the information that to your munificence the helm of government has been entrusted. I pray that they may gain yet greater good, that your excellency may win still higher praise, and that the encomiums of your eulogists may be vindicated by the addition to all your other honourable titles to fame of that colophon69 of good things—true religion. As I was compelled to pass several days in Hierapolis I hoped to have the pleasure of meeting your excellency, and persistently enquired of new comers if the insignia of office had been conveyed to you. But I was compelled by the divine feast of salvation to return in haste to the city entrusted to me. Now however that I have received your excellency’s letter, with very great pleasure I return your salutation, and without delay have sent, as you requested, the honourable and pious deacon who is by God’s grace a water-finder. May the Lord in His loving kindness grant him both to do good service to the city and increase your excellency’s glory.

XXXVIII. Festal.

The divine feast of salvation has brought us the founts of God’s good gifts, the blessing of the Cross, and the immortality which sprang from our Lord’s death, the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ which gives promise of the resurrection of us all. These being the gifts of the feast, such its exhibition of the bounty of divine grace, it has filled us with spiritual gladness. But encompassed as we are on every side by many and great calamities, the brightness of the feast is dimmed, and lamentation and wailing are mingled with our psalmody. Such sorrows does sin bring forth. It is sin which has filled our life with pangs; it is on account of sin that death is lovelier to us than life; it is on account of sin that when we think in imagination of that incorruptible tribunal we shudder even at the life to come. So may your piety pray that God’s loving-kindness may light on us, and that this gloomy and terrible cloud may be dispersed and sunshine again quickly give us joy.

XXXIX. Festal.

My wish was to write in cheerful terms and sound the note of the spiritual joy of the feast, but I am prevented by the multitude of our sins, which are bringing on us the judgment of God. For who indeed can be so insensible as not to perceive the divine wrath? May your piety then pray that affairs may undergo a change for the better; that so we too may change the style of our letter, and write words of cheerfulness instead of those of wailing.

XL. To Theodorus the Vicar.70

The custom of the feast bids me write a festal letter, but the cloud of our calamities suffers me not to gather the usual happy fruit from it. Who is so stony-hearted as not to be shocked and affrighted at the anger and grief of the Lord? Who is not stirred to the memory of faults? Who does not look for the righteous sentence? All this dims the brightness of the feast, but the Lord is full of loving-kindness, and we trust He will not actually fulfil His threats, but will look mercifully on us, scatter our sadness, open the springs of mercy, and shew His wonted long suffering. I salute your greatness, and beseech you to send me news of the health I sincerely trust you are enjoying.

XLI. To Claudianus.71

305 The divine Celebration has as usual conferred on us its spiritual boons; but the sour fruits of sin have not suffered us to enjoy them with gladness. They have had their usual results; in the beginning they caused thorns, caltrops, sweats, toil and pain to sprout; at the present moment sin sets the earth quaking against us, and makes nations rise against us on every side. And we lament because we force the good Lord, who is wishful to do us good, to do us ill, and compel Him to inflict punishment.

Yet when we bethink us of the unfathomable depths of His pity we are comforted, and trust that the Lord will not cast off His people, neither will He forsake His inheritance.72 While saluting your magnificence I beseech you to give me news of your much-wished for health.

XLII. To Constantius the Perfect.73

Did no necessity compel me to address a letter to your greatness, I might haply be found guilty of presumption, for neither taking due measure of myself nor recognising the greatness of your power. But now that all that is left of the city and district which God has committed to my charge is in peril of utterly perishing, and certain men have dared to bring calumnious charges against the recent visitation, I am sure your magnificence will pardon the boldness of my letter when you enquire into the necessity of the case, my own object in writing. I groan and lament at being compelled to write against a man over whose errors one ought to throw a veil, because he is of the clerical order. Nevertheless I write to defend the cause of the poor whom he is wronging. After being charged with many crimes and excluded from the Communion, pending the assembly of the sacred Synod, in alarm at the decision of the episcopal council he has made his escape from this place, thereby trampling, as he supposed, on the laws of the Church, and, by his contempt of the sentence of excommunication has laid bare his motive. He has undertaken an accusation not even fit for men of mean crafts, and in consequence of his ill-feeling towards the illustrious Philip has proceeded against the wretched tax-payers. I feel that it is quite needless for me to mention his character, his course of life from the beginning and the greatness of his wrong-doings, but this one thing I do beseech your Excellency, not to believe his lies, but to ratify the visitation, and spare the wretched tax-payers. Aye, spare the thrice wretched decurions who cannot exact the moneys demanded of them. Who indeed is ignorant of the severity of the taxation of the acres among us? On this account most of our landowners have fled, our hinds have run away, and the greater part of our lands are deserted. In discussing the land there will be no impropriety in our using geometrical terms. Of our country the length is forty milestones, and the breadth the same. It includes many high mountains, some wholly bare, and some covered with unproductive vegetation. Within this district there are fifty thousand free jugers,74 and besides that ten thousand which belong to the imperial treasury. Now only let your wisdom consider how great is the wrong. For if none of the country had been uncultivated, and it had all furnished easy husbandry for the hinds, they would nevertheless have sunk under the tribute, unable to endure the severity of the taxation. And here is a proof of what I say. In the time of Isidorus75 of glorious memory, fifteen thousand acres were taxed in gold, but the exactors of the Comitian assessment, unable to bear the loss, frequently complained, and by offerings besought your high dignity to let them off two thousand five hundred for the unproductive acres, and your excellency’s predecessors in this office ordered the unproductive acreage to be taken off the unfortunate decurions, and an equivalent number to be substituted for the Comitian; and not even thus are they able to complete the tale.

(So with many words I ask your favour, and beseech your magnificence to put aside the false accusations that are made against the wretched tax-payers, to stem the tide of distress in this unhappy district, and let it once more lift its head. Thus you will leave an imperishable memory of honour to future generations. I am joined in my supplication to you by all the saints of our district, and especially by that right holy and pious man of God, the Lord Jacobus,76 who holds silence in such great esteem that he cannot be induced to write, but he prays that our city, which is made illustrious by having him as neighbour and is protected by his prayers, may receive the boon which I ask.

XLIII. To the Augusta Pulcheria.77

Since you adorn the empire by your piety and render the purple brighter by your faith, we make bold to write to you, no longer conscious of our insignificance in that you always pay all due honour to the clergy. With these sentiments I beseech your majesty to deign to show clemency to our unhappy country, to order the ratification of the visitation which has been several times made, and not to accept the false accusations which some men have brought against it. I beseech you to give no credit to him who bears indeed the name of bishop, but whose mode of action is unworthy even of respectable slaves.78 He has been himself under serious charges and subject to the bann of excommunication under the most holy and God-beloved archbishop of Antioch, the Lord Domnus, pending the summoning of the episcopal council for the investigation of the charges against him. He has now made his escape, and betaken himself to the imperial city, where he plies the trade of an informer, attacking the country which is his mother country with its thousands of poor, and, for the sake of his hatred to one, wags his tongue against all. Out of regard to what is becoming to me I will say nothing as to his character and education, and indeed he shows only too plainly what he has at present in hand. But of the district I will say this, that when the whole province had its burdens lightened, this portion, although it bore a very heavy share of the burden, never enjoyed the benefit of relaxation. The result is that many estates are deprived of husbandmen; nay, many are altogether abandoned by their owners, while the wretched decurions have demands made on them for these very properties, and, being quite unable to bear the exaction, betake themselves some to begging, and some to flight. The city seems to be reduced to one man, and he will not be able to hold out unless your piety supplies a remedy. But I am in hopes that your serenity will heal the wounds in the city and add yet this one more to your many good deeds.

XLIV. To the Patrician79 Senator.

Thanks be to the Saviour of the world because to your greatness He is ever adding dignity and honour. The reason of my not writing up to this time to exhibit the delight which I have felt at the colophon80 of your honour, has been my wish not to trouble your magnificence. At the moment of my now thus writing, the district which Providence has committed to my care stands as the proverb has it on a razor’s edge.81 You will remember the visitation which was made at the time when we first were benefited by your presence among us; how it was with difficulty established in the time of the most excellent prefect the Lord Florentius;82 and how it was confirmed by the present holder of the office. An individual who bears the name of bishop, but of ways unworthy even of stage players, has fled from the episcopal synod at a time when he was lying under sentence of excommunication and is endeavouring to calumniate and discredit the visitation, while through his hatred to the illustrious Philip be assails the truth. I therefore beseech your excellency to make his lies of none effect, and that the visitation lawfully confirmed may remain undisturbed. It is indeed becoming to your greatness to reap the fruit of this good deed among the rest, to receive the acclamations of those whom you are benefiting, and so to do honour at once to the God of all and to his true servant the very man of God the Lord Jacob,83 who joins with me in sending you this supplication. Had it been his wont to write he would have written himself.

XLV. To the Patrician Anatolius.84

Your greatness knows full well how all the inhabitants of the East feel towards your magnificence, as sons feel towards an affectionate father. Why then have you shewn hate to them that love you, deprived them of your kindly care, and driven them all to weeping and lamentation by putting your own advantage before the service of others? In truth I think there is not one of them that fear the Lord who is not much grieved at losing your official sway, and I think that even all the rest, although they have not right knowledge about divine things, when they reflect on the kindnesses you have conferred, share in these sentiments of distress. I for my part am specially sorry when I bethink me of your dignity and your unaffected character, and I pray the God of all ever to bestow on you the bulwark of His invincible right hand, and supply you with abundance of all kinds of blessings. We beseech your excellency no less when absent than when present to extend to us your accustomed protection, and to undo the rage of that unworthy bishop of ours whose purposes are perfectly well known to your greatness. He is endeavouring, as I am informed, to work the entire ruin of our district, and has accepted the part of an informer to culumniate the recent visitation, and this when all in a word know that the taxation of our district is very heavy, and that in consequence many estates have been abandoned by the husbandmen. But this man, in contempt of his excommunication, and in flight from the holy synod, has thrust out his tongue against the unhappy poor. May your magnificence then consent to look to it that the truth be not vanquished by a lie. And I bring the same supplication about the Cilicians. For we cease not to wail till the iniquity be undone. The Lord, who promises to reward even a drop of water, will requite you for this trouble.

306 XLVI. To the Learned Petrus.

Nothing is able to stay the praiseworthy purpose of them that highly esteem what is right. That this is the case is confirmed by the grief shown by your magnificence at the news you have lately received, and your re-refusal to overlook the attack that right has suffered. You have opportunely put away your distress, and righteously stopped the mouth of the enemy of the truth. No sooner did we hear of this, and found true philosophy so coupled with rhetorical skill, than we felt the more warmly disposed towards your excellence. Now we beseech you the more earnestly to counteract this fine fellow’s lies and confirm the comfort given to the unhappy poor.

XLVII. To Proclus,85 Bishop of Constantinople.

A year ago, thanks to your holiness, the illustrious Philip governor of our city was delivered from serious danger. After entering into the enjoyment of the security which he owed to your kindness, he filled our ears with your praises. But all your labour a certain most pious personage was endeavouring to make null and void. The visitation made several times twelve years ago he calumniates, and has adopted a style of slander which would be unbecoming even in a respectable slave. Now I beseech your sanctity to put a stop to his lies, and to induce the illustrious praefects to ratify the decision which they duly and mercifully gave. As a matter of fact our city was taxed more severely than all the cities of the provinces, and after every city had been relieved ours continued to this day assessed at over sixty-two thousand acres. At last the occupants of that seat of honour were with difficulty in- duced to send inspectors of the district; their report was first received by Isidorus of famous memory and confirmed by the glorious and Christ-loving lord Florentius, and the whole matter was very carefully enquired into by our present ruler, whose equity adorns the throne, and he confirmed the assessment by an imperial decree. But this truth-loving person, all for his hatred of one single individual, the excellent Philip, has declared war against the poor. Under these circumstances I implore your holiness to array the forces of your righteous eloquence against his eloquence of wrong, to throw your shield over the truth which is attacked and at once prove her strength and the futility of lies.

XLVIII. To Eustathius, Bishop of Berytus.86

I have gladly received the accusation, although I have no difficulty in disproving the indictment. I have written not three letters only but four; and I suspect one of two things; either those who promised to convey the letters did me wrong in the matter of their delivery, or else your piety, though in receipt of them, is yet anxious for more, and so gets up a charge of idleness against me. I, as I said before, am not distressed at the accusation, for it is plain proof to me of the warmth of your affection. Continue then to ply your craft, cease not to prefer your complaint and so to cause pleasure to myself.

XLIX. To Damianus,87 Bishop of Sidon.

It is the nature of mirrors to reflect the faces of them that gaze into them, and so whoever looks at them sees his own form. This is the same too with the pupils of the eyes, for they shew in them the likeness of other people’s features. Of this your holiness furnishes an instance, for you have not seen my ugliness, but have beheld with admiration your own beauty. I really have none of the qualities which you have mentioned. It is nevertheless my prayer that your words may be vindicated by actual fact, and I beseech your piety by your prayers to cause it to come to pass that your praises may not fall to the ground through having no reality to correspond with them.

L. To the Archimandrite Gerontius.88

The characters of souls are often depicted in words and their unseen forms revealed; so now your reverence’s letter exhibits the piety of your holy soul. Your waiting for that sentence, your anxiety, your search for advocates and preparation for a defence, clearly indicate your soul’s zeal about divine things. We on the contrary are in a manner inactive and sleepy; we are nurtured in idleness, and stand in need of much assistance from prayers. Give them to us, O man beloved of God, that now at all events we may wake up and give some care to the soul.

LI. To the Presbyter Agapius.89

307 The works of virtue are admirable in themselves, but yet more admirable do they appear if they find an eloquence able to report them well. Neither of these advantages has been lacking in the case of the bishop beloved of God, the lord Thomas, for he himself has contributed his own labours on behalf of piety, and has found in your holiness a tongue to bestow meet praise on those labours. Coming as he did with such testimony in his favour we have been all the more delighted to see him, and, after enjoying his society for a short space, have dismissed him to his charge.

LII. To Ibas, Bishop of Edessa.90

It is, I think, of His providential care for our common salvation that the God of all brings on some men certain calamities, that chastisement may prove to be to them that have erred a healing remedy; to virtue’s athletes an encouragement to constancy; and to all who look on a beneficial exemplar. For it is natural that when we see others punished we should be filled with fear ourselves. In view of these considerations I look on the trouble of Africa as a general advantage. In the first place when I bear in mind their former prosperity and now look on their sudden overthrow, I see how variable are all human affairs, and learn a twofold lesson;—not to rejoice in felicity as though it would never come to an end, nor be distressed at calamities as hard to bear. Then I recall the memory of past errors, and tremble lest I fall into like sufferings. My main motive in now writing to you is to introduce to your holiness the very God-beloved bishop Cyprianus,91 who starting from the famous Africa is now compelled, by the savagery of the barbarians, to travel in foreign lands.

(He has brought a letter to us from the very holy bishop the lord Eusebius,92 who wisely rules the Galatians. When your piety has received him with your wonted kindness I beg you to send him with a letter to whatever pious bishops you may think fit so that while he enjoys their kindly consolation he may be the means of their receiving heavenly and lasting benefits.

LIII. To Sophronius, Bishop of Constantina.93

Since I know, O God-beloved, how generous and bountiful is your right hand, I put a coveted boon within your reach; for just as men hungry for this world’s gain are annoyed at the sight of them that stand in need of pecuniary aid, so the liberal are delighted, because the riches they reach after are heavenly. A man who furnishes this excellent opportunity is the God-beloved bishop Cyprianus, formerly known among them that minister to others, but now, while he gives a deplorable account of the African calamities, he has to look to the benevolence of others, and depends on the bounty of pious souls. I hope that he too will enjoy your brotherly kindness, and will be forwarded with letters to other havens of refuge.

LIV. Festal.

By our divine and saving celebrations both the down-hearted are cheered, and the joyous made yet more joyful. This I have learnt by experience, for, when whelmed in the waves of despair, I have risen superior to the surge at sight of the haven of the feast. May your piety pray that I may be wholly rescued from this storm, and that our loving Lord may grant me forgetfulness of my sorrow.

LV. Festal.

We are much distressed, for we are gifted with the nature not of rocks but of men, but the recollection of the Lord’s Epiphany has been to me a very potent medicine; so at once I write, according to the custom of the feast, and salute your magnificence with a prayer that you may live in prosperity and repute.

LVI. Festal.

308 My grief is now at its height and my mind is seriously affected by it, but I have thought it right to fulfil the custom of the feast, so now I take my pen to salute your reverence and pay the debt of affection.

LVII. To the Praefect Eutrechius.94

Besides other boons the Ruler of the universe has granted to us that of hearing of your excellency’s honour, and of congratulating at once yourself on your elevation and your subjects on so gentle a rule. I have thought it wrong to give no expression to my satisfaction and to refrain from manifesting it by letter. Your magnificence knows quite well how warm is our affection towards you—an affection most warmly reciprocated. And being so filled with love we beseech the Giver of all good things ever to pour on you His manifold gifts.

LVIII. To the Consul Nomus.95

I am divided in mind at the idea of sending a letter to your greatness. On the one hand I know how everything depends on your judgment; I see you under the weight of public anxieties, and so think it better to be silent. On the other hand, being well aware of the breadth and capacity of your intelligence, I cannot bear to say nothing, and am afraid of being charged with negligence. I am moreover stimulated by the longing regret left with me by the short taste I had of your society. My full enjoyment of it was prevented by the disease and death of that most blessed man, so now I think writing will be a comfort. I pray the Master of all to guide your life that it be ever borne on favourable breezes and so we may reap the benefit of your kindly care.

LIX. To Claudianus.96

Sincere friendships are neither dissolved by distance of place nor weakened by time. Time indeed inflicts indignities on our bodies, spoils them of the bloom of their beauty, and brings on old age; but of friendship he makes the beauty yet more blooming, ever kindling its fire to greater warmth and brightness. So separated as I am from your magnificence by many a day’s march, pricked by the goad of friendship I indite you this letter of salutation. It is conveyed by the standard-bearer Patroinus, a man who on account of his high character is worthy of all respect, for he endeavours with much zeal to observe the laws of God. Deign, most excellent sir, to give us by him information of your excellency’s precious health, and of the desired fulfilment of your promise.

LX. To Dioscorus, Bishop of Alexandria.97

Among many forms of virtue by which we hear that your holiness is adorned (for all men’s ears are filled by the flying fame of your glory, which speeds in all directions) special praise is unanimously given to your modesty, a characteristic of which our Lord in His law has given Himself as an ensample, saying, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart;”98 for though God is high, or rather most high He honoured at His incarnation the meek and lowly spirit. Looking then to Him, sir, you do not behold the multitude of your subjects nor the exaltation of your throne, but you see rather human nature, and life’s rapid changes, and follow the divine laws whose observance gives us the kingdom of heaven. Hearing of this modesty on the part of your holiness, I take courage in a letter to salute a person sacred and dear to God, and I offer prayers whereof the fruit is salvation. Occasion is given me to write by the very pious presbyter Eusebius, for when I heard of his journey thither I immediately indited this letter to call upon your holiness to support us by your prayers, and by your reply to give us a spiritual feast, sending to us who are hungry the blessed banquet of your words.

LXI. To the Presbyter Archibius.

I did not let the two letters which I had just received from you go unheeded, but wrote without delay, and gave my letter to the very devout presbyter Eusebius.99 In consequence of some delay, it was for the time postponed, for the weather kept the vessels within the harbour, inasmuch as it indicated a coming storm at sea and bade sailors and pilots wait awhile. So I discharged this debt for the time, not that I may cease to be a debtor but that I may increase the debt. For this obligation becomes many times greater by being discharged, inasmuch as they who try to observe the laws of friendship increase the potency of its love, and, blowing sparks into a flame, kindle a greater warmth of affection, while all who are fired thereby strive to surpass one another in love. Receive then my defence, my venerable friend; forgive me; and send me a letter to tell me how you are.

309 LXII. To the Presbyter John.

A saying of one of the men who used to be called wise was, “Live unseen.” I applaud the sentiment, and have determined to confirm the word by deed, for I see no impropriety in gathering what is good from others, just as bees, it is said, gather their honey and draw forth the sweet dew from bitter herbs as well as from them that are good to eat, and I myself have seen them settling on a barren rock and sucking up its scanty moisture. Far more reasonable is it for them that are credited with reason to harvest what is good from every source; so, as I said, I try to live unseen, and above all men am I a lover of peace and quiet. On his recent return from your part of the world the very pious presbyter Eusebius announced that you had held a certain meeting, and that in the course of conversation mention had been made of me, and that your piety spoke with praise of my insignificant self. I have therefore deemed it ungrateful, and indeed unfair, that he who spoke thus well and kindly of me should fail to be paid in like coin; for although we have done nothing worthy of praise still we admire the intention of them that thus praise us, for such praise is the off-spring of affection. Wherefore I salute your reverence, using as a means of conveyance of my letter him who has brought to me the unwritten words which you have spoken about me. When, most pious sir, you have received my letter, write in reply. You were first in speech; I in writing; and I answer speech by letter. It remains now to you to answer letter for letter.

LXIII. Festal.100

We have enjoyed the wonted blessings of the Feast. We have kept the memorial Feast of the Passion of Salvation; by means of the resurrection of the Lord we have received the glad tidings of the resurrection of all, and have hymned the ineffable loving kindness of our God and Saviour. But the storm tossing the churches has not suffered us to take our share of unalloyed gladness. If, when one member is in pain the whole body is partaker of the pang,101 how can we forbear from lamentation when all the body is distressed? And it intensifies our dis- couragement to think that these things are the prelude of the general apostasy. May your piety pray that since we are in this plight we may get the divine succour, that, as the divine Apostle phrases it, we may “be able to withstand the evil day.”102 But if any time remain for this life’s business, pray that the tempest may pass away, and the churches recover their former calm, that the enemies of the truth may no more exult at our misfortunes.

LXIV. Festal.

When the Master underwent the Passion of salvation for the sake of mankind, the company of the sacred Apostles was much disheartened, for they knew not clearly what was to be the Passion’s fruit. But when they knew the salvation that grew therefrom, they called the proclamation of the Passion glad tidings, and eagerly offered it to all mankind. And they that believed, as being enlightened in mind, cheerfully received it, and keep the Feast in memory of the Passion, and make the moment of death an opportunity for entertainment and festivity. For the close connexion with it of the resurrection does away with the sadness of death, and becomes a pledge for the resurrection of all. After just now taking part in this celebration, we send you these tidings of the feast as though they were some fragrant perfume, and salute your piety.

LXV. To the General Zeno.103

To be smitten by human ills is the common lot of all men; to endure them bravely and rise superior to their attack is no longer common. The former is of human nature; the latter depends upon resolution. It is on this account that we wonder how the philosophers resolved on the noblest course of life and conquered their calamities by wisdom. And philosophy is produced by our reason’s power, which rules our passions and is not led to and fro by them. Now one of human ills is grief, and it is this which we exhort your excellency to overcome, and it will not be difficult for you to rise victorious over this feeling, if you consider human nature, and take to heart the uselessness of sorrow. For what gain will it be to the departed that we should wail and lament? When, however, we reflect upon the common birth, the long years of intercourse, the splendid service in the field, and the far-famed achievements, let us reflect that he who was adorned by them was a man subject to the law of death; that moreover all things are ordained by God, who guides the affairs of men in accordance with His sacred knowledge of what will be for their good. Thus have I written so far as the limits of a letter would allow me, beseeching your eminence for all our sakes to preserve your health, which is wont to be maintained by cheerfulness and ruined by despondency. Wherefore in my care for the advantage of us all I have penned this letter.

LXVI. To Aerius the Sophist.104

She that gave you birth and nurtured you invites you to the longed-for feast. The holy shrine is crowned by a roof; it is fitly adorned; it is eager for the inhabitants for whom it was erected. These are Apostles and Prophets, loud-voiced heralds of the old and new covenant. Adorn, therefore, the feast with your presence; receive the blessing which swells forth from it, and make the feast more joyous to us.

LXVII. To Maranas.

310 It was thy work, my good Sir, to call the rest also to the feast of the dedication. Through thy zeal and energy the holy temple has been built, and the loud-voiced heralds of the truth have come to dwell therein, and guard them that approach thither in faith. Nevertheless I write and signify the season of the feast.

LXVIII. To Epiphanius.

It was my wish to summon you to the feast of holy Apostles and Prophets, not only as a citizen, but as one who shares both my faith and my home. But I am prevented by the state of your opinions. Therefore I put forward no other claims than those of our country, and I invite you to participate in the precious blessing of the holy Apostles and Prophets. This participation no difference of sentiment hinders.

LXIX. To Eugraphia.105

Had I not been unavoidably prevented, I should no sooner have heard that your great and glorious husband had fallen asleep than I should straightway have hurried to your side. I have enjoyed at your hands many and various kinds of honour, and I owe you full many thanks. When hindered, much against my will, from paying my debt, I deemed it ill-advised to send you a letter at the very moment, when your grief was at its height; when it was impossible for my messenger to approach your excellency, and when grief prevented you from reading what I wrote. But now that your reason has had time to wake from the intoxication of grief, to repress your emotion, and to discipline the license of sorrow, I have made bold to write and to beseech your excellency to bethink you of human nature, to reflect how common is the loss you deplore, and, above all, to accept the divine teaching, and not let your distress go beyond the bounds of your faith. For your most excellent husband, as the Lord Himself said, “is not dead but sleepeth”106 —a sleep a little longer than he was wont. This hope has been given us by the Lord; this promise we have received from the divine oracles. I know indeed how distressing is the separation, how most distressing; and especially so when affection is made stronger by sympathy of character and length of time. But let your grief be for a journey into a far country, not for a life ended. This kind of philosophy is particularly becoming to them that be brought up in piety, and it is of this philosophy that I beseech you, my respected friend, to seek the adornment. And I do not offer you this advice as a man labouring himself under insensibility; in truth my heart was grieved when I learnt of the departure of one I loved so well. But I call to mind the Ruler of the world and His unspeakable wisdom, which ordains everything for our good. I implore your holiness to take these reflections to heart, to rise superior to your sorrow, and praise God who is the Master of us all. It is with ineffable providence that He guides the lives of men.

LXX. To Eustathius, Bishop of Aegooe.107

The story of the noble Mary is one fit for a tragic play. As she says herself, and as is attested by several others, she is a daughter of the right honourable Eudaemon. In the catastrophe which has overtaken Libya she has fallen from her father’s free estate, and has become a slave. Some merchants bought her from the barbarians, and have sold her to some of our countrymen. With her was sold a maiden who was once one of her own domestic servants; so at one and the same time the galling yoke of slavery fell on the servant and the mistress. But the servant refused to ignore the difference between them, nor could she forget the old superiority: in their calamity she preserved her kindly feeling, and, after waiting upon their common masters, waited upon her who was reckoned her fellow slave, washed her feet, made her bed, and was mindful of other like offices. This became known to the purchasers. Then through all the town was noised abroad the free estate of the mistress and the servant’s goodness. On these circumstances becoming known to the faithful soldiers who are quartered in our city (I was absent at the time) they paid the purchasers their price, and rescued the woman from slavery. After my return, on being informed of the deplorable circumstances, and the admirable intention of the soldiers, I invoked blessings on their heads, committed the noble damsel to the care of one of the respectable deacons, and ordered a sufficient provision to be made for her. Ten months had gone by when she heard that her father was still alive, and holding high office in the West, and she very naturally expressed a desire to return to him. It was reported that many messengers from the West are on the way to the fair which is now being held in your parts. She requested to be allowed to set out with a letter from me. Under these circumstances I have written this letter, begging your piety to take care of a noble girl, and charge some respectable person to communicate with mariners, pilots, and merchants, and commit her to the care of trusty men who may be able to restore her to her father. There is no doubt that those who, when all hope of recovery has been lost, bring the daughter to the father, will be abundantly rewarded.

LXXI. To Zeno,108 General and Consul.

Your fortitude rouses universal admiration, tempered as it is by gentleness and meekness, and exhibited to your household in kindliness, to your foes in boldness. These qualities indicate an admirable general. In a soldier’s character the main ornament is bravery, but in a commander prudence takes precedence of bravery; after these come self-control and fairness, whereby a wealth of virtue is gathered. Such wealth is the reward of the soul which reaches after good, and with its eyes fixed on the sweetness of the fruit, deems the toil right pleasant. For to virtue’s athletes the God of all, like some great giver of games, has offered prizes, some in this life, and some in that life beyond which has no end. Those in this present life your excellency has already enjoyed, and you have achieved the highest honour. Be it also the lot of your greatness to obtain too those abiding and perpetual blessings, and to re- not only the consul’s robe, but also the garment that is indescribable and divine. Of all them that understand the greatness of that gift this is the common petition.

LXXII. To Hermesigenes the Assessor.109

At the time when men were whelmed in the darkness of ignorance, all did not keep the same feasts, but celebrated distinct ceremonies in different cities. In Aelis were the Olympian games, at Delphi the Pythian, at Sparta the Hyacinthian, at Athens the Panathenaic, the Thesmophoria, and the Dionysian. These were the most remarkable, and further some men celebrated the revel feast of some daemons and some of others. But now that those mists have been scattered by intellectual light, in every land and sea mainlanders and islanders together keep the feast of our God and Saviour, and whithersoever any one may wish to travel abroad, journey he either towards rising or towards setting sun, everywhere he will find the same celebration observed at the same time. There is no longer necessity, in obedience to the law of Moses which was adapted to the infirmity of the Jews, to come together into one city and keep the feast in memory of our blessings, but every town, every village, the country and the farthest frontiers, are filled with the grace of God, and in every spot divine shrines and precincts are consecrated to the God of all. So through every town we observe our several festivals and communicate with one another in the feast. It is the same God and Lord who is honoured in our hymns and to whom our mystic sacrifices are offered. On this account, as is well known, we neighbours address one another by letter and signify the joy that comes to us in the feast. So now do I to you and offer the festal salutation to your excellency. You will without doubt reply and honour the custom of the feast.

311 LXXIII. To Apollonius.110

Themistocles the son of Neocles, the far-famed and admirable general, is described by the admiring historian as endowed with natural virtue alone. Of Pericles, however, the son of Xanthippus, it is said that he also derived ability from his education to charm his hearers by his persuasive eloquence, and was gifted with the power alike of knowing what measures should be taken and of enforcing them by word of mouth. In writing about him there is no impropriety in my using his own words. These things illustrate your magnificence, for God, our Creator, hath given you natural capacity, and your education makes its brilliance the more conspicuous. Nothing then is wanting to the full complement of your high qualities save only knowledge of their Author; be but this added, and the tale of virtues which we shall have will be complete. Thus I write to you on receiving news of your arrival, beseeching the Giver of all good to grant a beam of light to your soul’s eye, to show you the greatness of His boon, to kindle your love of that possession, and to grant the longed for favour to him that longs for it.111

LXXIV. To Urbanus.

It has been granted to us by our generous Lord once again to enjoy the feast and to send to your excellency the festal salutation. We pray that you may be well and prosperous, and share the ineffable and divine boon which to them that approach supplies the seeds of the blessings hoped for, and gives the symbols of the life and kingdom that have no end. These things we beseech the loving Lord to impart to you, for it is natural for friends to ask that their friends may be blessed.

LXXV. To the Clergy of Beroea.

I perceive that it is with reason that I am well disposed to your reverences, for I have been assured by your kindly letter that my affection was returned. For this affection of mine towards you I have many reasons. First of all there is the fact that your father, that great and apostolic man, was my father too. Secondly I look upon that truly religious bishop,112 who now rules your church, as I might on a brother both in blood and in sympathy. Thirdly there is the near neighbourhood of our cities, and fourthly our frequent intercourse with one another, which naturally begets friendship and increases it when it is begotten. If you like, I will name yet a fifth, and that is that we have the same close connexion with you as the tongue has with the ears, the former uttering speech, and the latter receiving it; for you most gladly listen to my words, and I am delighted to let fall my little drop upon you. But the colophon113 of our union is our harmony in faith; our refusal to accept any spurious doctrines; our preservation of the ancient and apostolic teaching, which has been brought to you by hoary wisdom and nurtured by virtue’s hardy toil. I beseech yon therefore to take greater care of the flock, to preserve it unharmed for the Shepherd, and boldly to utter the famous words of the patriarch “that which was born of beasts I offered not unto Thee.”114

LXXVI. To Uranius, Governor of Cyprus.

True friendship is strengthened by intercourse, but separation cannot sunder it, for its bonds are strong. This truth might easily be shewn by many other examples, but it is enough for us to verify what I say by our own case. Between me and you are indeed many things, mountains, cities, and the sea, yet nothing has destroyed my recollection of your excellency. No sooner do we behold any one arriving from those towns which lie on the coast, than the conversation is turned on Cyprus and on its right worthy governor, and we are delighted to have tidings of your high repute. And lately we have been gratified to an unusual degree at learning the most delightful news of all: for what, most excellent sir, can be more pleasing to us than to see your noble soul illuminated by the light of knowledge? For we think it right that he who is adorned with many kinds of virtue should add to them also its colophon, and we believe that we shall behold what we desire. For your nobility will doubtless eagerly seize the God-given boon, moved thereto by true friends who clearly understand its value, and guided to the bountiful God “Who wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truths”115 netting men by men’s means to salvation, and bringing them that He captures to the ageless life. The fisherman indeed deprives his prey of life, but oar Fisher frees all that He takes alive from death’s painful bonds, and therefore “did he shew himself upon earth, and conversed with men,”116 bringing men His life, conveying teaching by means of the visible manhood, and giving to reasonable beings the law of a suitable life and conversation. This law He has confirmed by miracles, and by the death of the flesh has destroyed death. By raising the flesh He has given the promise of resurrection to us all, after giving the resurrection of His own precious body as a worthy pledge of ours. So loved He men even when they hated Him that the mystery of the aeconomy fails to obtain credence with some on account of the very bitterness of His sufferings, and it is enough to show the depths of His loving kindness that He is even yet day by day calling to men who do not believe. And He does so not as though He were in need of the service of men,—for of what is the Creator of the universe in want?—but because He thirsts for the salvation of every man. Grasp then, my excellent friend, His gift; sing praises to the Giver, and procure for us a very great and right goodly feast.

LXXVII. To Eulalius, Bishop of Persian Armenia.117

I know that Satan has sought to sift you as wheat,118 and that the Lord has allowed him so to do that He may shew the wheat, and prove the gold, crown the athletes, and proclaim the victors‘ names. Nevertheless I fear and tremble, not indeed distressed for the sake of you who are noble champions of the truth, but because I know that it comes to pass that some men are of feebler heart. If among twelve apostles one was found a traitor, there is no doubt that among a number many times as great any one might easily discover many falling short of perfection. Thus reflecting I have been confounded and filled with much discouragement, for, as says the divine Apostle, “whether one member suffer all the members suffer with it.”119 “We are members one of another,”120 and form one body, having the Lord Christ for head.121 Yet one consolation I have in my anxiety, when I bethink me of your holiness. For brought up as you have been in the divine oracles, and taught by the arch-shepherd what are the good shepherd’s marks, there is no doubt that you will lay down your life for the sheep. For, as the Lord says, “he that is an hireling” when he sees “the wolf coming,” “fleeth because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep,” but “the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”122 Just so it is not in peace that the best general shews his inborn valour, but in time of war, by at once stimulating others and himself exposing himself to peril for his men. For it would be preposterous that he should enjoy the dignity of his command, and, in the hour of need, run out of danger’s way. Thus the thrice blessed prophets ever acted, making light of the safety of their bodies, and, for the sake of the Jews who hated and rejected them, underwent all kinds of peril and toil. Of them the divine apostle says “they were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain by the sword; they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented, of whom the world was not worthy; they wandered in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.”123 Thus the divine apostles travelled preaching over all the world, without home, bed, bedding, board, or any of the necessaries of life, but scourged, racked, imprisoned, and undergoing countless kinds of death. And all this they underwent, not for the sake of their friends, but voluntarily facing these perils for the sake of the men who were persecuting them. A far stronger claim is made on you now to accept the peril at present assailing you, for the sake of fellow-believers and brothers and children. This affection is shown even by unreasoning animals, for sparrows may be seen fighting with all their force in behalf of their brood, and putting out in their defence all the strength they have; other kinds of birds moreover undergo danger for their young. But why do I speak of birds? Bears too, and leopards, wolves, and lions, voluntarily suffer any pain for the safety of their offspring, for instead of fleeing from the hunter they will await his attack and do battle for their young.

I have adduced these instances not as though anointing your piety for endurance and courage by the example of brute beasts, but to console myself in my despondency, and to be assured that you will not leave Christ’s flock without a shepherd when wolves make their attack, but will invoke the Lord of the flock to help you and will heartily do battle in its behalf. A crisis like this proves who is a shepherd and who a hireling; who diligently feeds the flock and who on the other hand feeds on the milk and thinks little of the safety of the sheep. “But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it.”124 But one thing I do beseech your reverence, and that is to have greater heed of the unsound; and not only to strengthen the unstable but also to raise the fallen, for shepherds by no means neglect those of their flock who have fallen sick, but keep them apart from the rest, and try in every possible way to restorethem, and so must we do. We must make them that are slipping stand up, and givethem a helping hand and a word of encouragement. When they are bitten we mustheal them; we must not give up the attempt to save them nor leave them in the devil’s maw. Thus ever acted the divine Apostle Paul; and when the Galatians, after receiving the baptism of salvation, and the gift of the divine Spirit, fell away into the sickness of Judaism, and received circumcision, he wailed and lamented more exceedingly than the most affectionate mother, and tended them and freed them from that infirmity. We can hear him exclaiming, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.”125 So too the teacher of the Corinthians, who had committed that abominable fornication, he both chastised as might a father, and very skilfully treated, and after cutting him off in the first Epistle, readmitted him in the second and says, “So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him and comfort him lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.”126 And again, “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us for we are not ignorant of his devices.”127 In the same manner too those who partook of things offered to idols he properly rebuked, suitably exhorted, and freed from their grievous error.

312 Wherefore our Lord Jesus Christ permitted the first of the apostles, whose confession He had fixed as a kind of groundwork and foundation of the Church, to waver to and fro, and to deny Him, and then raised Him up again. And thus He gave us two lessons: not to be confident in our own strength, and to strengthen the unstable. Reach out, therefore, I beseech you, a hand to them that are fallen, “draw them out of the horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set their feet upon a rock,” and “put a new song into their mouth, even praise unto our God,”128 that their example of life may become an example of salvation, that “many shall see it and fear and shall trust in the Lord.”129 Let them be prevented from participating in the holy mysteries, but let them not be kept from the prayer of the catechumens, nor from hearing the divine Scriptures and the exhortation of teachers,130 and let them be prohibited from partaking of the sacred mysteries, not till death, but during a given time, till they recognise their ailment, covet health, and are properly contrite for having abandoned their true Prince and deserted to a tyrant, and for having left their benefactor and gone over to their foe.

The same lessons are given us by the precepts of the holy and blessed Fathers. I write as I do, not to teach you piety, but to remind you as a brother might, knowing well that even the best of pilots in the moment of the storm needs monition even from his men. So the great and famous Moses, renowned throughout the world, who did those mighty works of wonder, did not refuse the counsel of Jethro, a man still sunk in idolatrous error; for he did not regard his impiety, but acknowledged the soundness of his advice. Moreover I implore your piety to offer earnest prayer to God in my behalf that for the remaining days of my life I may live in accordance with His laws.

Thus have I written by the most honourable and religious presbyter Stephanus, whom on account of the goodness of his character I have seen with great pleasure.

LXXVIII. To Eusebius, Bishop of Persian Armenia.

Whenever anything happens to the helmsman, either the officer in command at the bows, or the seaman of highest rank, takes his place, not because he becomes a self-appointed helmsman, but because he looks out for the safety of the ship. So again in war, when the commander falls, the chief tribune assumes the command, not in the attempt to lay violent hands on the place of power, but because he cares for his men. So too the thrice blessed Timothy when sent by the divine Paul took his place.131 It is therefore becoming to your piety to accept the responsibilities of helmsman, of captain, of shepherd, gladly to run all risk for the sake of the sheep of Christ, and not to leave His creatures abandoned and alone. It is rather yours to bind up the broken, to raise up the fallen, to turn the wanderer from his error, and keep the whole in health, and to follow the good shepherds who stand before the folds and wage war against the wolves. Let us remember too the words of the patriarch Jacob; “In the day the drought consumed me and the frost by night and my sleep departed from my eyes. The rams of thy flock I have not eaten. That which was born of beasts I brought not unto thee. I bare the loss of it. Of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night.”132 These are the marks of the shepherd; these are the laws of the tending of the sheep. And if of brute cattle the illustrious patriarch had such care, and offered this defence to him who trusted them to his charge, what ought not we to do who are entrusted with the charge of reasonable sheep, and who have received this trust from the God of all, when we remember that the Lord for them gave up His life? Who does not fear and tremble when he hears the word of God spoken through Ezekiel? “I judge between shepherd and sheep because ye eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool and ye feed n