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cruelty exercised by the enemy against us, you can judge of the magnitude of the transgressions committed against the church of God; and you ought not to rest till such iniquities have received the award of justice. The same Lucius, who had been so often condemned by you and by all the orthodox bishops, came to this city, where he was, and with good reason, regarded with great aversion. He not only said, with the blasphemer in the Psalms, 'Christ is not truly God,' he also delighted in all the blasphemies devised against Christ by those who served the creature rather than the Creator; and, being utterly depraved himself, he endeavoured to corrupt others. I say nothing that is not strictly correct; for this evil man held sentiments nearly allied to those of the heathens, and dared to worship the newly begotten God. On seeing him, all the people burst out into loud acclamations, saying, 'Welcome, O bishop, welcome to you, who deny the Son! Serapis, who loves you, has brought you here!' Serapis was the name which they had given to their idol. At the same moment, Magnus, the accomplice in his impious deeds, and the minister of his cruelty, having called together the troops which he commanded, seized nineteen presbyters and deacons, some of whom were more than eighty years of age; and, as if they had been detected in the commission of some hateful and unlawful action, he ordered them to be brought before him. He urged them to renounce the faith which our fathers had received from the apostles, and which they have handed down to us; assuring them that such an act would be regarded with approbation by Valens, the most clement of emperors. 'Assent, O wretched men,' exclaimed he, in a loud tone of voice, 'assent to the Arian doctrines. Even if your religion be true, God will forgive you for having renounced it, for you are not now acting voluntarily, but by compulsion. What is done from constraint is excusable; voluntary actions alone carry with them their own condemnation. Therefore, reflect upon the reasons which I have brought before you, and sign, without delay, the doctrine of Arius, which is now preached by Lucius. You may be certain that, if you accede to this injunction, you will receive riches, gifts, and honours, from the emperors.
πроopаτòv Oεóv. In allusion to the Arian doctrine, which denied that Christ was God from all eternity, and asserted that He was but a
But if you refuse obedience, you will be imprisoned, tortured, and scourged; you will be deprived of all your wealth and possessions, driven from your country, and banished to a sterile and inhospitable region.' In this manner, coupling threats with promises, did he endeavour to induce them to renounce their principles. But these pious men, dreading the loss of faith far more than exposure to the greatest tortures, made the following reply: 'Cease, cease! do not think to terrify us by words. Your threats are vain; it is not a new thing to us to serve God. It is in vain that you roar like the billows of the sea, and that you rage like a furious wind. We will adhere to the doctrines of religion, even unto death. We will not believe that God was ever without power, without wisdom, or without truth. We will never believe that he was a Father at one period, and not at another, as does that impious Arian, who declares that God has a finite Son. If the Son were, as the Arians say, a creature, and if he were not of the same substance as the Father, the Father would be reduced to nothing; since, according to them, if the Son existed not, the Father could not either have existed. If the Father is from all eternity, and if the Son was begotten of him, though not by effluxion, God not being susceptible of change, is it not foolish and extravagant to believe that there was a time in which the Son existed not, although by Him all things exist? It was for this reason that our fathers, who were assembled at Nice from all parts of the globe, and severed from whom these heretics are now with good cause become fatherless, condemned the evil opinions of the Arians, which the young man now maintains they declared that the Son is not of a substance diverse from that of the Father, as you would constrain us to believe, but they confess his consubstantiality. They derived, from many words of Scripture, the term consubstantial, which they rightly understood in accordance with religion.' After they had spoken for some time in this strain, Magnus ordered them to be cast into prison for many days, in the expectation that a change would be thus induced in their opinions. they, like brave combatants of the stadium, threw aside all fear, and, encouraged by the achievements of their fathers, they, through Divine grace, looked with contempt upon the menaces of the tyrant, and welcomed tortures as being the trial of their virtue. All the inhabitants of the city ran out to see
these soldiers of Christ, who were made, as the blessed Paul wrote, a spectacle for angels and for men; and who triumphed over tortures and scourging by their fortitude, erected trophies of victory over impiety by their patience, and obtained a complete triumph over the Arians. Their evil and bitter enemy strove, both by threats and by deceitful promises, to force them to range themselves under the banners of the impious faction opposed to Christ. After inflicting, to the grief and horror of the people, all the tortures that his resentment could devise, this cruel man, who was destitute of every feeling of humanity, became at length wearied of cruelty. He then called together the most disorderly persons of the city, and summoned the accused to judgment, or rather to condemnation. The banks of the river resounded with the shouts of the idolaters and of the Jews, who had been bribed to cry out against the holy men. When it became evident that they could not be made to embrace the Arian heresy, sentence was passed upon them, and all the people who were in the court of justice burst out into lamentations. They were banished from Alexandria to Heliopolis, a city of Phoenicia, where all the inhabitants were idolaters, and where no one could endure to hear the name of Christ. After having sent for a vessel, Magnus stood upon the shore, with a naked sword in his hand, near the public bath in which he had pronounced sentence against them. He foolishly imagined that the naked sword would terrify those who had so often, with a two-edged sword, wounded the hostile demons. He then ordered them to embark on board the vessel; but did not give them any necessaries for the voyage, nor anything to solace them in their exile; and, what is still more extraordinary, and indeed almost incredible, he ordered them to sail immediately, although a storm was then raging, and the sea was violently agitated, as though it were indignant at his injustice, and unwilling to contribute to the execution of his sentence; thus exhibiting, to those who had not previously reflected on the subject, the barbarity of the judge. It may be said with truth, that heaven was amazed at this deed. The whole city wept over this sad occurrence, which is deplored even to this day. Some of the citizens struck their breasts with violence, others raised their hands and their eyes towards heaven, as if to implore assistance, and as if to say, 'Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth, to the
deeds of injustice that have been perpetrated!' Groans were heard in every place, and the whole city was full of the sounds of woe. The tears which were shed might have formed a stream almost large enough to have caused an inundation of the sea. When the tyrant, as before related, stood upon the shore and gave orders for sailing, a universal cry was raised by young maidens and by women, by old men and by youths; tears were mixed with lamentations, and their simultaneous screams drowned the noise of the tempest and of the raging billows. But while the holy men were sailing towards Heliopolis, -the city where all the demons are worshipped, and where voluptuous principles are predominant-the city which is a fit home for wild beasts, being surrounded by mountains whose summits reach to heaven,-Palladius, prefect of Alexandria, who was extremely addicted to the worship of idols, prohibited the citizens from expressing their regret, either publicly in the city or privately in their own homes. Many of those who transgressed this order, were scourged, lacerated, and tortured, and were then sent to labour in the mines of Phenceum and of Proconnesus; yet these were inspired men, who zealously defended the church. Amongst them were twenty-three monks who had led a life of great austerity in the wilderness. A deacon, who had conveyed some consolatory letters from our beloved brother, Damasus, bishop of Rome, was arrested as a criminal, and had his hands fastened behind his back. He was tortured with equal if not with greater severity than he would have been had he committed murder. His head was beaten with stones and with masses of lead, and he was then put into the ship and sent out to sea with the others. On entering the vessel, he made the sign of the cross : he was sent to the mines of Phenoeum, without any supplies of provisions, or of the necessaries of life. Young children were, by order of the judge, put to the torture; while the bodies of those who had been killed were closely guarded, to prevent their parents, brothers, relations, and, so to speak, the whole city, from rendering them the rite of sepulture; for permission had been requested to perform this office. But oh how great was the inhumanity of the judgment, or rather of
1 Synodical letters addressed to Peter, in reply to those which he had addressed to Damasus signifying to him his own election to supply the place of Athanasius.
the condemnation! Those who had so nobly struggled for the cause of religion received a severer sentence than murderers; for their bodies were deprived of burial, and were thrown to the beasts and birds of prey. Those who were led from pity or from conscientious feelings to sympathize with the parents, were immediately condemned, as if they had committed some flagrant misdemeanour, to have their heads broken. What law of the Romans, what decree of the barbarians, prohibits sympathy with afflicted parents? What tyrant of antiquity ever pronounced so unjust a sentence? Pharaoh commanded that all the male children of the Hebrews should be put to death; but he was excited to this deed by envy and by fear. How far more inhuman are the crimes now perpetrated than the cruel command of Pharaoh! If it were possible to choose between two evils, the acts of barbarity of former times would be chosen as preferable to those which we now suffer. Although the facts which I have related are incredible, inhuman, cruel, and barbarous, yet they gave pleasure to the followers of the Arian infatuation. At the very time that the whole city was filled with mourning, and when there was not, to use an expression found in the book of Exodus, a house in which there was not one dead, the cruelty of those who had accustomed themselves to iniquity was still unsatiated. They proceeded to lay their hands on the bishops of the province, whom they arrested, through the instrumentality of Magnus, the public treasurer, above-mentioned. Some of the bishops were dragged before the tribunals; and they harassed the others in various ways, omitting nothing that they could devise to seduce every one into irreligion. Like the devil, who is the father of their heresy, they go about seeking whom they can devour. They exiled eleven bishops from Egypt, because they constantly opposed them. These bishops had in early youth entered upon a life of austerity, and had dwelt in the desert to an advanced age, having overcome voluptuousness by reason. They had imbibed religious doctrines with the milk with which they had been nourished in infancy; and they preached the faith with boldness. They had gained many victories over the demons: by the power of virtue they had covered their adversaries with confusion; and by the force of their reasonings they had refuted heresy. These bishops were banished, through the intervention of Magnus, (that minister of