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in all this they were actuated by no other motive than the desire of propagating their heresy, and of corrupting the faith. "Next to Eusebius, the following are their principal leaders: Theodore, bishop of Heraclea, Narcissus, bishop of Neroniades in Cilicia, Stephen, bishop of Antioch, George, bishop of Laodicea, Acacius, bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, Menophantes, bishop of Ephesus in Asia, Ursacius, bishop of Singidunum in Moesia, and Valens, bishop of Mursa in Pannonia. All these bishops would not permit those who came with them from the east to attend the holy council, nor to join the church of God; for, while on their road to Sardica, they held private assemblies at different places, and formed a compact cemented by oaths, that when they arrived in Sardica they would not join the holy council, nor assist at its deliberations; but that, as soon as they had presented themselves, they would immediately make their escape by flight. These facts were made known to us by our fellow-ministers, Macarius, bishop of Palestine, and Asterius, bishop of Arabia, who came with them to Sardica, and have since been converted from infidelity. These bishops complained before the holy council of the violent treatment they had received from them, and of the want of correct principles evinced in all their actions. 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 and 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 were never allowed, even for the shortest space of time, to be alone.
"It is not right to pass over in silence, and without mention, the calumnies, the imprisonments, the murders, the wounds, the insidious letters, the indignities, the denudation 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 opposition to the true faith, excited by the Arian heresy. On account then of all these crimes, we have to declare the innocence and purity of our beloved brethren and fellow-ministers, Athanasius,
presbyters of Arian sentiments to the episcopate, but that they had taken into communion, and had raised to a higher degree, men who had been lawfully and canonically deposed.
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 every diocese, in order that the people of each church may be made acquainted with the innocence of their respective bishops, and that they may anticipate their return, knowing that they have really the charge over them, while those who took possession of their churches are to be considered only as wolves. Among these latter may be instanced Gregory in Alexandria, Basil in Ancyra, and Quintius in Gaza. We added, that so far from looking up to those persons as bishops, the people are not even to call them Christians, nor to have any association with them, that they are not to receive any letters from them, nor to write to them.
"Theodore, bishop of Heraclea in Europe, Narcissus, bishop of Neroniades in Cilicia, Acacius, bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, Stephen, bishop of Antioch, Ursacius, bishop of Singidunum in Moesia, Valens, bishop of Mursa in Pannonia, Menophantes, bishop of Ephesus, and George, bishop of Laodicea, were ejected from their bishoprics by the unanimous decision of the holy council: for though fear kept them back from leaving the East, they had been deposed by the blessed Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, had imbibed the infatuation of the Arians, and had been charged with various crimes. We have decreed that they are unworthy not only of the episcopal dignity, but also of communion with us. For those who represent the Son as separated from the substance (ovoía) and Divinity of the Father, and the Word as differing from the Father, ought to be separated from the Catholic Church, and be estranged 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 there is an apostolic precept which enjoins, that if any one should bring to you another gospel than that which ye have received, 'let him be accursed.'1 Command that no one may hold communion with them; for light can have no fellowship with darkness. Avoid coming in contact with 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, to be present with 1 Gal. i. 8.
us in spirit at the council, and give your hearty consent to what is enacted, while you affix your written signature, in order that unanimity of opinion may be established among all our fellow-ministers throughout the world. We declare that those are to be excommunicated 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 unbegotten; 2 for such persons understand the term 'begotten' to signify, they say, that which has been made. although the Son of God existed before all ages, they attribute to him a beginning and an end, and yet admit that he existed before all time.
"Valens and Ursacius have, like two vipers brought forth by an asp, proceeded from the Arian heresy. For they boastingly declare themselves to be most undoubted Christians, and yet they 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 hypostases. 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 hypostasis, which is termed essence (ovoía) by the heretics. If it were asked, 'What is the nature of the Son?' we should confess, that it is the same as that of the Father; 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 the case has been testified by the Son himself, who said, 'I am in the Father, and the Father in me' (John xiv. 10); and 'I and the Father are one' (John x. 30). We cannot deny that he was begotten; but we say that he was begotten before all things, whether visible or invisible; and that he is the Creator of archangels and angels, and of the worlds, and of the human species. It is written, 'The wisdom
1 In Athanasius and Hilarius the Epistle closes with these words, and the usual salutation is added. The rest Valesius rejects as spurious. * Γεννητὸς καὶ ἀγέννητος. Valesius proposes to read γεννητὸς ἔστιν ἅμα καὶ γενητός. "Hæc enim erat hæresis Arianorum qui Filium Dei simul genitum (yɛvvηròv) et factum (yɛvŋτòv) esse dicebant; et iis vocabulis, quæ unica literâ inter se discrepant, imperitis hominibus illudebant."
which made all things has taught me ;' and again, 'All things were made by him' (John i.).
"As the Word is said to have always existed, it is plain that He could have had no commencement; for if he had had a beginning, he could not have always existed. God will never have an end. We do not say that the Father is the Son, nor that the Son is the Father; but that the Father is the Father, and that the Son is the Son of the Father. We confess that the Son is the Power of the Father. We confess that the Son is the Word of God the Father, and that beside him there is no other. We believe the Word to be the true God, as well as wisdom and power. We affirm that he is truly the Son, yet not in the way in which men are said to be sons: for they are said to be the sons of God on account of their regeneration, or of their merit, and not on account of their being of one hypostasis with the Father, as is the Son. We confess that he is the only begotten Son; for he has always been and always is in the Father. He is the Firstborn with respect to human nature. He differs from those who have received the new birth,' inasmuch as he is the Firstborn from the dead. We confess that there is but one God, and that the Divinity of the Father and of the Son is one. No one can deny that the Father is greater than the Son: this superiority does not arise from any difference in their nature, nor indeed from any diversity existing between them, but simply from the name of the Father being greater than that of the Son.
"The following words uttered by our Lord, 'I and the Father are one,' are by some persons explained as referring to the concord and harmony which prevail between the Father and the Son; but this is a blasphemous and perverse interpretation. So far as we are Catholics, we have condemned this foolish and lamentable opinion; for just as mortal men sometimes quarrel and afterwards are reconciled, so do such interpreters infer 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
1 That is, from the baptized. Valesius, however, refers the term to the resurrection. He adds that the holy Fathers call Christ the Firstborn 'juxta humanitatem;" and that although He is the Firstborn of men, yet that He surpasses all men on account of the glory of His resurrection from the dead.
believe and maintain that those holy words, 'I and the Father are one,' point out the oneness of the hypostasis, and the unity of the Father and of 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 subject to any contingencies; for what has always existed can never have commenced, and can never terminate. We recognise and we receive the Holy Ghost the Comforter, whom the Lord promised to send, and whom we believe has been sent. It was not the Holy Ghost who suffered. He who suffered was the Christ, who took the nature of man, and was born of the Virgin Mary. As man, he was capable of suffering: for man is mortal, whereas God is immortal. We believe that on the third day the man rose in God, but that God did not rise in the man ; and that Christ presented the human nature which he had delivered from sin and corruption as a gift to the Father. We believe that in his own appointed time, he will judge all men and all their actions. 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 following words, that they may be one in us.' It is obvious why the word 'one' was used; it was because the apostles received the Holy Spirit of God: yet there were none amongst them who were the Holy Ghost, neither was there any one of them who was the Word, the Wisdom, the Power, or the only begotten Son. As thou,' he said, 'and I are one, so let them be one in us.' These holy words, 'that they may be one in us,' are strictly accurate: for the Lord did not say, 'Let them be one in the same way that I and the Father are one,' but he said, 'Let the disciples be united together, and be one in faith, in doctrine, in the grace of God the Father, and in the love of our Lord Christ.'
From this letter may be learnt the duplicity of the calumniators, and the injustice of the former judges, as well as the sound doctrines of those who attended the council. These holy fathers have taught us, not only truths respecting the Divine nature, but also doctrines relating to the redemption of man. Constans was much concerned on hearing of the weakness of his brother, and was highly incensed against those who had artfully taken advantage of it. He chose two of the bishops who had attended the council of Sardica, and sent