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example of Eusebius of Cæsarea, was soon followed by Theodotius and Paulinus, the one bishop of Laodicea, the other of Tyre, who interceded with Alexander for Arius's restoration. Of which letter, since Arius boasted on every occasion, and by the authority of such eminent men, drew many into the participation of his heresy, Alexander was compelled to write to the other eastern bishops, that the justice of the expulsion of Arius and his associates might be understood. Two letters of Alexander's are yet extant; the one to Alexander bishop of Constantinople, in which the former complains of three Syrian bishops, who, agreeing with Arius, had more than ever inflamed that contest, which they ought rather to have suppressed. These three, as may be learned from Arius's letter to Eusebius bishop of Nicomedia, are Eusebius, Theodotius, and Paulinus. The other letter of Alexander's, written to all the bishops throughout the world, Socrates records in his first book. To these letters of Alexander's, almost all the eastern bishops subscribed, amongst whom the most eminent were Philogonius bishop of Antioch, Eustathius of Beræa, and Macarius of Jerusalem.
The bishops who favoured the Arian party, especially Eusebius of Nicomedia, imagining themselves to be severely treated in Alexander's letters, devoted themselves with much greater acrimony to the defence of Arius. For our Eusebius of Cæsarea, together with Patrophilus, Paulinus, and other Syrian bishops, merely voted that liberty to Arius might be granted of holding, as a presbyter, assemblies in the church, subject notwithstanding to Alexander the bishop, and of imploring for reconciliation and church fellowship. The bishops disagreeing thus amongst themselves, some favouring the party of Alexander, and others that of Arius, the contest became singularly aggravated; to remedy this, Constantine, from all parts of the Roman world, summoned to Nicæa, a city of Bythinia, a general synod of bishops, such as no age before had seen. In this greatest and most celebrated council, our Eusebius was not one of either party. For he both had the first seat on the right hand, and in the name of the whole synod addressed the emperor Constantine, who sat on a golden chair, between the two rows of the opposite parties. This is affirmed by Eusebius himself in his Lifet of Constantine, and by
• Chap. 6.
In his preface to the first book concerning the life of Constantine, and in his third book of the same work, chap. ii.
Sozomen in his Ecclesiastic History. Afterwards, when there was a considerable contest amongst the bishops, relative to a creed or form of faith, our Eusebius proposed a formula, at once simple and ortho dox, which received the general commendation both of the bishops and of the emperor himself. Something, notwithstanding, seeming to be wanting in the creed, to confute the impiety of the new opinion, the fathers of the Nicene Council, determined that these words, "VERY GOD OF VERY GOD, BEGOTTEN NOT MADE, BEING OF ONE SUBSTANCE WITH THE FATHER," should be added. They also annexed anathemas against those who should assert that the Son of God was made of things not existing, and that there was a time when he existed not. At first, indeed, our Eusebius refused to admit the term "consubstantial," but when the import of that word was explained to him by the other bishops, he consented, and as he himself relates in his letter to his diocess at Cæsarea, subscribed to the creed. Some affirm that it was the necessity of circumstances, or the fear of the emperor, and not the conviction of his own mind, that compelled Eusebius to subscribe to the Nicene Council. Of some, present at the synod, this might be believed, but this we cannot think of Eusebius bishop of Cæsarea. After the Nicene Council, too, Eusebius always condemned those who asserted that the Son of God was made of things not existing. Athanasius likewise affirms the same concerning him, who though he frequently mentions that Eusebius subscribed to the Nicene Council, nowhere intimates that he did that in dissimulation. Had Eusebius subscribed to that Council, not according to his own mind, but fraudulently and in pretence, why did he afterwards send the letter we have mentioned to his diocess at Cæsarea, and therein ingenuously profess that he had embraced that faith which had been published in the Nicene Council?
After that Council, the Arians through fear of the emperor, were, for a short time quiet. But by artfully ingratiating themselves into the favour of the prince, they resumed boldness, and began by every
In the first book of that work, chap. 19.
toes, consubstantial, of the same substance, or of the same essence, co-cssential.
* See this letter in Socrates, book i. chap. 8.
§ This is evident from his books against Marcellus, particularly from the 9th and 10th chapters of his first book, De Ecclesiasticâ Theologiâ.
method and device, to persecute the Catholic prelates.* Their first attack fell on Eustathius, bishop of the city of Antioch, eminent both for the glory of his confession, and for the rank he sustained amongst the advocates of the Nicene faith. Eustathius was, therefore, accused before the emperor of maintaining the Sabellian impiety, and of slandering Helena Augusta, the emperor's mother. A numerous assembly of bishops was convened in the city of Antioch, in which Eusebius of Nicomedia, the chief and ring-leader of the whole faction, presided. In addition to the accusation advanced at this assembly by Cyrus bishop of the Beræans, against Eustathius, of maintaining the impious doctrine of Sabellius, anothert is devised against him of incontinency, and he is therefore expelled from his diocese. On this account, a very impetuous tumult arose at Antioch. The people divided into two factions, the one requesting that the episcopacy of the Antiochian church might be conferred on Eusebius of Cæsarea, the other, that Eustathius their bishop might be restored, would have resorted to measures of violence, had not the fear and authority of the emperor and judges prevented it. The sedition being at length terminated, and Eustathius banished, our Eusebius, though entreated both by the people, and the bishops that were present, to undertake the administration of the church at Antioch, nevertheless refused. And, when the bishops by letters written to Constantine, had acquainted him with their own vote, and with the suffrages of the people, Eusebius wrote his letters also to that prince, and Eusebius's resolution is highly commended in the emperor's answer.
Eustathius, having been in this manner deposed, which occurred, as remarked in our annotations in the year 330, the Arians turned the violence of their fury on Athanasius; and in the prince's presence they complained first of his ordination; secondly, that he had exacted the impost of a linen garment from the provincials; thirdly, that he had
“ Catholicos Antistites" are the words of Valesius; but, doubtless, to be understood here, as signifying, not the prelates of the Arian, or of any other seceding party, but of the orthodox church universally, according to the meaning of the term catholicus, universal.
†The story is given in Theodoret's Eccles. Hist. Book i. chap. 21. edit. Vales. + See Life of Constantine, book 3, chap. 59, note e.
§ This calumny, the Meletians, instigated by Eusebius of Nicomedia, invented; as Athanasius tells us in his Apology to Constantine. See his works, tom. 1, p. 778. Edit. Paris, 1627.
broken a sacred cup; and lastly, that he had murdered one Arsenius, a bishop. Constantine, wearied with these vexatious litigations, appointed a council in the city of Tyre, and directed Athanasius the bishop to proceed there, to make his defence. In that synod, Eusebius bishop of Cæsarea, whom Constantine had desired should be present, sat amongst others, as judge. Potamo bishop of Heracleopolis, who had come with Athanasius the bishop and some Egyptian prelates, seeing him sitting in the council, is said to have addressed him in these words: “Is it fit, Eusebius, that you should sit, and that the innocent Athanasius should stand to be judged by you? Who can endure this? Were you not in custody with me, during the time of the persecution? And I truly, in defence of the truth, lost an eye; but you are injured in no part of your body, neither did you undergo martyrdom, but are alive and whole. In what manner did you escape out of prison, unless you promised to our persecutors that you would commit the detestable thing? And perhaps you have done it." This is related by Epiphanius, in the heresy of the Meletians. Hence it appears, that they are mistaken who affirm, that Eusebius had sacrificed to idols, and that he had been convicted of the fact in the Tyrian synod. For Potamo did not attest that Eusebius had sacrificed to idols, but only that he was dismissed out of prison safe and whole; a circumstance that favoured the malevolent surmise of Potamo. It was, however, evidently possible that Eusebius might have been dismissed from confinement in a manner very different from that of Potamo's insinuation. From the words of Epiphanius, it seems to be inferred that Eusebius bishop of Cæsarea presided at this synod; for he adds, that Eusebius being previously affected in hearing the accusation against him by Potamo, dismissed the council. Yet by other writers we are informed, that not Eusebius bishop of Cæsarea, but Eusebius of Nicomedia, presided at the Tyrian synod.†
After that council, all the bishops who had assembled at Tyre, re paired, by the emperor's orders, to Jerusalem, to celebrate the conse
• That is, to sacrifice to idols.
† Is it not a possible case that both presided? viz., First, Eusebius of Cæsarea, until the insult he sustained in the disparagement of his character by Potamo's insinuation. Feeling then, that his character stood arraigned by that insinuation, that he judged it expedient either to dismiss the council, or at least to leave it to the presidential jurisdiction of one less objectionable to Potamo, viz., to Eusebius of Nicomedia.
cration of the great church, which Constantine in honour of Christ had erected in that place. There our Eusebius graced the solemnity, by the several sermons he delivered. And when the emperor, by very strict letters, had summoned the bishops to his own court, that in his presence they might give an account of their fraudulent and litigious conduct towards Athanasius, our Eusebius, with five others, went to Constantinople, and furnished that prince with a developement of the whole transaction. Here also, in the palace, he delivered his tricennalian oration, which the emperor heard with the utmost joy, not so much on account of any praises to himself, as on account of the praises of God, celebrated by Eusebius throughout the whole of that oration. This oration was the second delivered by Eusebius in that palace. For he had before made an oration there, concerning the sepulchre of our Lord, which the emperor heard standing; nor could he, though repeatedly entreated by Eusebius, be persuaded to sit in the chair placed for him,† alleging that it was fit that discourses concerning God should be heard standing.
How dear and acceptable our Eusebius was to Constantine, may be known both from the facts we have narrated, as well as from many other circumstances. For he both received many letters from him, as may be seen in the books already mentioned, and was not unfrequently sent for to the palace, where he was entertained at table, and honoured with familiar conversation. Constantine, moreover, related to our Eusebius, the vision of the cross seen by him when on his expedition against Maxentius; and showed to him, as Eusebius informs us, the labarum§ that he had ordered to be made to represent the likeness of that cross. Constantine also, committed to Eusebius, since he knew him to be most skilful in Biblical knowledge, the care and superintendency of transcribing copies of the Scriptures, which he wanted for the accommodation of the churches he had built at Constantinople. Lastly, the book concerning the Feast of Easter, dedicated to him by our Eusebius, was a present to Constantine, so acceptable, that he ordered its immediate translation into Latin; and by letter entreated Eusebius, that he would communicate, soon as According to his own testimony, in his fourth Book, concerning the Life of Constantine, chap. 46.
† As Eusebius relates in the 33d chapter of the Life of Constantine. Life of Constantine, lib. 1. c. 28 & 30.
I Life of Constantine, lib. 4. c. 34 & 35.
§ An imperial standard.