It is so received by the orbis terrarum at this day. The history of the Arian controversy, from its date, A. Constantine confirmed the sentence. Great Council of the Dedication at Antioch, attended by ninety or a hundred Bishops. Then it proceeded to pass a dogmatic decree in reversal of the formula of the "Consubstantial.
The first was a creed which they ascribed to Lucian, a martyr and saint of the preceding century, in whom the Arians always gloried as their master.
The second was fuller and stronger in its language, and made more pretension to orthodoxy. The third was more feeble again. These three creeds were circulated in the neighbourhood; but, as they wished to send one to Rome, they directed a fourth to be drawn up. This, too, apparently failed. So little was known at the time of the real history of this synod and its creeds, that St. Hilary calls it "sanctorum synodus. Council of the creed called Macrostich. This creed suppresses, as did the third, the word "substance.
The great council of Sardica, attended by Bishops. Before it commenced, the division between its members broke out on the question whether or not Athanasius should have a seat in it. These seceders published a sixth confession of faith. The synod of Sardica, including Bishops from Italy, Gaul, Africa, Egypt, Cyprus, and Palestine, confirmed the act of the Roman council, and restored Athanasius and the other exiles to their sees.
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The synod of Philippopolis, on the contrary, sent letters to the civil magistrates of those cities, forbidding them to admit the exiles into them. The imperial power took part with the Sardican fathers, and Athanasius went back to Alexandria. Before many years had run out, the great eastern party was up again.
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Under pretence of putting down a kind of Sabellianism, they drew up a new creed, into which they introduced certain inadvisable expressions of some of the ante-Nicene writers, on the subject of our Lord's divinity, and dropped the word "substance. Hilary thought this creed also Catholic; and other Catholic writers style its fathers "holy Bishops.
There is considerable confusion of dates here.
Hilary at length gives up these creeds as indefensible, and calls this one a "blasphemy. Some years afterwards this "blasphemia" seems to have been interpolated, and sent into the East in the name of Hosius. At a later date, there was a third Sirmian Creed; and a second edition of it, with alterations, was published at Nice in Thrace. The council of Arles. I cannot find how many Bishops attended it. As the Pope sent several Bishops as legates, it must have been one of great importance.
The Bishop of Arles was an Arian, and managed to seduce, or to force, a number of orthodox Bishops, including the Pope's legate, Vincent, to subscribe the condemnation of Athanasius.
He was accordingly banished into Phrygia, where he died. The council of Milan, of more than Bishops of the West. Nearly all of them subscribed the condemnation of Athanasius; whether they generally subscribed the heretical creed, which was brought forward, does not appear. The Pope's four legates remained firm, and St.
Dionysius of Milan, who died an exile in Asia Minor. An Arian was put into his see. Saturninus, the Bishop of Arles, proceeded to hold a council at Beziers; and its fathers banished St.
The Influence of a Faithful Father
Hilary to Phrygia. Hosius falls. Constantius used such violence towards the old man, and confined him so straitly, that at last, broken by suffering, he was brought, though hardly, to hold communion with Valens and Ursacius [the Arian leader], though he would not subscribe against Athanasius.
There is nothing, whether in the historians and holy fathers, or in his own letters, to prevent our coming to the conclusion, that Liberius communicated with the Arians, and confirmed the sentence passed against Athanasius; but he is not at all on that account to be called a heretic. Athanasius says: "Liberius, after he had been in banishment two years, gave way, and from fear of threatened death was induced to subscribe. The great councils of Seleucia and Ariminum, being one bi-partite council, representing the East and West respectively.
At Seleucia there were Bishops, of which only the twelve or thirteen from Egypt were champion of the Nicene "Consubstantial. The death of Constantius; the Catholic Bishops breathe again, and begin at once to remedy the miseries of the Church, though troubles were soon to break out anew. State of the Church of Antioch at this time. There were four Bishops or communions of Antioch; first, the old succession and communion, which had possession before the Arian troubles; secondly, the Arian succession, which had lately conformed to orthodoxy in the person of Meletius; thirdly, the new Latin succession, lately created by Lucifer, whom some have thought the Pope's legate there; and, fourthly, the new Arian succession, which was begun upon the recantation of Meletius.
At length, as Arianism was brought under, the evil reduced itself to two successions, that of Meletius and the Latin, which went on for many years, the West and Egypt holding communion with the latter, and the East with the former. The judgments formed about this great doctor in his lifetime show us vividly the extreme confusion which prevailed.
He was accused by one party of being a follower of Apollinaris, and lost in consequence some of the sees over which he was metropolitan. He was accused by the monks in his friend Gregory's diocese of favouring the semi-Arians. And he was treated with suspicion and coldness by Pope Damasus. About A. Hilary says: "I am not speaking of things foreign to my knowledge; I am not writing about what I am ignorant of; I have heard and I have seen the shortcomings of persons who are present to me, not of laymen merely, but of Bishops. For, excepting the Bishop Eleusius and a few with him, for the most part the ten Asian provinces, within whose boundaries I am situate, are truly ignorant of God.
About this time, St.
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Jerome says: "Nearly all the churches in the whole world, under the pretence of peace and the emperor, are polluted with the communion of the Arians. Of the same date, that is, upon the Council of Ariminum, are his famous words, "Ingemuit totus orbis et se esse Arianum miratus est. That is, the Catholics of Christendom were surprised indeed to find that their rulers had made Arians of them. And St.
The Influence of a Faithful Father
Hilary: "Up to this date, the only cause why Christ's people is not murdered by the priests of Anti-christ, with this deceit of impiety, is, that they take the words, which the heretics use, to denote the faith which they themselves hold. Hilary speaks of the series of ecclesiastical councils of that time in the following well-known passage: "It is most dangerous to us, and it is lamentable, that there are at present as many creeds as there are sentiments, and as many doctrines among us as dispositions, while we write creeds and explain them according to our fancy.
Since the Nicene council, we have done nothing but write the creed. While we fight about words, inquire about novelties, take advantage of ambiguities, criticise authors, fight on party questions, have difficulties in agreeing, and prepare to anathematise each other, there is scarce a man who belongs to Christ. Take, for instance, last year's creed, what alteration is there not in it already? First, we have the creed, which bids us not to use the Nicene 'consubstantial;' then comes another, which decrees and preaches it; next, the third, excuses the word 'substance,' as adopted by the fathers in their simplicity; lastly, the fourth, instead of excusing, condemns.
We impose creeds by the year or by the month, we change our minds about our own imposition of them, then we prohibit our changes, then we anathematise our prohibitions. Thus, we either condemn others in our own persons, or ourselves in the instance of others, and while we bite and devour one another, are like to be consumed one of another. Gregory writes: "If I must speak the truth, I feel disposed to shun every conference of Bishops; for never saw I synod brought to a happy issue, and remedying, and not rather aggravating, existing evils.
For rivalry and ambition are stronger than reason,—do not think me extravagant for saying so,—and a mediator is more likely to incur some imputation himself than to clear up the imputations which others lie under. It must ever be kept in mind that a passage like this only relates, and is here quoted as only relating, to that miserable time of which it is spoken. Nothing more can be argued from it than that the "Ecclesia docens" is not at every time the active instrument of the Church's infallibility.
Now we come secondly to the proofs of the fidelity of the laity, and the effectiveness of that fidelity, during that domination of imperial heresy to which the foregoing passages have related.