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ing or in explaining away the other attributes of divinity ascribed to Christ in Scripture. They might safely confess Him to be perfect God, one with God, the object of worship, the author of good; still with the reserve, that sacred appellations belonged to Him only in the same general sense in which they are sometimes accidentally bestowed on the faithful servants of God, and without interfering with the prerogatives of the One, Eternal, Self-existing Cause of all things 5.
This account of the Arian theology may be suitably illustrated by some of the original documents of the controversy. Here, then, shall follow two letters of Arius himself, an extract from his Thalia, a letter of Eusebius of Nicomedia, and parts of the encyclical Epistles of Alexander of Alexandria, in justification of his excommunication of Arius and his followers.
1. “To his most dear Lord, Eusebius, a man of God, faithful and orthodox, Arius, the man unjustly persecuted by the Pope Alexander for the all-conquering truth's sake, of which thou too art a champion, sends health in the Lord. As Ammonius, my father, was going to Nicomedia, it seemed becoming to address this through him; and withal to represent to that deep-seated affection which
5 It may be added that the chief texts, which the Arians adduced in controversy were, Prov. viii. 22. Matt. xix. 17; xx. 23. Mark xiii. 32. John v. 19; xiv. 28. 1 Cor. xv. 28. Col. i. 15; and others which refer to our Lord's mediatorial office (Petav. ii. 1, &c. Theod. Hist. i. 14). But it is obvious, that the strength of their cause did not lie in the text of Scripture.
6 Theodor. Hist. i. 4–6. Socr. i. 6. Athan. in Arian. i. 5. Synod 15, 16, Epiphan. Hær. lxix. 6, 7. Hilar. Trin. iv. 12; vi. 5.
thou bearest towards the brethren for the sake of God and His Christ, how fiercely the bishop assaults and drives us, leaving no means untried in his opposition. At length he has driven us out of the city, as men without God, for dissenting from his public declarations, that, ' As God is eternal, so is His Son : where the Father, there the Son; the Son co-exists in God without a beginning (or birth): ever generate, an ingenerately-generate ; that neither in idea, nor by an instant of time, does God precede the Son; an eternal God, an eternal Son; the Son is from God Himself.' Since then, Eusebius, thy brother of Cæsarea, Theodotus, Paulinus, &c. ... and all the Bishops of the East declare that God exists without origin before the Son, they are made anathema by Alexander's sentence; all but Philogonius, Hellanicus, and Macarius, heretical, ill-grounded men, who say, one that he is an utterance, another an offspring, another co-ingenerate. These blasphemies we cannot bear even to hear; no, not if the heretics sbould threaten us with ten thousand deaths. What, on the other hand, are our statements and opinions, our past and present teaching? that the Son is not ingenerate, nor in any way a part of the Ingenerate, nor made of any subject-matter?; but that, by the will and counsel of God, He subsisted before times and ages, perfect God, Only-begotten, unchangeable; and that before this generation, or creation, or determination, or establishmento, He was not, for He is not ingenerate. And we are persecuted for saying, The Son has an origin, but God is unoriginate ; for this we are under persecution, and for saying that He is out of nothing, inasmuch as He is neither part of God, nor of any subject-matter. Therefore we are persecuted; the rest thou knowest. I pray that thou be strong in the Lord, remembering our afflictions, fellow-Lucianist, truly named Eusebiuso.”
7 The Greek of most of these scientific expressions has been givens of the rest it is as follows :-impious men, ådéovs ; without a beginning or birth, åyevvhtws; ever-generate, åetyevńs; ingenerately-generate, åyevunToyevhs; an utterance, épuyh (Psalm xlv. 1); offspring, apoßorn ; coingenerate, ouvayevvntbv; of any subject-matter, èE ÚTOKEILEVOU Tivós.
2. The second letter is written in the name of himself and his partisans of the Alexandrian Church; who, finding themselves excommunicated, had withdrawn to Asia, where they had a field for propagating their opinions. It was composed under the direction of Eusebius of Nicomedia, and is far more temperate and cautious than the former.
“To Alexander, our blessed Pope and Bishop, the Priests and Deacons send health in the Lord. Our hereditary faith, which thou too, blessed Pope, hast taught us, is this :-We believe in One God, alone ingenerate, alone everlasting, alone unoriginate, alone truly God, alone immortal, alone wise, alone good, alone sovereign, alone judge of all, ordainer, and dispenser, unchangeable and unalterable, just and good, of the Law and the Prophets, and of the New Covenant. We believe that this God gave birth to the Only-begotten Son before age-long times, through whom He has made those ages themselves, and all things else; that He . II. generated Him, not in semblance, but in truth, giving Him a real subsistence (or hypostasis), at His own will, so as to be unchangeable and unalterable, God's perfect creature, but not as other creatures, His production, but not as other productions; nor as Valentinus maintained, an offspring (probole); nor again, as Manichæus, a consubstantial part; nor, as Sabellius, a Son-Father, which is to make two out of one; nor, as Hieracas, one torch from another, or a flame divided into two; nor, as if He were previously in being, and afterwards generated or created again to be a Son, a notion condemned by thyself, blessed Pope, in full Church and among the assembled Clergy; but, as we affirm, created at the will of God before times and before ages, and having life and being from the Father, who gave subsistence as to Him, so to His glorious perfections. For, when the Father gave to Him the inheritance of all things, He did not thereby deprive Himself of attributes, which are His ingenerately, who is the Source of all things.
8 These words are selected by Arius, as being found in Scripture; [Vide Heb. i. 5. Rom. i. 4. Prov. viii. 22, 23.]
9 [i. e. the pious, or rather, the orthodox.]
“So there are Three Subsistences (or Persons); and, whereas God is the Cause of all things, and therefore unoriginate simply by Himself, the Son on the other hand, born of the Father time-apart, and created and established before all periods, did not exist before He was born, but being born of the Father time-apart, was brought into substantive existence (subsistence), He alone by the Father alone. For He is not eternal, or co-eternal, or co-ingenerate with the Father; nor hath an existence together with the Father, as if there were two ingenerate Origins; but God is before all things, as being a Monad, and the Origin of all;—and therefore before the Son also, as indeed we have learned from thee in thy public preaching. Inasmuch then as it is from God that He hath His being, and His glorious perfections, and His life, and His charge of all things, for this reason God is His Origin, as being His God and before Him. As to such phrases as 'from Him,' and ` from the womb,' and 'issued forth from the Father, and am come,' if they be understood, as they are by some, to denote a part of the consubstantial, and a probole (offspring), then the Father will be of a compound nature, and divisible, and changeable, and corporeal; and thus, as far as their words go, the incorporeal God will be subjected to the properties of matter. I pray for thy health in the Lord, blessed Pope ?."
3. About the same time Arius wrote his Thalia, or song for banquets and merry-makings, from which the following is extracted. He begins thus :-“ According to the faith of God's elect, who know God, holy children, sound in their creed, gifted with the Holy Spirit of God, I have received these things from the partakers of wisdom, accomplished, taught of God, and altogether wise. Along their track I have pursued my course with like opinions,—1, the famous among men, the much-suffering for God's glory; and, taught of God, I have gained wisdom and knowledge.” After this exordium, he pro
1 Before age-long periods, pò xpóvwv aiwviwv; giving Him a real subsistence, útooThoavta; Son-Father, viotatópa [Vide Ath. Tr. p. 97, k and p. 514, 0; also Didym. de Trin. iii. 18]; gave subsistence, as to Him, so to His glorious perfections, Tès dócas OUVUTOOThoavtos aùr ; Three Subsistences, τρείς υποστάσεις ; born time-apart, άχρόνως γεννηθείς; of a compound nature, oúvoetos. The texts to which Arius refers are Ps. cx, 3, and John xvi. 23.