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let it at least be allowed to Christians to reverse the process of argument, and to maintain rather, that a low estimation of the evangelical blessings leads to unworthy conceptions of the Author of them. In the case of laymen it will show itself in a sceptical neglect of the subject of religion altogether; while ecclesiastics, on whose minds religion is forced, are tempted either to an undue exaltation of their order, or to a creed dishonourable to their Lord. The Eusebians adopted the latter alternative, and so merged the supremacy of Divine Truth amid the multifarious religions and philosophies of the world.

Their skilfulness in reasoning and love of disputation afford us an additional explanation of their pertinacious opposition to the Nicene Creed. Though, in possessing the favour of the Imperial Court, they had already the substantial advantages of victory, they disdained success without a battle. They loved the excitement of suspense, and the triumph of victory. And this sophistical turn of mind accounts, not only for their incessant wranglings, but for their frequent changes of view, as regards the doctrine in dispute. It may be doubted whether men, so practised in the gymnastics of the Aristotelic school, could carefully develope and consistently maintain a definite view of doctrine; especially in a case, where the difficulties of an unsound cause combined with their own habitual restlessness and levity to defeat the attempt. Accordingly, in their conduct of the argument, they seem to be aiming at nothing beyond “living from hand to mouth," as the saying is; availing themselves of some or other expedient, which would suffice to carry them through existing difficulties; admissions, whether to satisfy the timid conscience of Constantius, or to deceive the Western Church; or statements so faintly precise and so decently ambiguous, as to embrace the greatest number of opinions possible, and to deprive religion, in consequence, of its austere and commanding aspect.

That I may not seem to be indulging in vague accusation, I here present the reader with a sketch of the lives of the chief of them; from which he will be able to decide, whether the above explanation of their conduct is unnecessary or gratuitous.

The most distinguished of the party, after Eusebius himself, for ability, learning, and unscrupulousness, was Acacius, the successor of the other Eusebius in the see of Cæsarea. He had been his pupil, and on his death inherited his library. Jerome ranks him among the most learned commentators on Scripture. The Arian historian, Philostorgius, praises his boldness, penetration, and perspicuity in unfolding his views: and Sozomen speaks of his talents and influence as equal to the execution of the most difficult designs. He began at first with professing himself a Semi-Arian after the example of Eusebius, his master; next, he became the founder of the party, which will presently be described as the Homæan or Scriptural; thirdly, he joined himself to the Anomeans or pure Arians, so as even to be the intimate associate of the wretched Aetius; fourthly, at the command of Constantius, he deserted and excomlet it at least be allowed to Christians to reverse the process of argument, and to maintain rather, that a low estimation of the evangelical blessings leads to unworthy conceptions of the Author of them. In the case of laymen it will show itself in a sceptical neglect of the subject of religion altogether; while ecclesiastics, on whose minds religion is forced, are tempted either to an undue exaltation of their order, or to a creed dishonourable to their Lord. The Eusebians adopted the latter alternative, and so merged the supremacy of Divine Truth amid the multifarious religions and philosophies of the world.

3 Tillemont, Mem. des Ariens, vol. vi. c. 28.

Their skilfulness in reasoning and love of disputation afford us an additional explanation of their pertinacious opposition to the Nicene Creed. Though, in possessing the favour of the Imperial Court, they had already the substantial advantages of victory, they disdained success without a battle. They loved the excitement of suspense, and the triumph of victory. And this sophistical turn of mind accounts, not only for their incessant wranglings, but for their frequent changes of view, as regards the doctrine in dispute. It may be doubted whether men, so practised in the gymnastics of the Aristotelic school, could carefully develope and consistently maintain a definite view of doctrine; especially in a case, where the difficulties of an unsound cause combined with their own habitual restlessness and levity to defeat the attempt. Accordingly, in their conduct of the argument, they seem to be aiming at nothing beyond “living from hand to mouth," as the saying is; availing themselves of some or other expedient, which would suffice to carry them through existing difficulties; admissions, whether to satisfy the timid conscience of Constantius, or to deceive the Western Church; or statements so faintly precise and so decently ambiguous, as to embrace the greatest number of opinions possible, and to deprive religion, in consequence, of its austere and commanding aspect.

That I may not seem to be indulging in vague accusation, I here present the reader with a sketch of the lives of the chief of them ; from which he will be able to decide, whether the above explanation of their conduct is unnecessary or gratuitous.

The most distinguished of the party, after Eusebius himself, for ability, learning, and unscrupulousness, was Acacius, the successor of the other Eusebius in the see of Cæsarea. He had been his pupil, and on his death inherited his library. Jerome ranks him among the most learned commentators on Scripture. The Arian historian, Philostorgius, praises his boldness, penetration, and perspicuity in unfolding his views: and Sozomen speaks of his talents and influence as equal to the execution of the most difficult designs'. He began at first with professing himself a Semi-Arian after the example of Eusebius, his master; next, he became the founder of the party, which will presently be described as the Homæan or Scriptural; thirdly, he joined himself to the Anomeans or pure Arians, so as even to be the intimate associate of the wretched Aetius; fourthly, at the command of Constantius, he deserted and excommunicated him; fifthly, in the reign of the Catholic Jovian, he signed the Homoüsion or symbol of Nicæa.

3 Tillemont, Mem. des Ariens, vol. vi. c. 28.

George, of Laodicæa, another of the leading members of the Eusebian party, was originally a presbyter of the Alexandrian Church, and deposed by Alexander for the assistance afforded by him to Arius at Nicomedia. At the end of the reign of Constantius, he professed for a while the sentiments of the Semi-Arians; whether seriously or not, we have not the means of deciding, although the character given of him by Athanasius, who is generally candid in his judgments, is unfavourable to his sincerity. Certainly he deserted the SemiArians in no long time, and died an Anomoean. He is also accused of open and habitual irregularities of life.

Leontius, the most crafty of his party, was promoted by the Arians to the see of Antioch*; and though a pupil of the school of Lucian, and consistently attached to the opinions of Arius throughout his life, he seems to have conducted himself in his high position with moderation and good temper. The Catholic party was at that time still strong in the city, particularly among the laity; the crimes of Stephen and Placillus, his immediate Arian predecessors, had brought discredit on the heretical cause; and the theological opinions of Constantius, who was attached to the Semi-Arian doctrine, rendered it dangerous to avow the plain blasphemies of the first founder of their creed. Accordingly, with the view of seducing the Catholics to his own communion,

• A strange and scandalous transaction in early life, gave him the appellation of á árókonos. Athan. ad Monach. 4.

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