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the cautious Leontius, the Arian Bishop, dying (A.D. 357), the eunuchs of the Court contrived to place Eudoxius in his see, a man of restless and intriguing temper, and opposed to the Semi-Arians. One of his first acts was to hold a Council, at which Acacius was present, as well as Aetius and Eunomius, the chiefs of the Anomeans. There the assembled Bishops did not venture beyond the language of the second creed of Sirmium, which Hosius had signed, and which kept clear of Anomæan doctrine; but they had no difficulty in addressing a letter of thanks and congratulations to the party of the Anomean Valens, for having at Sirmium brought the troubles of the West to so satisfactory a termination.
The election, however, of Eudoxius, and this Council which followed it were not to pass unchallenged by the Semi-Arians. Mention has already been made of one George', a presbyter of Alexandria ; who, being among the earliest supporters of Arius, was degraded by Alexander, but, being received by the Eusebians into the Church of Antioch, became at length Bishop of Laodicea. George was justly offended at the promotion of Eudoxius, without the consent of himself and Mark of Arethusa, the most considerable Bishops of Syria; and, at this juncture, took part against the combination of Homeans and Anomoeans, at Antioch, who had just published their assent to the second creed of Sirmium. Falling in with some clergy whom Eudoxius had excommunicated, he sent letters by them to Macedonius, Basil of Ancyra, and other leaders of the Semi-Arians, intreating them
i Vide supr. p. 246.
to raise a protest against the proceedings of the Council of Antioch, and so to oblige Eudoxius to separate himself from Aetius and the Anomoeans. This remonstrance produced its effect; and, under pretence of the dedication of a church, a Council was immediately held by the Semi-Arian party at Ancyra (A.D. 358), in which the Anomaan heresy was condemned. The Synodal letter, which they published, professed to be grounded on the Semi-Arian creeds of the Dedication (A.D. 341), of Philippopolis (A.D. 347), and of Sirmium (.1.D. 351), when Photinus was condemned and deposed. It is a valuable document, even as a defence of orthodoxy; its error consisting in its obstinate rejection of the Nicene Homoüsion, the sole practical bulwark of the Catholic faith against the misrepresentations of heresy,—against a sort of tritheism on the one hand, and a degraded conception of the Son and Spirit on the other.
The two parties thus at issue, appealed to Constantius at Sirmium. That weak Prince had lately sanctioned the almost Acacian creed of Valens, which Hosius had been compelled to subscribe, when the deputation from Antioch arrived at the Imperial Court; and he readily gave his assent to the new edition of it which Eudoxius had promulgated. Scarcely had he done so, when the Semi-Arians made their appearance from Ancyra, with Basil at their head; and succeeded so well in representing the dangerous character of the creed passed at Antioch, that, recalling the messenger who had been sent off to that city, he forthwith held the Conference, mentioned in the foregoing Section, in which he imposed a Semi-Arian creed on all parties, Eudoxius and Valens, the representatives of the Eusebians, being compelled, as well as the orthodox Liberius, to sign a formulary, which Basil compiled from the creeds against Paulus of Samosata, and Photinus (A.D. 264. 351), and the creed of Lucian, published by the Council of the Dedication (A.D. 341). Yet in spite of the learning, and personal respectability of the Semi-Arians, which at the moment exerted this strong influence over the mind of Constantius, the dexterity of the Eusebians in disputation and intrigue was ultimately successful. Though seventy Bishops of their party were immediately banished, these were in a few months reinstated by the capricious Emperor, who from that time inclined first to the Acacian or Homean, and then to the open Anomean or pure Arian doctrine; and who before his death (A.D. 361) received baptism from the hands of Euzoius, one of the original associates of Arius, then recently placed in the see of Antioch.-The history of this change, with the Councils attending it, will bring us to the close of this Chapter.
3. The Semi-Arians, elated by their success with the Emperor, followed it up by obtaining his consent for an Ecumenical Council, in which the faith of the Christian Church should definitively be declared for good. A meeting of the whole of Christendom had not been attempted, except in the instance of the Council of Sardica, since the Nicene; and the Sardican itself had been convoked principally to decide upon the charges urged against Athanasius, and not to open the doctrinal question. Indeed it is evident, that none but the heterodox party, now dominant, could consistently debate an article of belief, which the united testimony of the Churches of the East and West had once for all settled at Nicæa. This, then, was the project of the Semi-Arians. They aimed at a renewal on an Ecumenical scale of the Council of the Dedication at Antioch in A.D. 341. The Eusebian party, however, had no intention of tamely submitting to defeat. Perceiving that it would be more for their own interest that the prelates of the East and West should not meet in the same place (two bodies being more manageable than one), they exerted themselves so strenuously with the assistance of the eunuchs of the palace, that at last it was determined, that, while the Orientals met at Seleucia in Isauria, the Occidental Council should be held at Ariminum, in Italy. Next, a previous Conference was held at Sirmium, in order to determine on the creed to be presented to the bipartite Council; and here again the Eusebians gained an advantage, though not at once to the extent of their wishes. Warned by the late indignation of Constantius against the Anomæan tenet, they did not attempt to rescue it from his displeasure ; but they struggled for the adoption of the Acacian Homcon, which the Emperor had already both received and abandoned, and they actually effected the adoption of the " like in all things according to the Scriptures”—a phrase in which the Semi-Arians indeed included their “like in substance” or Homæüsion, but which did not necessarily refer to substance or nature at all. Under these circumstances the two Councils met in the autumn of A.D. 359, under the nominal superintendence of the Semi-Arians; but on the Eusebian side, the
sharp-witted Acacius undertaking to deal with the disputatious Greeks, the overbearing and cruel Valens with the plainer Latins.
About 150 Bishops of the Eastern Church assembled at Seleucia', of whom not above forty were Eusebians. Far the greater number were professed Semi-Arians; the Egyptian prelates alone, of whom but twelve or thirteen were present, displaying themselves, as at the first, the bold and faithful adherents of the Homoüsion. It was soon evident that the forced reconciliation which Constantius had imposed on the two parties at Sirmium, was of no avail in their actual deliberations. On each side an alteration of the proposed formula was demanded. In spite of the sanction given by Basil and Mark to the “ like in all things," the majority of their partisans would be contented with nothing short of the definite “like in substance," or Homæüsion, which left no opening (as they considered) to evasion; and in consequence proposed to return to Lucian's creed, adopted by the Council of the Dedication. Acacius, on the other hand, not satisfied with the advantage he had just gained in the preliminary meeting at Sirmium, where the mention of the usia or substance was dropped (although but lately imposed by Constantius on all parties, in the formulary which Liberius signed), proposed a creed in which the Homoüsion and Homæüsion, were condemned, the Anomæon anathematized, as the source of confusion and schism, and his own Homæon adopted (that is, “like,” without the addition of " in all things "); and when he
6 [Vide Ath. Tr. p. 88. k. 1.]