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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 Anomoean tenet, they did not attempt to rescue it from his displeasure; but they struggled for the adoption of the Acacian Homæon, 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 Homceüsion, 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 Homcüsion, 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
found himself unable to accomplish his purpose, not waiting for the formal sentence of deposition, which the Semi-Arians proceeded to pronounce upon himself and eight others, he set off to Constantinople, where the Emperor then was, hoping there, in the absence of Basil and his party, to gain what had been denied him in the preliminary meeting at Sirmium. It so happened, however, that his object had been effected even before his arrival; for, a similar quarrel having resulted from the meeting at Ariminum, and deputies from the rival parties having thence similarly been despatched to Constantius, a Conference had already taken place at a city called Nice or Nicæa, in the neighbourhood of Hadrianople, and an emendated creed adopted, in which, not only the safeguard of the “ in all things” was omitted, and the usia condemned, but even the word Hypostasis (Subsistence or Person) also, on the ground of its being a refinement on Scripture. So much had been already gained by the influence of Valens, when the arrival of Acacius at Constantinople gave fresh activity to the Eusebian party.
Thereupon a Council was summoned in the Imperial city of the neighbouring Bishops, principally of those of Bithynia, and the Acacian formula of Ariminum confirmed. Constantius was easily persuaded to believe of Basil, what had before been asserted of Athanasius, that he was the impediment to the settlement of the question, and to the tranquillity of the Church, Various charges of a civil and ecclesiastical nature were alleged against him and other Semi-Arians, as formerly against Athanasius, with what degree of truth it is impossible at this day to determine; and a sentence of deposition was issued
against them. Cyril of Jerusalem, Eleusius of Cyzicus, Eustathius of Sebaste, and Macedonius of Constantinople, were in the number of those who suffered with Basil; Macedonius being succeeded by Eudoxius, who, thus seated in the first see of the East, became subsequently the principal stay of Arianism under the Emperor Valens.
This triumph of the Eusebian party in the East, took place in the beginning of A.D. 360; by which time the Council of Ariminum in the West, had been brought to a conclusion. To it we must now turn our attention.
The Latin Council had commenced its deliberations, before the Orientals had assembled at Seleucia ; yet it did not bring them to a close till the end of the year. The struggle between the Eusebians and their opponents had been so much the more stubborn in the West, in proportion as the latter were more numerous there, and fnrther removed from Arian doctrine, and Valens on the other hand more unscrupulous, and armed with fuller powers. Four hundred Bishops were collected at Ariminum, of whom but eighty were Arians; and the civil officer, to whom Constantius had committed the superintendence of their proceedings, had orders not to let them stir out of the city, till they should agree upon a confession of faith. At the opening of the Council, Valens, Ursacius, Germinius, Auxentius, Caius, and Demophilus, the Imperial Commissioners, had presented to the assembly the formula of the “like in all things” agreed upon in the preliminary conference at Sirmium; and demanded, that, putting aside all strange and mysterious terms of theology, it should be at once adopted by the assembled Fathers. They had received for answer, that the Latins determined to adhere to the formulary of Nicæa ; and that, as a first step in their present deliberations, it was necessary that all present should forthwith anathematize all heresies and innovations, beginning with that of Arius. The Commissioners had refused to do so, and had been promptly condemned and deposed, a deputation of ten being sent from the Council to Constantius, to acquaint him with the result of its deliberations, The issue of this mission to the Court, to which Valens opposed one from his own party, has been already related. Constantius, with a view of wearing out the Latin Fathers, pretended that the barbarian war required his immediate attention, and delayed the consideration of the question till the beginning of October, several months after the opening of the Council; and then, frightening the Catholic deputation into compliance, he effected at Nice the adoption of the Homean creed (that is, the “like” without the “in all things”) and sent it back to Ariminum.
The termination of the Council there assembled was disgraceful to its members, but more so to the Emperor himself. Distressed by their long confinement, impatient at their absence from their respective dioceses, and apprehensive of the approaching winter, they began to waver. At first, indeed, they refused to communicate with their own apostate deputies ; but these, almost in self-defence, were active and successful in bringing over others to their new opinions. A threat was held out by Taurus, the. Prætorian Prefect, who superintended the discussions, that fifteen of the most obstinate should be