Page images
PDF
EPUB

of the latter part of the Creed is a later addition, and that Liberius only signed the former part. Animadv. in Epiph. p. 316.

4. A.D. 358. The Ancyrene Anathemas.

The Semi-Arian party had met in Council at Ancyra in the early spring of 358 to protest against the “ blasphemia," and that with some kind of correspondence with the Gallic Bishops who had just condemned it, Phæbadius of Agen writing a Tract against it, which is still extant. They had drawn up and signed, besides a Synodal Letter, eighteen anathemas, the last against the “ Consubstantial.” These, except the last, or the last six, they submitted at the end of May to the Emperor who was again at Sirmium. Basil, Eustathius, Eleusius, and another formed the deputation ; and their influence persuaded Constantius to accept the Anathemas, and even to oblige the party of Valens, at whose “blasphemia” they were levelled, to recant and subscribe them.

5. A.D. 358. Semi-Arian Digest of Three Confessions.

The Semi-Arian Bishops, pursuing their advantage, composed a Creed out of three, that of the Dedication, the first Sirmian, and the Creed of Antioch against Paul, 264–270, in which the “ Consubstantial ” is said to have been omitted or forbidden, Soz. iv. 15. This Confession was imposed by Imperial authority on the Arian party, who signed it. So did Liberius, Soz. ibid. Hil. Fragm. vi. 6, 7; and Petavius considers that this is the subscription by which he lapsed, de Trin. i. 9. § 5, Animadv. in Epiph. p. 316, and so Zaccaria, as above, and S. Basnage, in Ann. 358. 13.

It is a point of controversy whether or not the Arians at this time suppressed the “blasphemia.”

blasphemia.” Socrates and Sozomen say that they made an attempt to recall the copies they had issued, and even obtained an edict from the Emperor for this purpose, but without avail. Socr. ii. 30 fin. Soz. iv. 6, p.

543. Athanasius, on the other hand, de Syn. 29, relates this in substance of the third Confession of Sirmium, not of the “blasphemia" or second.

Tillemont follows Socrates and Sozomen, considering that Basil's influence with the Emperor enabled him now to insist on a retraction of the “ blasphemia." And he argues that Germinius in 366, being suspected of orthodoxy, and obliged to make profession of heresy, was referred by his party to the formulary of Ariminum, no notice being taken of the “blasphemia," which looks as if it were suppressed ; whereas Germinius himself appeals to the third Sirmian, which is a proof that it was not suppressed. Hil. Fragm. 15. Coustant, in Hil. contr. Const. 26, though he does not adopt the opinion himself, observes, that the charge brought against Basil, Soz. iv. 132, Hil. 1. c., by the Acacians, of persuading the Africans against the second Sirmian is an evidence of a great effort on his part, at a time when he had the Court with him, to suppress it. We have just Basil uniting with the Gallic Bishops against it.

seen

6. A.D. 359. The Confession with a date

(Third Sirmian). The Semi-Arians, with the hope of striking a further blow at their opponents by a judgment against the Anomeans, Soz. iv. 16 init., seem to have suggested a general Council, which ultimately became the Councils of Seleucia and Arimi

If this was their measure, they were singularly out-manæuvred by the party of Acacius and Valens, as may be seen in Athanasius's de Synodis. A preparatory Conference was held at Sirmium at the end of May in this year, in which the Creed was determined which should be laid before the great Councils then assembling. Basil and Mark were the chief Semi-Arians present, and in the event became

num.

committed to an almost Arian Confession. Soz. iv. 16, p. 562. It was finally settled on the Eve of Pentecost, and the dispute lasted till morning. Epiph. Hær. 73, 22. Mark at length was chosen to draw it up, Soz. iv. 22, p. 573, yet Valens so managed that Basil could not sign it without an explanation. It was written in Latin, Socr. ii. 30, Soz. iv. 17, p. 563. Coustant, however, in Hil. p. 1152, note i., seems to consider this dispute and Mark's confession to belong to the same date (May 22,) in the foregoing year; but p. 1363, note b, he seems to change his opinion.

Petavius, who, Animadv. in Epiph. p. 318, follows Socrates in considering that the second Sirmian is the Confession which the Arians tried to suppress, nevertheless, de Trin. i. 9, § 8, yields to the testimony of Athanasius in behalf of the third, attributing the measure to their dissatisfaction with the phrase "Like in all things," which Constantius had inserted, and with Basil's explanation on subscribing it, and to the hopes of publishing a bolder creed which their increasing influence with Constantius inspired. He does not think it impossible, however, that an attempt was made to suppress both. Coustant, again, in Hil. p. 1363, note b, asks when it could be that the Eusebians attempted to suppress the second Confession ; and conjectures that the ridicule which followed their dating of the third and their wish to get rid of the “ Like in all things,” were the causes of their anxiety about it. He observes too with considerable speciousness that Acacius's second formulary at Selucia (Athan. de Syn. 29), and the Confession of Nice (Ibid. 30), resemble second editions of the third Sirmian. Valesius, in Socr. ii. 30, and Montfaucon, in Athan. Syn. § 29, take the same side.

Pagi in Ann. 357. n. 13, supposes that the third Sirmian was the Creed signed by Liberius. Yet Coustant in Hil. p. 1335, note n, speaking of Liberius's “perfidia Ariana,” as St. Hilary calls it, says, “Solus Valesius existimat tertiam [confessionem] hic memorari :” whereas Valesius, making four, not to say five, Sirmian Creeds, understands Liberius to have signed, not the third, but an intermediate one, between the second and third, as Petavius does, in Soz. iv. 15 and 16. Moreover, Pagi fixes the date as A.D. 358 ibid.

This Creed, thus drawn up by a Semi-Arian, with an Acacian or Arian appendix, then a Semi-Arian insertion, and after all a Semi-arian protest on subscription, was proposed at Seleucia by Acacius, Soz. iv. 22, and at Ariminum by Valens, Socr. ii. 37, p. 132.

7. A.D. 359. Nicene Edition of the Third Sirmian. The third Sirmian was rejected both at Seleucia and Arimi. num ; but the Eusebians, dissolving the Council of Seleucia, kept the Fathers at Ariminum together through the summer and autumn. Meanwhile at Nice in Thrace they confirmed the third Sirmian, Socr. ii. 37, p. 141, Theod. Hist. ii. 16, with the additional proscription of the word hypostasis ; apparently lest the Latins should by means of it evade the condemnation of the “consubstantial.” This Creed, thus altered, was ultimately accepted at Ariminum; and was confirmed in January 360 at Constantinople ; Socr. ii. 41, p. 163. Soz. iv. 24 init.

Liberius retrieved his fault on this occasion ; for, whatever was the confession he had signed, he now refused his assent to the Ariminian, and, if Socrates is to be trusted, was banished in consequence, Socr. ii. 37, p. 140.

NOTE IV.?

THE TERMS usia AND hypostasis, AS USED IN THE

EARLY CHURCH.

(Vide supra, p. 198.)

1. EVEN before we take into account the effect which would naturally be produced on the first Christians by the novelty and mysteriousness of doctrines which depend for their reception simply upon Revelation, we have reason to anticipate that there would be difficulties and mistakes in expressing them, when they first came to be set forth by unauthoritative writers. Even in secular sciences, inaccuracy of thought and language is but gradually corrected; that is, in proportion as their subject matter is thoroughly scrutinized and mastered by the co-operation of many independent intellects, successively engaged upon it. Thus, for instance, the word Person requires the rejection of various popular senses, and a careful definition, before it can serve for philosophical uses. We sometimes use it for an individual as contrasted with a class or multitude, as when we speak of having "personal objections” to another; sometimes for the body, in contrast to the soul, as when we speak of

beauty of person.” We sometimes use it in the abstract, as when we speak of another as “insignificant in person;" sometimes in the concrete, as when we call him “ an insignificant person." How divergent in meaning are the derivatives, personable, personalities, personify, personation, personage, parsonage

! This variety arises partly from our own carelessness, partly from the necessary developments

1 From the Atlantis, July, 1858.

66

« PreviousContinue »