« PreviousContinue »
on hearing what had happened, left him for Felix, who raised the Catholic standard.” Baron. Ann. 357. 56. He tells us besides (57), that the people would not even go to the public baths, lest they should bathe with the party of Liberius.
19. MILAN. At the Council of Milan, Eusebius of Vercellæ, when it was proposed to draw up a declaration against Athanasius, " said that the Council ought first to be sure of the faith of the Bishops attending it, for he had found out that some of them were polluted with heresy. Accordingly he brought before the Fathers the Nicene Creed, and said he was willing to comply with all their demands, after they had subscribed that confession. Dionysius, Bishop of Milan, at once took up the paper and began to write his assent; but Valens (the Arian] violently pulled pen and paper out of his hands, crying out that such a course of proceeding was impossible. Whereupon, after much tumult, the question came before the people, and great was the distress of all of them; the faith of the Church was attacked by the Bishops.
They then, dreading the judgment of the people, transfer their meeting from the church to the Imperial palace.” Hilar. ad Const. i. 8.
Again : “As the feast of Easter approached, the empress sent to St. Ambrose to ask a church of him, where the Arians who attended her might meet together. He replied, that a Bishop could not give up the temple of God. The pretorian prefect came into the church, where St. Ambrose was attended by the people, and endeavoured to persuade him to yield up at least the Portian Basilica. The people were clamorous against the proposal; and the prefect retired to report how matters stood to the emperor. The Sunday following St. Ambrose was explaining the creed, when he was informed that the officers were hanging up the imperial hangings in the Portian Basilica, and that upon this news the people were repairing thither. While he was offering up the holy sacrifice, a second message came that the people had seized an Arian priest as he was passing through the street. He despatched a number
of his clergy to the spot to rescue the Arian from his danger. The court looked on this resistance of the people as seditious, and immediately laid considerable fines upon the whole body of the tradesmen of the city. Several were thrown into prison. In three days' time these tradesmen were fined two hundred pounds weight of gold, and they said that they were ready to give as much again on condition that they might retain their faith. The prisons were filled with tradesmen : all the officers of the household, secretaries, agents of the emperor, and dependent officers who served under various counts, were kept within doors, and were forbidden to appear in public, under pretence that they should bear no part in sedition. Men of higher rank were menaced with severe consequences, unless the Basilica were surrendered. ...
“Next morning the Basilica was surrounded by soldiers; but it was reported, that these soldiers had sent to the Emperor to tell him, that if he wished to come abroad he might, and that they would attend him, if he was going to the assembly of the Catholics; otherwise, that they would go to that which would be held by St. Ambrose. Indeed, the soldiers were all Catholics, as well as the citizens of Milan; there were so few heretics there, except a few officers of the emperor and some Goths. ...
“St. Ambrose was continuing his discourse, when he was told that the Emperor had withdrawn the soldiers from the Basilica, and that he had restored to the tradesmen the fines which he had exacted from them. This news gave joy to the people, who expressed their delight with applauses and thanksgivings; the soldiers themselves were eager to bring the news, throwing themselves on the altars, and kissing them in token of peace.” Fleury's Hist. xviii. 41, 42, Oxf. trans.
20. CHRISTENDOM GENERALLY. St. Hilary to Constantius: “Not only in words, but in tears, we beseech you to save the Catholic Churches from any longer continuance of these most grievous injuries, and of their present intolerable persecutions and insults, which moreover they are enduring, monstrous as it is, from our brethren. Surely your clemency should listen to the voice of those who cry out so loudly, 'I am a Catholic, I have no wish to be a heretic. It should seem equitable to your sanctity, most glorious Augustus, that they who fear the Lord God and His judgment should not be polluted and contaminated with execrable blasphemies, but should have liberty to follow those Bishops and prelates who both observe inviolate the laws of charity, and who desire a perpetual and sincere peace. It is impossible, it is unreasonable, to mix true and false, to confuse light and darkness, and bring into union, of whatever kind, night and day. Give permission to the populations to hear the teaching of the pastors whom they have wished, whom they fixed on, whom they have chosen, to attend their celebration of the divine mysteries, to offer prayers through them for your safety and prosperity.” ad Const. i. 1, 2.
CHRONOLOGY OF THE COUNCILS.
(Vide supra, p. 279.) As the direct object of the foregoing Volume was to exhibit the doctrine, temper, and conduct of the Arians in the fourth century rather than to write their history, there is much incidental confusion in the order in which the events which it includes are brought before the reader. However, in truth, the chronology of the period is by no means clear, and the author may congratulate himself that, by the scope of his work, he is exempt from the necessity of deciding questions relative to it, on which ancient testimonies and modern critics are in hopeless variance both with themselves and with each other.
Accordingly, he has chosen one authority, the accurate Tillemont, and followed him almost throughout. Here, however, he thinks it well to subjoin some tables on the subject, taken from the Oxford Library of the Fathers, which delineate the main outline of the history, while they vividly illustrate the difficulty of determining in detail the succession of dates.
PRINCIPAL EVENTS BETWEEN A.D. 325 AND A.D. 381,
IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER.
(Mainly from Tillemont.) A.D. 325. (From June 19 to August 25.) COUNCIL OF NICÆ..
Arius and his partisans anathematized and banished,
Arius to Illyricum. The Eusebians subscribe the
Homoüsion. 326. Athanasius raised to the See of Alexandria at the age
of about 30. 328-9. Eusebius of Nicomedia in favour with Constantine. 330. An Arian priest gains the ear of Constantine, who
recalls Arius from exile to Alexandria. 331. Athanasius refuses to restore him to communion.
Eustathius deposed by the Eusebians on a charge
of Sabellianism; other Bishops deposed. 334. Council of Cæsarea against Athanasius, who refuses to
attend it. 335. Council of Tyre and Jerusalem, in which Arius and
the Arians are formally readmitted. Athanasius, forced by the emperor to attend, abruptly leaves it in order to appeal to Constantine. THE EUSEBIANS DEPOSE ATHANASIUS, AND CONSTANTINE BANISHES
HIM TO TRETES. 336. Eusebians hold a Council at Constantinople to condemn
Marcellus on the ground of his Sabellianism ; and to
recognize Arius. DEATH OF ARIUS. 337. DEATH OF CONSTANTINE. The Eusebian Constantius
succeeds him in the East, the orthodox Constans and Constantine in the West.
From 337 to 342. 338 --- Exiles recalled by the three new Emperors.
(End of June.) Athanasius leaves Treves for Alexandria. 1 (From Valesius Shelstrate, 1 (From Baronius and (From Tillemont and Pagi, Montfaucon, and Petavius.)
Papebroke.) S. Basnuge.) 339 --- Eusebius sends to Pope Eusebius, &c.
DRIA DEFENDS ATHA ANDRIA, &c.
goes to Romel, 340 -- COUNCIL OF ALEXANDRIA Papal Legates sent to Papal Legates, &c.
DEFENDS ATHANASIUS Antioch from Rome.
(Early in year) Athana. | (End of year) Athang-
sius returns to Ales. andria.
1 The events in italics are grounded on an hypothesis of the authors who introduce them, that Athanasius made two journeys to Rome, which they adopt in order to lighten the difficulties of the chronology.