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CHAP. IV. 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 Anomaan 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.
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 Anomaan 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 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 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