{39}

Chapter 2. Letter of Pope Julius to the Eusebians at Antioch

1. THE Eusebians also wrote to Julius, and thinking to frighten me, requested him to call a Council, and to be himself the judge, if he so pleased [Note 1]. When therefore I went up to Rome, Julius wrote to the Eusebians, as was suitable, and sent moreover two of his own Presbyters [Note A], Elpidius and Philoxenus [Note 2]. But they, when they heard of me, were thrown so into confusion, as not expecting my going up thither; and they declined the proposed Council, alleging unsatisfactory reasons for so doing, but in truth they were afraid lest the things should be proved against them which Valens and Ursacius afterwards confessed [Note 3]. However, more than fifty Bishops assembled, in the place where the Presbyter Vito held his congregation [Note 4]; and they acknowledged my defence, and gave me the confirmation [Note 5] both of their fellowship and their loving hospitality. On the other hand, they expressed great indignation against the Eusebians, and requested that Julius would write to the following effect to those of their number who had written to him. Which accordingly he did, and sent it by the hand of Count Gabianus.

2. The Letter of Julius [Note 6]

Julius to his dearly beloved brethren [Note B], Danius, Flacillus, Narcissus, Eusebius, Maris, Macedonius, Theodorus, and {40} their friends, who have written to me from Antioch, sends health in the Lord.

. 21.

I have read your letter [Note C] which was brought to me by my Presbyters Elpidius and Philoxenus, and I am surprised to find that, whereas I wrote to you in charity and with conscious sincerity, you have replied to me in an unbecoming and quarrelsome temper; for the pride and arrogance of the writers is plainly exhibited in that letter. Yet such feelings are inconsistent with the Christian faith; for what was written in a charitable spirit ought likewise to be answered in a spirit of charity and not of contention. And was it not a token of charity to send Presbyters to sympathize with them that are in suffering, and to desire those who had written to me to come hither, that the questions at issue might obtain a speedy settlement, and all things be duly ordered, so that our brethren might no longer be exposed to suffering, and that you might escape further imputation? But something seems to show that your temper is such, as to force us to conclude that the terms in which you appear to pay honour [Note 7] to us, are with some dissimulation modified in their meaning. The Presbyters also whom we sent to you, and who ought to have returned rejoicing, did on the contrary return sorrowful on account of the proceedings they had witnessed among you. And I, when I had read your letter, after much consideration, kept it to myself, thinking that after all some of you would come, and there would be no need to bring it forward, lest if it should be openly exhibited, it should grieve many of our brethren here. But when no one arrived, and it became necessary that the letter should be produced, I declare to you, they were all astonished, and were hardly able to believe that such a letter had been written by you at all; for it is expressed in terms of strife rather than of charity.

3. Now if the author of it wrote with an ambition of exhibiting his power of language, such a practice surely is more {41} suitable for other subjects: in ecclesiastical matters, it is not a display of eloquence that is needed, but the observance of Apostolic Canons, and an earnest care not to offend one of the little ones of the Church. For it were better for a man, according to that ecclesiastical sentence, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the sea, than that he should offend even one of the little ones [vid. Matt. xviii. 6.]. But if such a letter was written, because certain persons through a narrow feeling [Note 8] took offence among themselves, (for I will not impute it to all); it were better not to entertain any such feeling of offence at all, at least not to let the sun go down upon their vexation; and certainly not to give it room to exhibit itself in writing.

. 22.

4. Yet what has been done that is a just cause of offence? or in what respect was my letter to you such? Was it, that I invited [Note 9] you to be present at a Council? You ought rather to have received the proposal with joy. Those who have confidence in their proceedings, or as they choose to term them, in their decisions, are not wont to be angry, if such decision is enquired into by others; they rather shew all boldness, seeing that if they have given a just decision, it can never prove to be the reverse. The Bishops who assembled in the great Council of Nica agreed, not without the will of God, that the decisions of one Council should be examined in another [Note D], to the end that the judges, having before their eyes that other trial which was to follow, might be led to investigate matters with the utmost caution, and that the parties concerned in their sentence might have assurance that the judgment they received was just, and not dictated by the enmity of their former judges. Now if you are unwilling that such a practice should be adopted in your own case, though it is of ancient standing, and has been noticed and recommended by the great Council, your refusal is not becoming; for it is unreasonable that a custom which {42} has once obtained in the Church, and been established by Councils, should be set aside by a few individuals.

5. For a further reason they cannot justly take offence in this point. When the persons whom you the Eusebians dispatched with your letters, I mean Macarius the Presbyter, and Martyrius and Hesychius the Deacons, arrived here, and found that they were unable to withstand the arguments of the Presbyters who came from Athanasius, but were confuted and exposed on all sides, they then requested me to call a Council together [Note 10], and to write to Alexandria to the Bishop Athanasius, and also to the Eusebians, in order that a just judgment might be given in the presence of all parties. And they undertook in that case to move all the charges which had been brought against Athanasius. For Martyrius and Hesychius had been publicly detected by us, and the Presbyters of the Bishop Athanasius had withstood them with great confidence: indeed, if one must tell the truth, the part of Martyrius had been utterly overthrown; and thus it was that led them to desire that a Council might be held. Now supposing that they had not desired a Council, but that I had been the person to propose it, in discouragement of [Note 11] those who had written to me, and for the sake of our brethren who complain that they have suffered injustice; even in that case the proposal would have been reasonable and just, for it is agreeable to ecclesiastical practice, and well pleasing to God. But when those persons, whom you the Eusebians considered to be trustworthy, when even they wished me to call the brethren together, it was inconsistent in the parties invited to take offence, when they ought rather to have shewn all readiness to be present. These considerations shew that the display of anger in the offended persons is unreasonable, and their refusal to meet the Council is unbecoming, and has a suspicious appearance. Does any one find fault, if he sees that done by another, which he would allow if done by himself? If, as you write, the decrees of any Council have an irreversible force, and he who has given judgment on a matter is dishonoured, if his sentence is examined by another; consider, dearly beloved, who are they that dishonour Councils? who are setting aside the decisions of former judges?

6. Not to inquire at present into every individual case, lest {43} I should appear to press too heavily on certain parties, the last instance that has occurred, and which every one who hears it must shudder at, will be sufficient in proof of the others which I omit. . 23. The Arians who were excommunicated for their impiety by Alexander, the late Bishop of Alexandria, of blessed memory, were not only proscribed by the brethren in the several cities, but were also anathematized by the whole body assembled together in the great Council of Nica. For theirs was no ordinary offence, neither had they sinned against man, but against our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the Son of the living God. And yet these persons who were proscribed by the whole world, and branded in every Church, are said now to have been admitted to communion again; which I think you ought to hear with indignation. Who then are the parties who dishonour Councils? Are not they who have set at nought the votes of the Three hundred [Note E], and have preferred impiety to godliness?

7. The heresy of the Arian fanatics [Note 12] was condemned and proscribed by the whole body of Bishops every where; but the Bishops Athanasius and Marcellus have many supporters who speak and write in their behalf. We have received testimony in favour of Marcellus, that he resisted the advocates of the Arian doctrines in the Council of Nica; and in favour of Athanasius, that at Tyre nothing was brought home to him, and that in the Mareotis, where the Reports against him are said to have been drawn up, he was not present. Now you know, dearly beloved, that ex parte proceedings are of no weight, but bear a suspicious appearance. Nevertheless, these things being so, we, in order to be accurate, and neither showing any prepossession in favour of yourselves, nor of those who wrote in behalf of the other party, invited those who had written to me to come hither; that, since there were many who wrote in their behalf, all things might be enquired into in a Council, and neither the guiltless might be condemned, nor the guilty be accounted innocent. Who then are not the parties who dishonour Councils, but they who at once and recklessly have received the Arians whom {44} all had condemned, and contrary to the decision of the judges. The greater part of those judges have now departed, and are with Christ; but some of them are still in this life of trial, and are indignant at learning that certain persons have set aside their judgment.

. 24.

8. We have also been informed of the following circumstance by those who were at Alexandria. A certain Carpones, who had been excommunicated by Alexander for Arianism, was sent hither [Note 13] by one Gregory with certain others, also excommunicated for the same heresy. However, I had learnt the matter also from the Presbyter Macarius, and the Deacons Martyrius and Hesychius [Note 14]. For before the Presbyters of Athanasius arrived, they urged me to send letters to one Pistus at Alexandria, though at the same time the Bishop Athanasius was there. And when the Presbyters of the Bishop Athanasius came, they informed me that this Pistus was an Arian, and that he had been excommunicated [Note 15] by the Bishop Alexander and the Council of Nica, and then ordained by one Secundus, whom also the great Council excommunicated as an Arian. This statement the party of Martyrius did not gainsay, nor did they deny that Pistus had received his ordination from Secundus. Now consider, after this who are most justly liable to blame? I, who could not be prevailed upon to write to the Arian Pistus; or those, who advised me to do dishonour to the great Council, and to address the impious as if they were godly persons? Moreover, when the Presbyter Macarius, who had been sent hither by Eusebius with Martyrius and the rest, heard of the opposition which had been made by the Presbyters of Athanasius, while we were expecting his appearance with Martyrius and Hesychius, he decamped in the night, in spite of a bodily ailment; which leads us to conjecture that his departure arose from shame on account of the exposure which had been made concerning Pistus. For it is impossible that the ordination of the Arian Secundus should be considered valid [Note 16] in the Catholic Church. This would indeed be dishonour to the Council, and to the Bishops who composed it, if the decrees they framed, as in the presence of God, with such extreme earnestness and care, should be set aside as nugatory.

. 25.

9. If, as you write [Note 17], the decrees of all Councils ought to be {45} of force, according to the precedent in the case of Novatus [Note 18] [Note F] and Paul of Samosata, certainly the sentence of the Three hundred ought not to be reversed, certainly a Catholic Council ought not to be set at nought by a few individuals. For the Arians are heretics as they, and the like sentence has been passed both against the one and the other. And, after such bold proceedings as these, who are they that have lighted up the flame of discord? for in your letter you blame us for having done this. Have we, who have sympathized with the sufferings of the brethren, and have acted in all respects according to the Canon; or they who contentiously and contrary to the Canon have set aside the sentence of the Three hundred, and dishonoured the Council in every way? For not only have the Arians been received into communion, but Bishops also have adopted the practice of removing from one place to another [Note 19]. Now if you really believe that all Bishops have the same and equal authority [Note 20], and you do not, as you assert, account of them according to the magnitude of their cities; he that is entrusted with a small city ought to abide in the place committed to him, and not from disdain of his trust to remove to one that has never been put under him; despising that which God has given him, and making much of the vain applause of men. You ought then, dearly beloved, to have come and not declined, that the matter may be brought to a conclusion; for this is what reason demands.

10. But perhaps you were prevented by the time fixed upon for the Council, for you complain in your letter that the interval before the day we appointed [Note 21] was too short. But this, dearly beloved, is a mere excuse. Had certain of you set out to come, and the day arrived before them, the interval allowed would then have been proved to be too short. But when persons do not wish to come, and detain even my Presbyters up to the month of January [Note 22], it is the mere excuse of those who have no confidence in their cause; otherwise, as I said before, they would have come, not regarding the length of the journey, not considering the shortness of the {46} time, but trusting to the justice and reasonableness of their cause. But perhaps they did not come on account of the aspect of the times [Note 23], for again you declare in your letter, that we ought to have considered the present circumstances of the East, and not to have desired you to come. Now if as you say you did not come because the times were such, you ought to have considered such times beforehand, and not to have become the authors of schism, and of mourning and lamentation in the Churches. But as the matter stands, men, who have been the cause of these things, shew that it is not the times that are to blame, but the determination of those who will not meet a Council.

. 26.

11. But I wonder also how you could ever have written that part of your letter, in which you say, that I alone wrote, and not to all of you, but to the Eusebians only. In this complaint one may discover more of readiness to find fault than of regard for truth. I received the letters against Athanasius from none other than those connected with Martyrius and Hesychius, and I necessarily wrote to them who had written against him. Either then the Eusebians ought not alone to have written, apart from you all, or else you, to whom I did not write, ought not to be offended that I wrote to them who had written to me. If it was right that I should address my letter to you all, you also ought to have written with them; but now, considering what was reasonable, I wrote to them who had addressed themselves to me, and had given me information. But if you were displeased because I alone wrote to them, it is but consistent that you should also be angry, because they wrote to me alone. But for this also, dearly beloved, there was a fair and reasonable cause. Nevertheless it is necessary that I should acquaint you that, although I only wrote, yet the sentiments I expressed were not those of myself alone, but of all the Bishops throughout Italy and in these parts. I indeed was unwilling to cause them all to write, lest the others should be overpowered by their number. The Bishops however assembled on the appointed day, and agreed in these opinions, which I again write to signify to you; so that, dearly beloved, although I alone address you, yet you may be assured that these are the sentiments of all. Thus much for the excuses, not reasonable, {47} but unjust and suspicious, which some of you have alleged for your conduct.

. 27.

12. Now although what has already been said were sufficient to shew that we have not admitted to our communion our brothers Athanasius and Marcellus either too readily, or unjustly, yet it is but fair briefly to set the matter before you. Eusebius's friends wrote formerly against the friends of Athanasius, as you also have written now; but a great number of Bishops out of Egypt and other provinces wrote in his favour. Now in the first place, your letters against him are inconsistent with one another, and the latter have no sort of agreement with the former, but in many instances the former are answered by the latter, and the latter are impeached by the former. Now where there is this contradiction in letters, no credit whatever is due to the statements they contain. In the next place, if you require us to believe what you have written, it is but consistent that we should not refuse credit to those who have written in his favour [Note 24]; especially, considering that you write from a distance, while they are on the spot, are acquainted with the man, and the events which are occurring there, and testify in writing to his manner of life, and positively affirm that he has been the victim of a conspiracy throughout.

13. Again, a certain Bishop Arsenius was said at one time to have been destroyed by Athanasius, but we have learned that he is alive, nay, that he is on terms of friendship with him. He has positively asserted that the Reports drawn up in the Mareotis were ex parte ones; for that neither the Presbyter Macarius, the accused party, was present, nor yet his Bishop, Athanasius himself. This we have learnt, not only from his own mouth, but also from the Reports which Martyrius and Hesychius brought to us [Note 25]; for we found on reading them, that the accuser Ischyras was present there, but neither Macarius, nor the Bishop Athanasius; and that the Presbyters of Athanasius desired to attend, but were not permitted. Now, dearly beloved, if the trial was to be conducted honestly, not only the accuser, but the accused also ought to have been present. As the accused party Macarius attended at Tyre, as well as the accuser Ischyras, when nothing was proved against him, so not only ought the {48} accuser to have gone to the Mareotis, but also the accused, so that he might be present when he was convicted, or if he was acquitted, might have opportunity to expose the calumny. But now, as this was not the case, but the accuser only went out thither, with those to whom Athanasius objected, the proceedings wear a suspicious appearance.

. 28.

14. And he complained also that the persons who went to the Mareotis went against his wish, for that Theognius, Maris, Theodorus, Ursacius, Valens, and Macedonius, who were the persons they sent out, were of suspected character. This he shewed not by his own assertion merely, but from a letter of Alexander who was Bishop of Thessalonica; for he produced a letter written by him to Dionysius [Note 26], the Count who presided in the Council, in which he shews most clearly that there was a conspiracy on foot against Athanasius. He has also brought forward a genuine document, all in the handwriting of the accuser Ischyras himself [Note 27], in which he calls God Almighty to witness that no chalice was broken, nor table overthrown, but that he had been suborned by certain persons to invent these accusations. Moreover, when the Presbyters of the Mareotis arrived [Note 28], they positively affirmed that Ischyras was not a Presbyter of the Catholic Church, and that Macarius had not committed any such offence as the other had laid to his charge. The Presbyters and Deacons also who came to us testified in the fullest manner in favour of the Bishop Athanasius, strenuously asserting that none of those things which were alleged against him were true, but that he was the victim of a conspiracy.

15. And all time Bishops of Egypt and Libya wrote and protested [Note 29] that his ordination was lawful and strictly ecclesiastical, and that all that you had advanced against him was false, for that no murder had been committed, nor any persons despatched on his account, nor any chalice broken, but that all was false. Nay, the Bishop Athanasius also shewed from the ex parte Reports drawn up in the Mareotis, that a Catechumen was examined and said [Note 30], that he was within with Ischyras, at the time when they say Macarius the Presbyter of Athanasius burst into the place; and that others who were examined said,—one, that Ischyras was in a small cell [Note 31],—and another, that he lay behind the door, being sick at that very {49} time, when they say Macarius came thither. Now from these representations of his, we are naturally led to ask the question, How was it possible that a man who was lying behind the door sick could get up, conduct the service, and offer the Oblations? and how could it be that Oblations were offered in the presence of Catechumens [Note 32]? for if there were Catechumens present, it was not yet the time for presenting; the Oblations. These representations, as I said, were made by the Bishop Athanasius, and he shewed from the Reports, what was also positively affirmed by those who were with him, that Ischyras has never been a Presbyter at all in the Catholic Church, nor has ever appeared as a Presbyter in the assemblies of the Church; for not even when Alexander admitted those of the Meletian schism, by the indulgence of the great Council, was he named by Meletius among his Presbyters, as they deposed [Note 33]; which is the strongest argument possible that he was not even a Presbyter of Meletius; for otherwise, he would certainly have been numbered with the rest. Besides, it was shewn also by Athanasius from the Reports, that Ischyras had spoken falsely in other instances: for he set up a charge respecting the burning of certain books, when, as they pretend, Macarius burst in upon them, but was convicted of falsehood by the witnesses he himself brought to prove it.

. 29.

16. Now when these things were thus represented to us, and so many witnesses appeared in his favour, and so much was advanced by him in his own justification, what did it become us to do? what did the Canon [Note 34] of the Church require of us, but that we should not condemn him, but rather receive him and treat him as a Bishop, as we have done? Moreover, besides all this he continued here a year and six months [Note G], expecting the arrival of yourselves and of whoever chose to come. His presence overcame us all, for he would not have been here, had he not felt confident in his cause; and he came not of his own accord, but on a summons [Note 35] by {50} letter from us, in the manner in which we wrote to you. But still you complain after all of our transgressing the Canons. Now consider; who are they that have so acted? we who received this man after such ample proof of his innocence, or they who being at Antioch at the distance of six and thirty posts [Note H]; appointed a stranger to be Bishop, and sent him to Alexandria with a military force; a thing which was not done even when Athanasius was banished into Gaul, though it would have been done then, had he been really proved guilty of the offence. But when he returned, of course he found his Church unoccupied and waiting for him.

. 30.

17. But now I am ignorant under what colour these proceedings have been conducted. In the first place, if the truth must be spoken, it was not right, when we had written to summon a Council, that any persons should anticipate its decisions [Note I]: and in the next place, it was not fitting that such novel proceedings should be adopted against the Church. For what Canon of the Church [Note 36], or what Apostolical tradition warrants this, that when the Church was at peace, and so many Bishops were in unanimity with Athanasius the Bishop of Alexandria, Gregory should be sent thither, a stranger to the city, not having been baptized there, nor known to the general body, and desired neither by Presbyters, nor Bishops, nor Laity—that he should be ordained at Antioch, and sent to Alexandria, accompanied not by Presbyters, nor by Deacons of the city, nor by Bishops of Egypt, but by soldiers? for they who came hither complained that this was the case.

18. Even supposing that Athanasius was in the position of a criminal after the Council, this appointment ought not to have been made thus illegally and contrary to the Canon of the Church, but the Bishops of the province ought to have {51} ordained one in that very Church, of that very Priesthood, of that very Clergy [Note 37]; and the Canons [Note 38] received from the Apostles ought not thus to be set side. Had this offence been committed against any one of you, would you not have exclaimed against it, and demanded justice as for the transgression of the Canons? Dearly beloved, we speak honestly, as in the presence of God, and declare, that this proceeding was neither pious, nor lawful, nor ecclesiastical. Moreover, the account which is given of the conduct of Gregory on his entry into the city, plainly shews the character of his appointment. In such peaceful times, as those who came from Alexandria declared them to have been, and as the Bishops also represented in their letters, the Church was set on fire [Note 39]; Virgins were stripped; Monks were trodden under foot; Presbyters and many of the people were scourged and suffered violence; Bishops were cast into prison; multitudes were dragged about from place to place; the holy Mysteries [Note K], about which they accused the Presbyter Macarius, were seized upon by heathens and cast upon the ground; and all to constrain certain persons to admit the appointment of Gregory. Such conduct plainly shews who they are that transgress the Canons. Had the appointment been lawful, he would not have had recourse to illegal proceedings to compel the obedience of those who in a legal way resisted him. And notwithstanding all this, you write that perfect peace prevailed in Alexandria and Egypt. Surely not, unless the works of peace are entirely changed, and you call such doings as these peace.

. 31.

19. I have also thought it necessary to point out to you this circumstance, viz. that Athanasius positively asserted that Macarius was kept at Tyre under a guard of soldiers, while only his accuser accompanied those who went to the Mareotis [Note 40]; and that the Presbyters who desired to attend the inquiry were not permitted, while the said inquiry respecting the chalice and the Table was carried on before the Prefect and his band, and in the presence of Heathens and Jews. {52} This at first seemed incredible, but it was proved to have been so from the Reports; which caused great astonishment to us, as I suppose, dearly beloved, it does to you also. Presbyters, who are the ministers of the Mysteries, are not permitted to attend, but an enquiry concerning Christ's Blood and Christ's Body is carried on before an external [Note 41] judge, in the presence of Catechumens, nay, worse than that, before heathens and Jews, who have so bad a name in regard to Christianity. Even supposing that an offence had been committed, it should have been investigated legally in the Church and by the Clergy, not by heathens who abhor the Word and know not the Truth. I am persuaded that both you and all men must perceive the nature and magnitude of this sin. Thus much concerning Athanasius.

. 32.

20. With respect to Marcellus [Note L], forasmuch as you have charged him also of impiety towards Christ, I am anxious to inform you, that when he was here, he positively declared that what you had written concerning him was not true; but being nevertheless requested by us to give an account of his faith, he answered in his own person with the utmost boldness, so that we were obliged to acknowledge that he maintains nothing except the truth. He made a confession [Note 42] of the same godly doctrines concerning our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as the Catholic Church confesses; and he affirmed that he had held these opinions for a very long time, and had not recently adopted them: as indeed our Presbyters [Note 43], who were at a former date present at the Council of Nica, testified to his orthodoxy; for he maintained then, as he has done now, his opposition to Arianism, (on which point it is right to admonish you, lest any of you admit such heresy, instead of abominating it as alien from sound doctrine [1 Tim. i. 10.].) {53} Seeing then that he professed orthodox opinions, and had testimony to his orthodoxy, what, I ask again in his case, ought we to have done, except to receive him as a Bishop, as we did, and not reject him from our communion?

21. These things I have written, not so much for the purpose of defending their cause, as in order to convince you, that we acted justly and canonically [Note 44] in receiving these persons, and that you are contentious without a cause. But it is your duty to use your anxious endeavours and to labour by every means to correct the irregularities which have been committed contrary to the Canon, and to secure the peace of the Churches; so that the peace of our Lord which has been given to us may remain, and the Churches may not be divided, nor you incur the charge of being authors of schism. For I confess, your past conduct is an occasion of schism rather than of peace.

. 33.

22. For not only the Bishops Athanasius and Marcellus came hither and complained of the injustice that had been done them, but many other Bishops also [Note M], from Thrace, from Cœle-Syria, from Phœnicia and Palestine, and Presbyters not a few, and others from Alexandria and from other parts, were present at the Council here, and in addition to their other statements, lamented before all the assembled Bishops the violence and injustice which the Churches had suffered, and affirmed that similar outrages to those which had been committed in Alexandria had occurred in their own Churches, and in others also. Again, there lately came Presbyters with letters from Egypt and Alexandria, who complained that many Bishops and Presbyters who wished to come to the Council were prevented; for they said that, since the departure of Athanasius [Note N] even up to this time, Bishops who are confessors [Note O] have been beaten with stripes, that others have been cast into prison, and that but lately aged men, who have been an exceedingly long period in the Episcopate, have been {54} given up to be employed in the public works, and nearly all the Clergy of the Catholic Church with the people are the objects of plots and persecutions. Moreover they said that certain Bishops and other brethren had been banished for no other reason than to compel them against their will to communicate with Gregory and his Arian associates. We have heard also from others, what is confirmed by the testimony of the Bishop Marcellus, that a number of outrages, similar to those which were committed at Alexandria, have occurred also at Ancyra in Galatia [Note P]. And in addition to all this, those who came to the Council reported against some of you (for I will not mention names) certain charges of so dreadful a nature that I have declined setting them down in writing: perhaps you also have heard them from others. It was for this cause especially that I wrote to desire [Note 45] you to come, that you might be present to hear them, and that all irregularities might be corrected and differences healed. And those who were called for these purposes ought not to have refused, but to have come the more readily, lest by failing to do so they should be suspected of what was alleged against them, and be thought unable to prove what they had written.

. 34.

23. Now according to these representations, since the Churches are thus afflicted and treacherously assaulted, as our informants positively affirmed, who are they that have lighted up the flame of discord [Note 46]? We, who grieve for such a state of things and sympathize with the sufferings of the brethren, or those who have brought these things about? While then such extreme confusion existed in every Church, which was the cause why those who visited us came hither, I wonder how you could write that unanimity prevailed in the Churches. These things tend not to the edification of the Church, but to her destruction; and those who rejoice in them are not sons of peace, but of confusion: but our God is not a God of confusion, but of peace [1 Cor. xiv. 33.]. Wherefore, as the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ knows, it was from a regard for your good name, {55} and with prayers that the Churches might not fall into confusion, but might continue as they were regulated [Note 47] by the Apostles, that I thought it necessary to write thus unto you, to the end that you might at length discountenance those who through the effects of their mutual enmity have brought the Churches to this condition. For I have heard, that it is only a certain few [Note 48] who are the authors of all these things.

24. Now, as having bowels of mercy, take ye care to correct, as I said before, those irregularities which have been committed contrary to the Canon, so that if any mischief has already befallen, it may be healed through your zeal. And write not that I have preferred the communion of Marcellus and Athanasius to yours, for such like complaints are no indications of peace, but of contentiousness and hatred of the brethren. For this cause I have written the foregoing, that you may understand that we acted not unjustly in admitting them to our communion, and so may cease this strife. If you had come hither, and they had been condemned, and had appeared unable to produce reasonable evidence in support of their cause, you would have done well in writing thus. But seeing that, as I said before, we acted agreeably to the Canon, and not unjustly, in holding communion with them, I beseech you for the sake of Christ, suffer not the members of Christ to be torn asunder, neither trust to prejudices, but seek rather the peace of the Lord. It is neither holy nor just, in order to gratify the narrow-spirit [Note 49] of a few persons, to reject those who have never been condemned, and thereby to grieve the Spirit. But if you think that you are able to prove any thing against them, and to confute them face to face, let those of you who please come hither: for they also promised that they would be ready to establish completely the truth of those things which they have reported to us.

. 35.

25. Give us notice therefore of this, dearly beloved, that we may write both to them, and to the Bishops who will have again to assemble, so that the guilty may be condemned in the presence of all, and confusion no longer prevail in the Churches. What has already taken place is enough: it is enough surely that Bishops have been sentenced to banishment {56} in the presence of Bishops; of which it behoves me not to speak at length, lest I appear to press too heavily on those who were present on those occasions. But if one must speak the truth, matters ought not to have proceeded so far; their private feelings [Note 50] ought not to have been suffered to reach their present pitch. Let us grant the "removal," as you write, of Athanasius and Marcellus, from their own places, yet what must one say of the case of the other Bishops and Presbyters who, as I said before, came hither from various parts, and who complained that they also had been forced away, and had suffered the like injuries? O dearly beloved, the decisions of the Church are no longer according to the Gospel, but tend only to banishment and death [Note 51]. Supposing, as you assert, that some offence rested upon those persons, the case ought to have been conducted against them, not after this manner, but according to the Canon of the Church [Note 52]. Word should have been written of it to us all [Note Q], that so a just sentence might proceed from all. For the sufferers were Bishops, and Churches of no ordinary note, but those which the Apostles themselves had governed in their own persons [Note R].

26. And why was nothing said to us concerning the Church of the Alexandrians in particular? Are you ignorant that the custom has been for word to be written first to us, and then for a just sentence to be past from this place [Note S]? If then any such suspicion rested upon the Bishop there, notice thereof ought to have been sent to the Church of this place; whereas, after neglecting to inform us, and proceeding on their own authority as they pleased, now they desire to {57} obtain our concurrence in their decisions, though we never condemned him. Not so have the Constitutions [Note T] of Paul, not so have the traditions of the Fathers directed; this is another form of procedure, a novel practice. I beseech you, readily bear with me: what I write is for the common good. For what we have received from the blessed Apostle Peter [Note U], that I signify to you; and I should not have written this, as deeming that these things were manifest unto all men, had not these proceedings so disturbed us. Bishops are forced away from their sees and driven into banishment, while others from different quarters are appointed in their place; others are treacherously assailed, so that the people have to grieve for those who are forcibly taken from them, while, as to those who are sent in their room, they are obliged to give over seeking the man whom they desire, and to receive those they do not.

27. I ask [Note 53] of you, that such things may no longer be, but that you will denounce in writing those persons who attempt them; so that the Churches may no longer be afflicted thus, nor any Bishop or Presbyter be treated with insult, nor any one be compelled to act contrary to his judgment, as they have represented to us, lest we become a laughing-stock among the heathen, and above all, lest we excite the wrath of God against us. For every one of us shall give account in the Day of judgment of the things which he has done in this life. May we all be possessed with the mind of God! so that the Churches may recover their own Bishops, and rejoice evermore in Jesus Christ our Lord; through Whom to the Father be glory, for ever and ever. Amen. {58}

I pray for your health in the Lord, brethren dearly beloved and greatly longed for.

. 36

28. Thus wrote the Council of Rome by Julius Bishop of Rome.

Top | Contents | Works | Home


Notes

A. Vito and Vincentius, Presbyters, had represented Silvester at Nica. Liberius sent Vincentius, Bishop, and Marcellus, Bishop, to Constantius; and again Lucifer, Bishop, and Eusebius, Bishop. St. Basil suggests that Damasus should send Legates into the East, Ep. 69. The Council of Sardica, Can. 5. recognised the Pope's power of sending Legates into foreign Provinces to hear certain appeals; "ut de Latere suo Presbyterum mittat." vid. Thomassin. de Eccl. Disc. Part 1. ii. 117.
Return to text

B. By Danius, which had been considered the same name as Dianus, Bishop of Csarea in Cappadocia, Montfaucon in loc. understands the notorious Arian, Bishop of Nica, called variously Diognius, (supr. . 13.) Theognius, (infr. . 28.) Theognis, (Philostorg. Hist. ii. 7.) Theogonius, (Theod. Hist. i. 19.) and assigns some ingenious and probable reasons for his supposition. vid. supr. p. 23, note d. Flacillus, Arian Bishop of Antioch, as Athan. names him, is called Placillus,(in St. Jerome's Chronicon, p.785.) Placitus, (Soz. iii. 5,) Flacitus, (Theod. Hist. i. 21.) Theodorus was Arian Bishop of Heraclea, whose Comments on the Psalms are supposed to be those which bear his name in Corderius's Catena.
Return to text

C. Some of the topics contained in the Eusebian Letter are specified in Julius's answer. It acknowledged, besides, the high dignity of the See of Rome, as being "The School ([phrontisterion]) of the Apostles and the Metropolis of orthodoxy from the beginning," but added that "doctors came to it from the east; and that they ought not themselves to hold the second place, for they were superior in virtue, though not in their Church." And they said that they would hold communion with Julius if he would agree to their depositions and substitutions in the Eastern Sees. Soz. iii. 8.
Return to text

D. As this determination does not find a place among the now received Canons of the Council, the passage in the text becomes of great moment in the argument in favour of the twenty Canons extant in Greek being but a portion of those passed at Nica. vid. Alber. Dissert. in Hist. Eccles. vii. Abraham Ecchellensis has argued on the same side, (apud Colet. Concil. t. ii. p. 399. Ed. Ven. 1728.) also Baronius, though not so strongly, Ann. 325. nn. 157, &c. and Montfaucon in loc. Natalis Alexander, Sc. 4. Dissert. 28. argues against the larger number, and Tillemont, Mem. t. 6. p. 674.
Return to text

E. The number of the Fathers at the Nicene Council is generally considered to have been 318, the number of Abraham's servants, Gen. xiv. 14. Anastasius (Hodeg. 3. fin.) referring to the first three Ecumenical Councils, speaks of the faith of the 318, the 150, and the 200.
Return to text

F. The instance of Novatian makes against the Eusebians, because for some time after Novatian was condemned in the West, his cause was not abandoned in the East. Tillemont, Mem. t. 7. p. 277.
Return to text

G. Valesius, Montfaucon, and Coustant, consider these eighteen months to run from about May 341, upon Gregory's usurpation, to October or November 342, when the Council of Rome terminated, as Schelstrate also thinks. Baronius and Tillemont follow Socrates in supposing two journeys of Athan. to Rome, and that the eighteen months began in 339 or 340, and had a break in them, during which he returned to Alexandria.
Return to text

H. or rather, halts, [monai]. They are enumerated in the Itinerary of Antonius, and are set down on Montfaucon's plate. The route passes over the Delta to Pelusium, and then coasts all the way to Antioch. These [monai] were day's journeys, Coustant in Hilar. Psalm 118, Lit. 5. 2. or half a day's journey, Herman. Ibid; and were at unequal intervals, Ambros. in Psalm 118, Serm. 5. . 5. Gibbon says that by the government conveyances, "it was easy to travel an 100 miles in a day along the Roman roads." ch. ii. [Mone] or mansio properly means the building, where soldiers or other public officers rested at night, (hence its application to monastic houses.) Such buildings included granaries, stabling, &c. vid. Cod. Theod. ed. Gothofr. 1665. t. 1. p. 47. t. 2. p. 507. Ducange Gloss. t. 4. p. 426. Col. 2.
Return to text

I. The Eusebians kept the Pope's legates, and hastened their own Council of the Dedication by way of anticipating him in their decision.
Return to text

K. Athan. only suggests this, supr. p. 6. S. Hilary says the same of the conduct of the Arians at Toulouse; "Clerks were beaten with clubs; Deacons bruised with lead; nay, even on Christ Himself (the Saints understand my meaning) hands were laid." Contr. Coustant. 11.
Return to text

L. Julius here acquits Marcellus; but it would seem that he did not eventually preserve himself from heretical notions, even if he deserved a favourable judgment at this time. Athan. sides with him, de Fug. 3. Hist. Arian. 6. but Epiphanius records, that on his asking Athanasius what he (Athan.) thought of Marcellus, a smile came on his face and he implied that there was some unsoundness in Marcellus's views which perhaps he did not like to expose. Hr. 72. n. 4. And S. Hilary says that Athan. separated him from his communion, as agreeing with Photinus his disciple, Fragm. ii. 23. Sulpicius says the same. He is considered heretical by S. Epiphanius, loc. cit. S. Basil, Epp. 69, 125, 263, 265. S. Chrysostom in Hebr. Hom. ii. 2. Theodoret, Hr. ii. 10. vid. Petav. de Trin. i. 13. who condemns him, and Bull far more strongly. Def. F. N. ii. 1. . 9. Montfaucon defends him, (in a special Dissertation, Collect. Nov. tom. 2.) and Tillemont, Mem. tom. 7. p. 513. and Natalis Alex. Sc. iv. Dissert. 30.
Return to text

M. The names of few are known; perhaps Marcellus, Asclepas, Paul of Constantinople, Lucius of Adrianople. vid. Montf. in loc. Tillem. Mem. tom. 7. p. 272.
Return to text

N. These outrages took place immediately on the dismission of Elpidius and Philoxenus, the Pope's legates, from Antioch. Athan. Hist. Ar. 12.
Return to text

O. e.g. Saparammon and Potamo, both Confessors, who were of the number of the Nicene Fathers, and had defended Athan. at Tyre, were, the former banished, the latter beaten to death. vid. infr. Hist. Ar. 12.
Return to text

P. The Pseudo-Sardican Council, i.e. the Eusebians at Philippopolis, retort this accusation on the party of Marcellus; Hilar. Fragm. iii. 9. but the character of the outrages fixes them on the Arians. vid. infr. p. 71, note H.
Return to text

Q. Coustant in loc. fairly insists on the word "all," as shewing that S. Julius does not here claim the prerogative of judging by himself all Bishops whatever, and that what follows relates merely to the Church of Alexandria.
Return to text

R. St. Peter (Greg. M. Epist. vii. Ind. 15. 40 ) or St. Mark (Leo, Ep. 9.) at Alexandria. St. Paul at Ancyra in Galatia, (Tertull. contr. Marcion. iv. 5.) vid. Coustant, in loc.
Return to text

S. Socrates says somewhat differently, "Julius wrote back ... that they acted against the Canons, because they had not called him to a Council, the Ecclesiastical Canon commanding that the Churches ought not to make Canons beside the will of the Bishop of Rome." Hist. ii. 17. Sozomen in like manner, "for it was a sacerdotal law, to declare invalid whatever was transacted beside the will of the Bishop of the Romans." Hist. iii. 10. vid. Pope Damasus ap. Theod. Hist. v. 10. Leon. Epist. 14. &c. In the passage in the text the prerogative of the Roman see is limited, as Coustant observes, to the instance of Alexandria; and we actually find in the third century a complaint lodged against its Bishop Dionysius with the Pope.
Return to text

T. [diataxeis]. St. Paul says [houtos en tais ekklesiais diatassomai]. 1 Cor. vii. 17. [ta de loipa diataxomai]. Ibid. xi. 34. vid. Pearson, Vind. Ignat. p. 298. Hence Coustant in loc. Athan. would suppose Julius to refer to 1 Cor. v. 4. which Athan. actually quotes, Ep. Encycl. . 2. supr. pp. 4. 5. Pearson loc. cit. considers the [diataxeis] of the Apostles, as a collection of regulations and usages, which more or less represented, or claimed to represent, what may be called St. Paul's rule, or St. Peter's rule, &c. Cotelier considers the [diataxeis] as the same as the [didaxai] the "doctrine" or "teaching" of the Apostles. Prfat. in Const. Apost. So does Beveridge, Cod. Can. Illustr. ii. 9. . 5.
Return to text

U. [Petri] in Sede su vivit potestas et excellit auctoritas. Leon. Serm. iii. 3. vid. contra Barrow on the Supremacy, p. 116. ed. 1836. "not one Bishop, but all Bishops together through the whole Church, do succeed St. Peter, or any other Apostle."
Return to text

Top | Contents | Works | Home


Margin Notes

1. A.D. 340. vid. Hist. Arian. . 11.
Return to text

2. May, A.D. 341.
Return to text

3. infr. . 58.
Return to text

4. [sunegen].
Return to text

5. vid. infr. p. 60, ref. 2.
Return to text

6. A.D. 342, but 341. Tillem. &c.
Return to text

7. [timan].
Return to text

8. [mikropsuchian], jealousy. vid. Chrys. in Eph. O. T. pp. 119, 326, 331.
Return to text

9. [proetrepsametha].
Return to text

10. A.D. 340.
Return to text

11. [skulai].
Return to text

12. [areiomaniton], supr. p. 4. ref. 1.
Return to text

13. A.D. 341.
Return to text

14. A.D. 339.
Return to text

15. vid. infr. Depos. Ar.
Return to text

16. [ischusai].
Return to text

17. vid. also Hilar. Fragm. iii. 26.
Return to text

18. i.e. Novatian.
Return to text

19. vid. supr. p. 23.
Return to text

20. Cyprian. de Unit. Eccl. 4. O. T.
Return to text

21. [prothesmia], vid. Cyr. Cat. O. T. pp. 3, 246.
Return to text

22. A.D. 342. Tillem. reads June.
Return to text

23. the Persian war. Hist. Arian. . 11.
Return to text

24. vid. supr. . 3.-. 19.
Return to text

25. vid. infr. . 83 fin.
Return to text

26. infr. . 80.
Return to text

27. . 64.
Return to text

28. . 74.
Return to text

29. supr. . 6. p. 22.
Return to text

30. infr. . 83.
Return to text

31. [en kellioi].
Return to text

32. Bingh. Ant. x. 5. . 8.
Return to text

33. infr. . 71.
Return to text

34. pp. 3, 45, 55.
Return to text

35. [kletheis].
Return to text

36. p. 41, note D, p. 55.
Return to text

37. vid. Bingh. Ant. ii. 11. . 7.
Return to text

38. pp. 3, 50.
Return to text

39. supr. p. 6.
Return to text

40. p. 31.
Return to text

41. [exotikou].
Return to text

42. vid. Epiph. Hr. 72. 2, 3. and p. 73. infr.
Return to text

43. Vicentius and Vito.
Return to text

44. pp. 5. 29.
Return to text

45. [protrepomenos].
Return to text

46. vid. supr. p. 45.
Return to text

47. [ekanonisthe], vid. p. 51, infr. . 69.
Return to text

48. ad Ep. g. 5. de Syn. 5.
Return to text

49. [mikropsuchian] supr. p. 41.
Return to text

50. [mikropsuchias] p. 55.
Return to text

51. Hist. Arian. . 67.
Return to text

52. p. 53.
Return to text

53. [axio].
Return to text

Top | Contents | Works | Home


Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
Copyright 2007 by The National Institute for Newman Studies. All rights reserved.