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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

“ARIUS, unjustly persecuted by the Pope Alexander, on account of that all-conquering truth which you also uphold, sendeth greeting in the Lord to his very clear lord, the man of God, the faithful and orthodox Eusebius.

“Ammonius, my father, being about to depart for Nicomedia, I considered myself bound to salute you by him, and withal to address myself to that natural affection which you bear towards the brethren for the sake of God and of Christ, apprising you that the bishop oppresses and persecutes us most severely, and that he causes us much suffering: he has driven us out of the city as atheists, because we do not concur in what he publicly preaches, namely, that the Father has always been, and that the Son has always been: that as the Father so is the Son; that the Son is unbegotten as the Father; that he is always being begotten, without having been begotten; that neither by thought nor by any interval does God precede the Son, God and the So having always been; and that the Son proceeds from God. Eusebius, your brother bishop of Cæsarea, Theodotius, Paulinus, Athanasius, Gregory, Aetius, and all the bishops of the East, have been condemned because they say that God had an existence prior to that of his Son; except Philogonius, Hellanicus, and Macarius, who are unlearned men, and who have embraced heretical opinions. One of them says that the Son is an effusion, another that he is an emission, the other that he is also unbegotten. These are impieties to which we could not listen, even though the heretics should threaten us with a thousand deaths. But we say and believe, and have taught, and do teach, that the Son is not unbegotten, nor in any way unbegotten, even in part; and that he does not derive his subsistence from any matter; but that by his own will and counsel he has subsisted before time, and before ages, as perfect God, only begotten and unchangeable, and that he existed not before he was begotten, or created, or purposed, or established. For he was not unbegotten. We are persecuted, because we say that the Son had a beginning, but that God was without beginning. This is really the cause of our persecution, and likewise, because we say that he is from nothing (ἐξ οὐκ ὄντων ἔστιν). And this we say, because he is neither part of God, nor of any subjacent matter. For this are we persecuted; the rest you know. Farewell. As a disciple of Lucian, and as a truly pious man according to the import of your name, remember our afflictions.”

Of those whose names are mentioned in this letter, Eusebius was bishop of Cæsarea, Theodotius was bishop of Laodicea, Paulinus of Tyre, Athanasius of Anazarbus, Gregory of Berea, and Aetius of Lydda. Lydda is now called Diospolis. Arius boasted that these were all of one mind with himself. He names as his adversaries, Philogonius, bishop of Antioch, Hellanicus, bishop of Tripoli, and Macarius, bishop of Jerusalem. He spread calumnies against them because they said that the Son is eternal, existing before all ages, equal with the Father, and of the same substance.

When Eusebius received the epistle, he detected the impiety of the sentiments therein expressed, and wrote to Paulinus, bishop of Tyre, in the following words.

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