Early Church Fathers
55 [Africa: alluding to the schism of the Donatists.-Bag.]
56 Or "mutual."
57 [The word nomoj seems to be commonly used by Eusebius as a general term for Divine revelation; as we employ the word "Scripture."-Bag.]
58 The plain English "stuck to" represents the idea of Heinichen (animo infixisses infixunique teneres) followed by Molz (mit unkluger Hartnackigkeit festhieltest).Bag. had "gave utterance to," and with this Vales., 1709, and Str. correspond.
59 Bag., "The meeting of the synod was prohibited."
60 On "forgiveness."
61 Rendered "forbearance" above.
62 [The emperor seems at this time to have had a very imperfect knowledge of the errors of the Arian heresy. After the Council of Nice, at which he heard them fully explained, he wrote of them in terms of decisive condemnation in his letter to the Alexandrian church. Vide Socrates' Eccles. Hist., Bk. 1, ch. 9.-Bag.] Neither at this time nor at any time does Constantine seem to have entered very fully into an appreciation of doctrinal niceties. Later he was more than tolerant of semi-Arianism. He seems to have depended a good deal on the "explanations" of others, and to have been led in a somewhat devious path in trying to follow all.
63 [Hosius of Cordova, mentioned above, ch. 63.-Bag.]
1 Compare contrast with the other emperors in Prolegomena, under Life.
2 Eusebius expressly states that Constantine's words had little result in conversion. It is meant here that the success of one who relied on God itself proved the vanity of idols.
3 This may perhaps mean "ordered to be inscribed" or "wrote it to be his safeguard." This form of Bag. is a satisfactory paraphrase.
4 Their bindings were adorned with precious stones according to Cedrenus. Compare Prolegomena, Character, Magnificence.
5 [Politeutwn andrwn, here, apparently, the Decurions, who formed the corporations of the cities, and were subject to responsible and burdensome offices. Vide Gibbon, Decline and Fall, chap. 17.-Bag.] So Valesius maintains, and has been generally if not universally followed. Though it might be overventuresome to change the translation therefore, it befits the sense better and suits the words admirably to apply to the different classes, Peregrini and Cives. This distinction did not fully pass away until the time of Justinian (Long, art. Civitas, in Smith, Dict. Gr. and Rom. Ant.), and it seems certain that Eusebius meant this.
6 This above is a sort of resume of the life of Constantine. For illustration of the various facts mentioned, compare the latter part of the Church History and the various acts and documents in this Life. Compare also Prolegomena, under Life, and especially under Character. It seems now and then to be like a little homily on the glory of having the shoe on the other foot-the glory of having done to others what others had done to them.
7 Note the explicit testimony of Eusebius here, and compare Prolegomena, under Religious Characteristics.
8 Especially the book of Revelation, and Isaiah as quoted below.
9 [Literally, by encaustic painting. See Bk. 1, ch. 3, note.-Bag.]
10 Isa. xxvii. 1. This is not taken from the Septuagint translation, as it corresponds with the Hebrew against the LXX. It differs in the word used for "terrible," and none of the editions (or at least not the Vatican, Holmes and Parsons, Van Ess, or Tischendorf) and none of the mss. cited by Holmes and Parsons, have the phrase "in the sea" as the Hebrew. Grabe has this latter as rations reading (ed. Bagster, 16º, p. 74), but there is hardly a possibility that it is the true reading.
11 The famous rocks in the Euxine which were wont to close against one another and crush all passing ships, and by which the Argo was said (Od. 12. 69) to be the only ship which ever passed in safety.
12 For endless literature of the Paschal controversy, compare articles in all the religious encyclop`dias. especially perhaps Steitz, in the Schaff-Herzog; and for history and discussion of the question itself, see Hensley's art. Easter, in Smith and Cheetham, Dict.
13 By some this phrase is joined to the preceding paragraph,-strangers ..."in this as in other respects," and so Bag. translates, but the division followed here is that of Hein.
14 "Beasts of burden."
15 The probably apocryphal version of the summoning letter given by Cowper (Syr. Misc.) from the Syriac gives the reason of the choice of Nicaea, "the excellent temperature of the air" there.
16 The standard work on councils is Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, available to the English reader in the translation of Clark, Oxenham, &c. (Edinb. 1872 sq.), a work so thoroughly fundamental that a general reference to it will serve as one continuous note to matters relating to the councils held under Constantine.
17 = Africa.
18 It is noted that this evidence of the presence of foreign bishops-"missionary bishops," so to speak-is confirmed by Gelasius and also by the roll of the members.
19 [Hosius of Cordova.-Bag.]
20 [It has been doubted whether Rome or Constantinople is here intended. The authority of Sozomen and others is in favor of the former. See English translation, published as one volume of this series.-Bag.] Also in this series.
21 Acts ii. 5 sqq.
22 The number present is given variously as three hundred (Socrates), three hundred and eighteen (Athanasius, &c.), two hundred and seventy (Theodoret), or even two thousand (cf. Hefele). It has been conjectured that the variation came from the omission of names of the Arians (cf. note of Heinichen, Vol. 3, P. 506-507), or that it varied during the two months and more.
23 This is the way it is interpreted by Sozomen, 1, 17. The phrase, which is literally "of middling character," is translated by Molz. and others as if it meant "mild" or "modest," as if it referred in some way to the doctrine of the mean.
24 [Hence it seems probable that this was the last day of the Council; the entire session of which occupied more than two months, and which was originally held in a church.-Bag.] The exact dates of the Council are controverted, but it seems that it ended August 25, having probably begun June 14.
25 Compare Prolegomena, under Physical and Mental Characteristics.
26 [The authority of Sozomen and other writers seems to decide that this was Eusebius himself.-Bag.]
27 The earnest desire of Constantine to promote peace in the church makes one judge with leniency the rather arbitrary and very mechanical method he often took to secure it. As over against the unity of form or the unity of compromise, there is one only real unity-a unity in the truth, being one in the Truth. The secret of peace is reason with right.