Early Church Fathers
78 Canon 15 (or 14) of the "Apostolical Canons." Cf. ed. Bruns. 1 (Berol. 1839), 3.
79 The word has thus generally been rendered by Bag., and does probably refer to their official title, although in this case and occasionally he translates "friends."
80 [George (afterwards bishop of Laodicea) appears to have been degraded from the office of presbyter on the ground of impiety, by the same bishop who had ordained him. Both George and Euphronius were of the Arian party, of which fact it is possible that Constantine was ignorant.-Bag.] Georgius was at one time or another Arian, semi-Arian, and Anomoean, and is said to have been called by Athanasius "the most wicked of all the Arians" (Venables in Smith and Wace, Dict. 2. 637). He was constantly pitted against Eustathius, which accounts for his appearance at this time. Euphronius was the one chosen at this time. Compare Bennett, Euphronius, in Smith and Wace, Dict. 2. 297.
81 [Matt. vii. 15, Matt. vii. 16.] Quoted perhaps from memory, or else this text is defective, for this reads, "will come" where all N. T. mss. have "come."
82 Sufficiently good general accounts of these various heresies may be found in Blunt. Dict. of Sects, Heresies, Ecclesiastical Parties, and Schools of Religious Thought, Lond. 1874, p. 382-389, Novatians; p. 612-614, Valentintans; p. 296-298, Marcionites; p. 515-517, Samosatenes (Paultans); p. 336-341, Montanists (Cataphrygians). Or see standard Encyclopaedias.
83 There is throughout this Life a curious repetition in the details of action against heretics of precisely the same things which Christians complained of as having been done to them. The idea of toleration then seems to have been much as it was in pre-reformation times, or, not to judge other times when there is a beam in our own eye, as it is in America and England to-day,-the largest toleration for every one who thinks as we do, and for the others a temporary suspension of the rule to "judge not," with an amended prayer, "Lord, condemn them, for they know not what they do," and a vigorous attempt to force the divine judgment.
84 Here again it is worth noting, for history and for edification, that books were prohibited and heretics treated just as the Christians did not like to "be done by," by the heathen.
85 This famous "church unity," for which Constantine has been blessed or execrated, as the case might be, in all the ages since, was hardly more complete than modern unified churches where all the members held different pet doctrines and are prepared to fight for them to the bitter end.
1 Compare Prolegomena, under Character, for the criticism of this conduct from those who viewed it from another point of view.
2 For directly contrary account of his taxations, compare Prolegomena, under Character.
3 In reality it may have been less childish than Eusebius makes it appear, for it probably refers to cases where it was a matter of just equalization of claims, where each party thought his claim just.
4 [Probably the Goths are meant, as in Socrates' Eccles. Hist. Bk. I. ch. 18.-Bag.] Compare for his Gothic wars, references in Prolegomena, under Life.
5 To the number of 300,000, according to Anonymus Valesianus. This was in the year 334.
[Aifiopaj, toi dixqa dedaiatai, esxatoi andpwn,.
Oi men dusomenou uperionoj, oi d=aniontoj.
-Odyss. 1. 23, 24.-Bag.]
7 Sapor II. (310-381) called the Great, one of the Sassanidae and afterwards the persistent enemy of the sons of Constantine. He was at various times a bitter persecutor of the Christians, and it is said (Plate) that "no Persian king had ever caused such terror to Rome as this monarch." Compare article by Plate on the Sassanidae in Smith, Dict. of Gr. and R. Biog. and Mythol.
8 [Referring to the luminous appearances produced by the Pagan priests in the celebration of their mysteries.-Bag.]
9 [Valerian, who had been a persecutor of the Christians, and whose expedition against the Persians had terminated in his own captivity, and subjection to every kind of insult and cruelty from the conquerors.-Bag.]
10 [The sense given above of this passage (which in the text is corrupt), is founded on the reading restored by Valesius from Theodoritus and Nicephorus.-Bag.] Stroth translates (Hein.), "So I desire for you the greatest prosperity; and for them, too, I wish that it may prosper as with you."
11 [That is, Friday. The passage is not very intelligible. Does it mean that Constantine ordered this day to be distinguished in some way from others, as the day of the Lord's crucifixion?-Bag.]
12 [The decree of Constantine for the general observance of Sunday appears to have been issued a.d. 321, before which time both "the old and new sabbath" were observed by Christians.
"Constantine (says Gibbon, ch. 20, note 8) styles the Lord's day Dies solis, a name which could not offend the ears of his Pagan subjects."-Bag.] This has been urged as ground for saying that Constantine did not commit himself to Christianity until the end of life, but it only shows his tact and care in treating the diverse elements of his empire.