Early Church Fathers
36 [Eusebius gives us no example of his application of Scripture in this case. His commentator Valesius refers to Zeph. iii. 8 (LXX), Dia touto upomeinon me, legei Kurioj, eij hmeran anastasewj mou eij marturion, tells us that Cyril of Jerusalem, in his fourth Homily, explains this passage in Zephaniah of the Martyrium, of Basilica, which Constantine built on the spot of the Lord's resurrection. Let any one examine the whole passage (allowing for the mistake of one hebrew word for another by the (LLX), and say, if this be a fair specimen, what we are to think of the Fathers of the fourth century as interpreters of Scripture. See also Bk. 3, ch.33, note.-Bag.] "Intepreted pertinent passages from the prophets."-Str. and Molz.
37 The Oration is appended to this work.
39 Yet Eusebius himself in his Oration uses language almost as obnoxious, and records that Constantine was much pleased with it. The difference was probably one of gracefulness.
40 His second son by Fausta. Crispus seems now to be counted out. This was not the famous Eusebia who was his second wife.
41 ["The younger Constantine was appointed to hold his court in Gaul; and his brother Constantius exchanged that department, the ancient patrimony of their father, for the more opulent, but less martial, countries of the East. Italy, the Western Illyricum, and Africa, were accustomed to revere Constans, the third of his sons, as the representative of the great Constantine" (Gibbon, Decline and Fall, ch. 18).-Bag.] Compare Prolegomena, under Life.
42 Centurions, generals, tribunes.
43 The expression is over strong. Constantius, e.g., was not baptized until just before his death.
44 [In his Chronicon, Eusebius gives the more correct period of thirty years and ten months. Constantine's reign began a.d. 306, and his death took place a.d. 337.-Bag.] Compare Prolegomena, also Clinton, Fasti Rom. an. 337.
45 Compare Prolegomena, under Character.
46 "Psychical qualities"-including more than intellectual.
47 Compare Prolegomena, Character. There is a striking touch of naturalness in this passage which tells for the historical trustworthiness of the biographer, and though exposing the fault of the emperor yet gives a rather pleasing glimpse of his character.
48 Compare remarks in Prolegomena, under Writings and Character.
49 From this point to the end of the first sentence in ch. 58 is bracketed by Heinichen.
50 Literally "salutary word of cleansing," but the paraphrase of Bag. will stand well whichever of the readings, "salutary cleansing," or "salutary word of cleansing," is adopted.
51 [These words seem to prove that the emperor now first became a catechumen. His postponement of baptism until his last illness (after having stood forward so long as the public advocate and protector of the Christian religion), and the superstitious reliance which he was encouraged to place on the late performance of this "mysterious" rite, afford an evidence of the melancholy obscuration of Christian truth at the very time when Christianity was ostensibly becoming the religion of the Roman Empire. There is probably too much truth in the following remarks of Gibbon: "The pride of Constantine, who refused the privileges of a catechumen, cannot easily be explained or excused: but the delay of his baptism maybe justified by the maxims and practice of ecclesiastical antiquity. The sacrament of baptism was supposed to contain a full and absolute expiation of sin; and the soul was instantly restored to its original purity, and entitled to the promise of eternal salvation. Among the proselytes of Christianity, there were many who judged it imprudent to precipitate a salutary rite, which could not be repeated; to throw away an inestimable privilege, which could never be recovered," &c. (Decline and Fall, ch. 20).-Bag.] On the forms of admission to the catechumenate, compare Marriott, Baptism, in Smith and Cheetham, Dict.
52 Or "no hesitation." On this clause a deal of controversy has hinged. "No hesitation shall longer prevail" is the rendering of Molz., and Keim (Uebertritt C. p. 1) similarly gives "let all duplicity be banished." In the view of this translation, Constantine had been hedging all his life, trying to be Christian to Christians and heathen to heathen. The basis of the hypothesis is too slight for it to have any weight in view of the overwhelming documentary evidence of the frequent public professions of Christianity by Constantine, for which see Prolegomena, under Character. Discussion of various points relating to his baptism will be found under Literature, under the names Busaeus, Castelli, Dalhus, Frimelius Fuhrmann, Guidi, Halloix, Hynitzsch, Jacobus of Sarug, Nicolai, Polus, Schelstrate, Scultetus, Tentzel, Walther, Withof.
53 [It was customary for neophytes to wear white garments, which they laid aside on the eighth day from their baptism.-Bag.]
54 The idea of ownership in empire which seems so strange in these days of republics, and is disallowed even by theoretical monarchists, seems to have been a most matter-of-course one in the mind of Constantine, and Eusebius was a true imperialist regarding "tyranies" and "republics" as in the same category. Whether it was by "divine right" or "natural right" they were quite sure it was a "right," and one to be freely exercised.
55 Compare Prolegomena, Life, Last Years; also for age at time of death, Prolegomena, p. 411, note.