Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.03 Book I Part 2

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Church Fathers: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05: 25.01.03 Book I Part 2

TOPIC: Post-Nicene Fathers Vol 05 (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 25.01.03 Book I Part 2

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Let him write, please, another apology in addition to this second; for this one is not a correction of mistakes made about him, but rather a proof of the truth of those charges. Every one knows that a proper apology aims at disproving a charge; thus a man who is accused of theft or murder or any other crime either denies the fact altogether, or transfers the blame to another party, or else, if neither of these is possible, he appeals to the charity or to the compassion of those who are to vote upon his sentence. But in his book he neither denies the charge, nor shifts it on some one else, nor has recourse to an appeal for mercy, nor promises amendment for the future; but he establishes the charge against him by an unusually labored demonstration. This charge, as he himself confesses, really amounted to an indictment for profanity, nor did it leave the nature of this undefined, but proclaimed the particular kind; whereas his apology proves this species of profanity to be a positive duty, and instead of removing the charge strengthens it. Now, if the tenets of our Faith had been left in any obscurity, it might have been less hazardous to attempt novelties; but the teaching of our master-theologian is now firmly fixed in the souls of the faithful; and so it is a question whether the man who shouts out contradictions of that about which all equally have made up their minds is defending himself against the charges made, or is not rather drawing down upon him the anger of his hearers, and making his accusers still more bitter. I incline to think the latter. So that if there are, as our writer tells us, both hearers of his apology and accusers of his attempts upon the Faith, let him tell us, how those accusers can possibly compromisehyperlink the matter now, or what sort of verdict that jury must return, now that his offence has been already proved by his own `apology.'

§8. Facts Show that the Terms of Abuse Which He Has Employed Against Basil are More Suitable for Himself.

But these remarks are by the way, and come from our not keeping close to our argument. We had to inquire not how he ought to have made his apology, but whether he had ever made one at all. But now let us return to our former position, viz., that he is convicted by his own statements. This hater of falsehood first of all tells us that he was condemned because the jury which was assigned him defied the law, and that he was driven over sea and land and suffered much from the burning sun and the dust. Then in trying to conceal his falsehood he drives out one nail with another nail, as the proverb says, and puts one falsehood right by cancelling it with another. As every one knows as well as he does that he never uttered one word in court, he declares that he begged to be let off coming into a hostile court and was condemned by default. Could there be a plainer case than this of a man contradicting both the truth and himself? When he is pressed about the title of his book, he makes his trial the constraining cause of this `apology;' but when he is pressed with the fact that he spoke not one word to the jury, he denies that there was any trial and says that he declinedhyperlink such a jury. See how valiantly this doughty champion of the truth fights against falsehood! Then he dares to call our mighty Basil `a malicious rascal and a liar;' and besides that, `a bold ignorant parvenuhyperlink ,' `no deep divine,' and he adds to his list of abusive terms, `stark mad,' scattering an infinity of such words over his pages, as if he imagined that his own bitter invectives could outweigh the common testimony of mankind, who revere that great name as though he were one of the saints of old. He thinks in fact that he, if no one else, can touch with calumny one whom calumny has never touched; but the sun is not so low in the heavens that any one can reach him with stones or any other missiles; they will but recoil upon him who shot them, while the intended target soars far beyond his reach. If any one, again, accuses the sun of want of light, he has not dimmed the brightness of the sunbeams with his scoffs; the sun will still remain the sun, and the fault-finder will only prove the feebleness of his own visual organs; and, if he should endeavour, after the fashion of this `apology,' to persuade all whom he meets and will listen to him not to give in to the common opinions about the sun, nor to attach more weight to the experiences of all than to the surmises of one individual by `assigning victory to mere quantity,' his nonsense will be wasted on those who can use their eyes.

Let some one then persuade Eunomius to bridle his tongue, and not give the rein to such wild talk, nor kick against the pricks in the insolent abuse of an honoured name; but to allow the mere remembrance of Basil to fill his soul with reverence and awe. What can he gain by this unmeasured ribaldry, when the object of it will retain all that character which his life, his words, and the general estimate of the civilized world proclaims him to have possessed? The man who takes in hand to revile reveals his own disposition as not being able, because it is evil, to speak good things, but only "to speak from the abundance of the heart," and to bring forth from that evil treasure-house. Now, that his expressions are merely those of abuse quite divorced from actual facts, can be proved from his own writings.

§9. In Charging Basil with Not Defending His Faith at the Time of the `Trials,' He Lays Himself Open to the Same Charge.

He hints at a certain locality where this trial for heresy took place; but he gives us no certain indication where it was, and the reader is obliged to guess in the dark. Thither, he tells us, a congress of picked representatives from all quarters was summoned; and he is at his best here, placing before our eyes with some vigorous strokes the preparation of the event which he pretends took place. Then, he says, a trial in which he would have had to run for his very life was put into the hands of certain arbitrators, to whom our Teacher and Master who was present gave his chargehyperlink ; and as all the voting power was thus won over to the enemies' side, he yielded the positionhyperlink , fled from the place, and hunted everywhere for some hearth and home; and he is great, in this graphic sketchhyperlink , in arraigning the cowardice of our hero; as any one who likes may see by looking at what he has written. But I cannot stop to give specimens here of the bitter gall of his utterances; I must pass on to that, for the sake of which I mentioned all this.

Where, then, was that unnamed spot in which this examination of his teachings was to take place? What was this occasion when the best then were collected for a trial? Who were these men who hurried over land and sea to share in these labours? What was this `expectant world that hung upon the issue of the voting?' Who was `the arranger of the trial?' However, let us consider that he invented all that to swell out the importance of his story, as boys at school are apt to do in their fictitious conversations of this kind; and let him only tell us who that `terrible combatant' was whom our Master shrunk from encountering. If this also is a fiction, let him be the winner again, and have the advantage of his vain words. We will say nothing: in the useless fight with shadows the real victory is to decline conquering in that. But if he speaks of the events at Constantinople and means the assembly there, and is in this fever of literary indignation at tragedies enacted there, and means himself by that great and redoubtable athlete, then we would display the reasons why, though present on the occasion, we did not plunge into the fight.

Now let this man who upbraids that hero with his cowardice tell us whether he went down into the thick of the fray, whether he uttered one syllable in defence of his own orthodoxy, whether he made any vigorous peroration, whether he victoriously grappled with the foe? He cannot tell us that, or he manifestly contradicts himself, for he owns that by his default he received the adverse verdict. If it was a duty to speak at the actual time of the trial (for that is the law which he lays down for us in his book), then why was he then condemned by default? If on the other hand he did well in observing silence before such dicasts, how arbitrarilyhyperlink he praises himself, but blames us, for silence at such a time! What can be more absurdly unjust than this! When two treatises have been put forth since the time of the trial, he declares that his apology, though written so very long after, was in time, but reviles that which answered his own as quite too late! Surely he ought to have abused Basil's intended counter-statement before it was actually made; but this is not found amongst his other complaints. Knowing as he did what Basil was going to write when the time of the trial had passed away, why in the world did he not find fault with it there and then? In fact it is clear from his own confession that he never made that apology in the trial itself. I will repeat again his words:-`We confess that we were condemned by default;' and he adds why; `Evil-disposed persons had been passed as jurymen,' or rather, to use his own phrase, `there was a packed panel of them where a jury ought to have sat.' Whereas, on the other hand, it is clear from another passage in his book that he attests that his apology was made `at the proper time.' It runs thus:-"That I was urged to make this apology at the proper time and in the proper manner from no pretended reasons, but compelled to do so on behalf of those who went security for me, is clear from facts and also from this man's words." He adroitly twists his words round to meet every possible objection; but what will he say to this? `It was not right to keep silent during the trial.' Then why was Eunomius speechless during that same trial? And why is his apology, coming as it did after the trial, in good time? And if in good time, why is Basil's controversy with him not in good time?

But the remark of that holy father is especially true, that Eunomius in pretending to make an apology really gave his teaching the support he wished to give it; and that genuine emulator of Phineas' zeal, destroying as he does with the sword of the Word every spiritual fornicator, dealt in the `Answer to his blasphemy' a sword-thrust that was calculated at once to heal a soul and to destroy a heresy. If he resists that stroke, and with a soul deadened by apostacy will not admit the cure, the blame rests with him who chooses the evil, as the Gentile proverb says. So far for Eunomius' treatment of truth, and of us: and now the law of former times, which allows an equal return on those who are the first to injure, might prompt us to discharge on him a counter-shower of abuse, and, as he is a very easy subject for this, to be very liberal of it, so as to outdo the pain which he has inflicted: for if he was so rich in insolent invective against one who gave no chance for calumny, how many of such epithets might we not expect to find for those who have satirized that saintly life? But we have been taught from the first by that scholar of the Truth to be scholars of the Gospel ourselves, and therefore we will not take an eye for an eye, nor a tooth for a tooth; we know well that all the evil that happens admits of being annihilated by its opposite, and that no bad word and no bad deed would ever develope into such desperate wickedness, if one good one could only be got in to break the continuity of the vicious stream. Therefore the routine of insolence and abusiveness is checked from repeating itself by long-suffering: whereas if insolence is met with insolence and abuse with abuse, you will but feed with itself this monster-vice, and increase it vastly.

§10. All His Insulting Epithets are Shewn by Facts to Be False.

I therefore pass over everything else, as mere insolent mockery and scoffing abuse, and hasten to the question of his doctrine. Should any one say that I decline to be abusive only because I cannot pay him back in his own coin, let such an one consider in his own case what proneness there is to evil generally, what a mechanical sliding into sin, dispensing with the need of any practice. The power of becoming bad resides in the will; one act of wishing is often the sufficient occasion for a finished wickedness; and this ease of operation is more especially fatal in the sins of the tongue. Other classes of sins require time and occasion and co-operation to be committed; but the propensity to speak can sin when it likes. The treatise of Eunomius now in our hands is sufficient to prove this; one who attentively considers it will perceive the rapidity of the descent into sins in the matter of phrases: and it is the easiest thing in the world to imitate these, even though one is quite unpractised in habitual defamation. What need would there be to labour in coining our intended insults into names, when one might employ upon this slanderer his own phrases? He has strung together, in fact, in this part of his work, every sort of falsehood and evil-speaking, all moulded from the models which he finds in himself; every extravagance is to be found in writing these. He writes "cunning," "wrangling," "foe to truth," "high-flownhyperlink ," "charlatan," "combating general opinion and tradition," "braving facts which give him the lie," "careless of the terrors of the law, of the censure of men," "unable to distinguish the enthusiasm for truth from mere skill in reasoning;" he adds, "wanting in reverence," "quick to call names," and then "blatant," "full of conflicting suspicions," "combining irreconcileable arguments," "combating his own utterances," "affirming contradictories;" then, though eager to speak all ill of him, not being able to find other novelties of invective in which to indulge his bitterness, often in default of all else he reiterates the same phrases, and comes round again a third and a fourth time and even more to what he has once said; and in this circus of words he drives up and then turns down, over and over again, the same racecourse of insolent abuse; so that at last even anger at this shameless display dies away from very weariness. These low unlovely street boys' jeers do indeed provoke disgust rather than anger; they are not a whit better than the inarticulate grunting of some old woman who is quite drunk.

Must we then enter minutely into this, and laboriously, refute all his invectives by showing that Basil was not this monster of his imagination? If we did this, contentedly proving the absence of anything vile and criminal in him, we should seem to join in insulting one who was a `bright particular star' to his generation. But I remember how with that divine voice of his he quoted the prophethyperlink with regard to him, comparing him to a shameless woman who casts her own reproaches on the chaste. For whom do these reasonings of his proclaim to be truth's enemy and in arms against public opinion? Who is it who begs the readers of his book not `to look to the numbers of those who profess a belief, or to mere tradition, or to let their judgment be biassed so as to consider as trustworthy what is only suspected to be the stronger side?' Can one and the same man write like this, and then make those charges, scheming that his readers should follow his own novelties at the very moment that he is abusing others for opposing themselves to the general belief? As for `brazening out facts which give him the lie, and men's censure,' I leave the reader to judge to whom this applies; whether to one who by a most careful self-restraint made sobriety and quietness and perfect purity the rule of his own life as well as that of his entourage, or to one who advised that nature should not be molested when it is her pleasure to advance through the appetites of the body, not to thwart indulgence, nor to be so particular as that in the training of our life; but that a self-chosen faith should be considered sufficient for a man to attain perfection. If he denies that this is his teaching, I and any right-minded person would rejoice if he were telling the truth in such a denial. But his genuine followers will not allow him to produce such a denial, or their leading principles would be gone, and the platform of those who for this reason embrace his tenets would fall to pieces. As for shameless indifference to human censure, you may look at his youth or his after life, and you would find him in both open to this reproach. The two men's lives, whether in youth or manhood, tell a widely-different tale.

Let our speech-writer, while he reminds himself of his youthful doings in his native land, and afterwards at Constantinople, hear from those who can tell him what they know of the man whom he slanders. But if any would inquire into their subsequent occupations, let such a person tell us which of the two he considers to deserve so high a reputation; the man who ungrudgingly spent upon the poor his patrimony even before he was a priest, and most of all in the time of the famine, during which he was a ruler of the Church, though still a priest in the rank of presbytershyperlink ; and afterwards did not hoard even what remained to him, so that he too might have made the Apostles' boast, `Neither did we eat any man's bread for noughthyperlink ;' or, on the other hand, the man who has made the championship of a tenet a source of income, the man who creeps into houses, and does not conceal his loathsome affliction by staying at home, nor considers the natural aversion which those in good health must feel for such, though according to the law of old he is one of those who are banished from the inhabited camp because of the contagion of his unmistakeablehyperlink disease.

Basil is called `hasty' and `insolent,' and in both characters `a liar' by this man who `would in patience and meekness educate those of a contrary opinion to himself;' for such are the airs he gives himself when he speaks of him, while he omits no hyperbole of bitter language, when he has a sufficient opening to produce it. On what grounds, then, does he charge him with this hastiness and insolence? Because `he called me a Galatian, though I am a Cappadocian;' then it was because he called a man who lived on the boundary in an obscure corner like Corniaspinehyperlink a Galatian instead of an Oltiserian; supposing, that is, that it is proved that he said this. I have not found it in my copies; but grant it. For this he is to be called `hasty,' `insolent,' all that is bad. But the wise know well that the minute charges of a faultfinder furnish a strong argument for the righteousness of the accused; else, when eager to accuse, he would not have spared great faults and employed his malice on little ones. On these last he is certainly great, heightening the enormity of the offence, and making solemn reflections on falsehood, and seeing equal heinousness in it whether in great or very trivial matters. Like the fathers of his heresy, the scribes and Pharisees, he knows how to strain a gnat carefully and to swallow at one gulp the hump-backed camel laden with a weight of wickedness. But it would not be out of place to say to him, `refrain from making such a rule in our system; cease to bid us think it of no account to measure the guilt of a falsehood by the slightness or the importance of the circumstances.' Paul telling a falsehood and purifying himself after the manner of the Jews to meet the needs of those whom he usefully deceived did not sin the same as Judas for the requirement of his treachery putting on a kind and affable look. By a falsehood Joseph in love to his brethren deceived them; and that too while swearing `by the life of Pharaohhyperlink ;' but his brethren had really lied to him, in their envy plotting his death and then his enslavement. There are many such cases: Sarah lied, because she was ashamed of laughing: the serpent lied, tempting man to disobey and change to a divine existence. Falsehoods differ widely according to their motives. Accordingly we accept that general statement about man which the Holy Spirit uttered by the Prophethyperlink , `Every man is a liar;' and this man of God, too, has not kept clear of falsehood, having chanced to give a place the name of a neighbouring district, through oversight or ignorance of its real name. But Eunomius also has told a falsehood, and what is it? Nothing less than a misstatement of Truth itself. He asserts that One who always is once was not; he demonstrates that One who is truly a Son is falsely so called; he defines the Creator to be a creature and a work; the Lord of the world he calls a servant, and ranges the Being who essentially rules with subject beings. Is the difference between falsehoods so very trifling, that one can think it matters nothing whether the falsehood is palpablehyperlink in this way or in that?

§11. The Sophistry Which He Employs to Prove Our Acknowledgment that He Had Been Tried, and that the Confession of His Faith Had Not Been Unimpeached, is Feeble.

He objects to sophistries in others; see the sort of care he takes himself that his proofs shall be real ones. Our Master said, in the book which he addressed to him, that at the time when our cause was ruined, Eunomius won Cyzicus as the prize of his blasphemy. What then does this detector of sophistry do? He fastens at once on that word prize, and declares that we on our side confess that he made an apology, that he won thereby, that he gained the prize of victory by these efforts; and he frames his argument into a syllogism consisting as he thinks of unanswerable propositions. But we will quote word for word what he has written. `If a prize is the recognition and the crown of victory, and a trial implies a victory, and, as also inseparable from itself, an accusation, then that man who grants (in argument) the prize must necessarily allow that there was a defence.' What then is our answer to that? We do not deny that he fought this wretched battle of impiety with a most vigorous energy, and that he went a very long distance beyond his fellows in these perspiring efforts against the truth; but we will not allow that he obtained the victory over his opponents; but only that as compared with those who were running the same as himself through heresy into error he was foremost in the number of his lies and so gained the prize of Cyzicus in return for high attainments in evil, beating all who for the same prize combated the Truth; and that for this victory of blasphemy his name was blazoned loud and clear when Cyzicus was selected for him by the umpires of his party as the reward of his extravagance, This is the statement of our opinion, and this we allowed; our contention now that Cyzicus was the prize of a heresy, not the successful result of a defence, shews it. Is this anything like his own mess of childish sophistries, so that he can thereby hope to have grounds for proving the fact of his trial and his defence? His method is like that of a man in a drinking bout, who has made away with more strong liquor than the rest, and having then claimed the pool from his fellow-drunkards should attempt to make this victory a proof of having won some case in the law courts. That man might chop the same sort of logic. `If a prize is the recognition and the crown of victory, and a law-trial implies a victory and, as also inseparable from itself, an accusation, then I have won my suit, since I have been crowned for my powers of drinking in this bout.'

One would certainly answer to such a booster that a trial in court is a very different thing from a wine-contest, and that one who wins with the glass has thereby no advantage over his legal adversaries, though he get a beautiful chaplet of flowers. No more, therefore, has the man who has beaten his equals in the advocacy of profanity anything to show in having won the prize for that, that he has won a verdict too. The testimony on our side that he is first in profanity is no plea for his imaginary `apology.' If he did speak it before the court, and, having so prevailed over his adversaries, was honoured with Cyzicus for that, then he might have some occasion for using our own words against ourselves; but as he is continually protesting in his book that he yielded to the animus of the voters, and accepted in silence the penalty which they inflicted, not even waiting for this hostile decision, why does he impose upon himself and make this word prize into the proof of a successful apology? Our excellent friend fails to understand the force of this word prize; Cyzicus was given up to him as the reward of merit for his extravagant impiety; and as it was his will to receive such a prize, and be views it in the light of a victor's guerdon, let him receive as well what that victory implies, viz. the lion's share in the guilt of profanity. If he insists on our own words against ourselves, he must accept both these consequences, or neither.

§12. His Charge of Cowardice is Baseless: for Basil Displayed the Highest Courage Before the Emperor and His Lord-Lieutenants.

He treats our words so; and in the rest of his presumptuous statements can there be, shown to be a particle of truth? In these he calls him `cowardly,' `spiritless,' `a shirker of severer labours,' exhausting the list of such terms, and giving with laboured circumstantiality every symptom of this cowardice: `the retired cabin, the door firmly closed, the anxious fear of intruders, the voice, the look, the tell-tale change of countenance,' everything of that sort, whereby the passion of fear is shown. If he were detected in no other lie but this, it alone would be sufficient to reveal his bent. For who does not know how, during the time when the Emperor Valens was roused against the churches of the Lord, that mighty champion of ours rose by his lofty spirit superior to those overwhelming circumstances and the terrors of the foe, and showed a mind which soared above every means devised to daunt him? Who of the dwellers in the East, and of the furthest regions of our civilized world did not hear of his combat with the throne itself for the truth? Who, looking to his antagonist, was not in dismay? For his was no common antagonist, possessed only of the power of winning in sophistic juggles, where victory is no glory and defeat is harmless; but he had the power of bending the whole Roman government to his will; and, added to this pride of empire, he had prejudices against our faith, cunningly instilled into his mind by Eudoxiushyperlink of Germaniciahyperlink , who had won him to his side; and he found in all those who were then at the head of affairs allies in carrying out his designs, some being already inclined to them from mental sympathies, while others, and they were the majority, were ready from fear to indulge the imperial pleasure, and seeing the severity employed against those who held to the Faith were ostentatious in their zeal for him. It was a time of exile, confiscation, banishment, threats of fines, danger of life, arrests, imprisonment, scourging; nothing was too dreadful to put in force against those who would not yield to this sudden caprice of the Emperor; it was worse for the faithful to be caught in God's house than if they had been detected in the most heinous of crimes.

But a detailed history of that time would be too long; and would require a separate treatment; besides, as the sufferings at that sad season are known to all, nothing would be gained for our present purpose by carefully setting them forth in writing. A second drawback to such an attempt would be found to be that amidst the details of that melancholy history we should be forced to make mention of ourselves; and if we did anything in those struggles for our religion that redounds to our honour in the telling, Wisdom commands us to leave it to others to tell. "Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouthhyperlink ;" and it is this very thing that our omniscient friend has not been conscious of in devoting the larger half of his book to self-glorification.

Omitting, then, all that kind of detail, I will be careful only in setting forth the achievement of our Master. The adversary whom he had to combat was no less a person than the Emperor himself; that adversary's second was the man who stood next him in the government; his assistants to work out his will were the court. Let us take into consideration also the point of time, in order to test and to illustrate the fortitude of our own noble champion. When was it? The Emperor was proceeding from Constantinople to the East elated by his recent successes against the barbarians, and not in a spirit to brook any obstruction to his will; and his lord-lieutenant directed his route, postponing all administration of the necessary affairs of state as long as a home remained to one adherent of the Faith, and until every one, no matter where, was ejected, and others, chosen by himself to outrage our godly hierarchy, were introduced instead. The Powers then of the Propontis were moving in such a fury, like some dark cloud, upon the churches; Bithynia was completely devastated; Galatia was very quickly carried away by their stream; all in the intervening districts had succeeded with them; and now our fold lay the next to be attacked. What did our mighty Basil show like then, `that spiritless coward,' as Eunomius calls him, `shrinking from danger, and trusting to a retired cabin to save him?' Did he quail at this evil onset? Did he allow the sufferings of previous victims to suggest to him that he should secure his own safety? Did he listen to any who advised a slight yielding to this rush of evilshyperlink , so as not to throw himself openly in the path of men who were now veterans in slaughter? Rather we find that all excess of language, all height of thought and word, falls short of the truth about him. None could describe his contempt of danger, so as to bring before the reader's eyes this new combat, which one might justly say was waged not between man and man, but between a Christian's firmness and courage on the one side, and a bloodstained power on the other.

The lord-lieutenant kept appealing to the commands of the Emperor, and rendering a power, which from its enormous strength was terrible enough, more terrible still by the unsparing cruelty of its vengeance. After the tragedies which he had enacted in Bithynia, and after Galatia with characteristic fickleness had yielded without a struggle, he thought that our country would fall a ready prey to his designs. Cruel deeds were preluded by words proposing, with mingled threats and promises, royal favours and ecclesiastical power to obedience, but to resistance all that a cruel spirit which has got the power to work its will can devise. Such was the enemy.

So far was our champion from being daunted by what he saw and heard, that he acted rather like a physician or prudent councillor called in to correct something that was wrong, bidding them repent of their rashness and cease to commit murders amongst the servants of the Lord; `their plans,' he said, `could not succeed with men who cared only for the empire of Christ, and for the Powers that never die; with all their wish to maltreat him, they could discover nothing, whether word or act, that could pain the Christian; confiscation could not touch him whose only possession was his Faith; exile had no terrors for one who walked in every land with the same feelings, and looked on every city as strange because of the shortness of his sojourn in it, yet as home, because all human creatures are in equal bondage with himself; the endurance of blows, or tortures, or death, if it might be for the Truth, was an object of fear not even to women, but to every Christian it was the supremest bliss to suffer the worst for this their hope, and they were only grieved that nature allowed them but one death, and that they could devise no means of dying many times in this battle for the Truthhyperlink .'

When he thus confronted their threats, and looked beyond that imposing power, as if it were all nothing, then their exasperation, just like those rapid changes on the stage when one mask after another is put on, turned with all its threats into flattery; and the very man whose spirit up to then had been so determined and formidable adopted the most gentle and submissive of language; `Do not, I beg you, think it a small thing for our mighty emperor to have communion with your people, but be willing to be called his master too: nor thwart his wish; he wishes for this peace, if only one little word in the written Creed is erased, that of Homoousios.' Our master answers that it is of the greatest importance that the emperor should be a member of the Church; that is, that he should save his soul, not as an emperor, but as a mere man; but a diminution of or addition to the Faith was so far from his (Basil's) thoughts, that he would not change even the order of the written words. That was what this `spiritless coward, who trembles at the creaking of a door,' said to this great ruler, and he confirmed his words by what he did; for he stemmed in his own person this imperial torrent of ruin that was rushing on the churches, and turned it aside; he in himself was a match for this attack, like a grand immoveable rock in the sea, breaking the huge and surging billow of that terrible onset.

Nor did his wrestling stop there; the emperor himself succeeds to the attack, exasperated because he did not get effected in the first attempt all that he wished. Just, accordingly, as the Assyrian effected the destruction of the temple of the Israelites at Jerusalem by means of the cook Nabuzardan, so did this monarch of ours entrust his business to one Demosthenes, comptroller of his kitchen, and chief of his cookshyperlink , as to one more pushing than the rest, thinking thereby to succeed entirely in his design. With this man stirring the pot, and with one of the blasphemers from Illyricum, letters in hand, assembling the authorities with this end in view, and with Modestushyperlink kindling passion to a greater heat than in the previous excitement, every one joined the movement of the Emperor's anger, making his fury their own, and yielding to the temper of authority; and on the other hand all felt their hopes sink at the prospect of what might happen. That same lord-lieutenant re-enters on the scene; intimidations worse than the former are begun; their threats are thrown out; their anger rises to a still higher pitch; there is the tragic pomp of trial over again, the criers, the apparitors, the lictors, the curtained bar, things which naturally daunt even a mind which is thoroughly prepared; and again we see God's champion amidst this combat surpassing even his former glory. If you want proofs, look at the facts. What spot, where there are churches, did not that disaster reach? What nation remained unreached by these heretical commands? Who of the illustrious in any Church was not driven from the scene of his labours? What people escaped their despiteful treatment? It reached all Syria, and Mesopotamia up to the frontier, Phoenicia, Palestine, Arabia, Egypt, the Libyan tribes to the boundaries of the civilized world; and all nearer home, Pontus, Cilicia, Lycia, Lydia, Pisidia, Pamphylia, Caria, the Hellespont, the islands up to the Propontis itself; the coasts of Thrace, as far as Thrace extends, and the bordering nations as far as the Danube. Which of these countries retained its former look, unless any were already possessed with the evil? The people of Cappadocia alone felt not these afflictions of the Church, because our mighty champion saved them in their trial.

Such was the achievement of this `coward' master of ours; such was the success of one who `shirks all sterner toil.' Surely it is not that of one who `wins renown amongst poor old women, and practises to deceive the sex which naturally falls into every snare,' and `thinks it a great thing to be admired by the criminal and abandoned;' it is that of one who has proved by deeds his soul's fortitude, and the unflinching and noble manliness of his spirit. His success has resulted in the salvation of the whole country, the peace of our Church, the pattern given to the virtuous of every excellence, the overthrow of the foe, the upholding of the Faith, the confirmation of the weaker brethren, the encouragement of the zealous, everything that is believed to belong to the victorious side; and in the commemoration of no other events but these do hearing and seeing unite in accomplished facts; for here it is one and the same thing to relate in words his noble deeds and to show in facts the attestation of our words, and to confirm each by the other-the record from what is before our eyes, and the facts from what is being said.


25 kaqufhsousin. This is the reading of the Venetian ms. The word hears the same forensic sense as the Latin praevaricari. The common reading is kaqubrisousin.

26 apacioi.

27 pareggrapton: for the vox nihili paragrapton. Oehler again has adopted the reading of the Ven. ms.

28 upofwnein.

29 Sozomen (vi. 26): "After his (Eunomius) elevation to the bishopric of Cyzicus he was accused by his own clergy of introducing innovations. Eudoxius obliged him to undergo a public trial and give an account of his doctrines to the people: finding, however, no fault in him, Eudoxius exhorted him to return to Cyzicus. He replied he could not remain with people who regarded him with suspicion, and it is said seized this opportunity to secede from communion."

30 upografh; or else `on the subject of Basil's charge.


31 tij h apoklhrwsij: this is a favourite word with Origen and Gregory.

32 sofisthj.

33 Jeremiah iii. 3.

34 eti tw=| en klhrw twn presbuterwn ierateuwn.

35 2 Thess: iii. 8.

36 According to Ruffinus (Hist. Eccl.), his constitution was poisoned with jaundice within and without

37 en anwnumw tini Korniaspinhj esxatia. Cf. mega crhma uoj (Herod.) for the use of this genitive. In the next sentence ei anti, though it gives the sense translated in the text, is not so good as h anti (i.e. escatia), which Oehler suggests, but does not adopt.

With regard to Eunomius' birthplace, Sozomen and Philostorgius give Dacora (which the former describes as on the slopes of Mt Argaeus: but that it must have been on the borders of Galatia and Cappadocia is certain from what Gregory says here): `Probably Dacora was his paternal estate: Oltiseris the village to which it belonged

0' (Dict. Christ. Biog.; unless indeed Corniaspa, marked on the maps as a town where Cappadocia, Galatia and Pontus join, was the spot, and Oltiseris the district. Eunomius died at Dacora.

38 Gen. xlii. 15.

39 Psalm cxv. 11.

40 eyeusqai dokein.

41 Afterwards of Antioch, and then 8th Bishop of Constantinople (360-370), one of the most influential of all the Arians. He it was who procured for Eunomius the bishopric of Cyzicus (359). (The latter must indeed have concealed his views on that occasion, for Constantius hated the Anomoens).

42 A town of Commagene.

43 Proverbs xxvii. 2.

44 `The metropolitan remained unshaken. The rough threats of Modestus succeeded no better than the fatherly counsel of Enippius.

0' Gwatkins Arians.

45 Other words of Basil, before Modestus at Caesarea, are also recorded; "I cannot worship any created thing, being as I am God's creation, and having been bidden to be a God."

46 This cook is compared to Nabuzardan by Gregory Naz. also (Orat. xliii. 47). Cf. also Theodoret, iv. 19, where most of these events are recorded. The former says that `Nabuzardan threatened Basil when summoned before him with the maxaira of his trade, but was sent back to his kitchen fire.