Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers: Series II/Volume I/Church History of Eusebius/Testimonies of the Ancients in Favor of Eusebius
Testimonies of the Ancients in Favor of Eusebius.
From Constantine’s Letter to the Antiochians (in Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, Book III. chap. 60).
“I confess, then, that on reading your records I perceived, by the highly eulogistic testimony which they bear to Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea (whom I have myself long well known and esteemed for his learning and moderation), that you are strongly attached to him and desire to appropriate him as your own prelate. What thoughts then do you suppose that I entertain on this subject, desirous as I am to seek for and act on the strict principles of right? What anxiety do you imagine this desire of yours has caused me? O holy faith, who givest us in our Saviour’s words and precepts a model, as it were, of what our life should be, how hardly wouldst thou thyself resist the course of sin were it not that thou refusest to subserve the purposes of gain! In my own judgment, he whose first object is the maintenance of peace seems to be superior to Victory herself; and where a right and honorable course lies open to one’s choice, surely no one would hesitate to adopt it. I ask then, brethren, why do we so decide as to inflict an injury on others by our choice? Why do we covet those objects which will destroy the credit of our own character? I myself highly esteem the individual whom ye judge worthy of your respect and affection; notwithstanding, it cannot be right that those principles should be entirely disregarded which should be authoritative and binding on all alike; for example, that each should be content with the limits assigned them, and that all should enjoy their proper privileges; nor can it be right in considering the claims of rival candidates to suppose but that not one only, but many, may appear worthy of comparison with this person. For as long as no violence or harshness are suffered to disturb the dignities of the Church, they continue to be on an equal footing, and worthy of the same consideration everywhere. Nor is it reasonable that an enquiry into the qualifications of one person should be made to the detriment of others; since the judgment of all churches, whether reckoned of greater importance in themselves, is equally capable of receiving and maintaining the divine ordinances, so that one is in no way inferior to another (if we will but boldly declare the truth), in regard to that standard of practice which is common to all. If this be so, we must say that you will be chargeable, not with retaining this prelate, but with wrongfully removing him; your conduct will be characterized rather by violence than justice; and whatever may be generally thought by others, I dare clearly and boldly affirm that this measure will furnish ground of accusation against you, and will provoke factious disturbances of the most mischievous kind; for even timid flocks can show the use and power of their teeth when the watchful care of their shepherd declines, and they find themselves bereft of his accustomed guidance. If this then be really so, if I am not deceived in my judgment, let this, brethren, be your first consideration (for many and important considerations will immediately present themselves, if you adopt my advice), whether, should you persist in your intention, that mutual kindly feeling and affection which should subsist among you will suffer no diminution? In the next place remember that Eusebius, who came among you for the purpose of offering disinterested counsel, now enjoys the reward which is due to him in the judgment of heaven; for he has received no ordinary recompense in the high testimony you have borne to his equitable conduct. Lastly, in accordance with your usual sound judgment, do ye exhibit a becoming diligence in selecting the person of whom you stand in need, carefully avoiding all factious and tumultuous clamor: for such clamor is always wrong, and from the collision of discordant elements both sparks and flame will arise.”
From the Emperor’s Letter to Eusebius(in Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, Book III. chap. 61).
“I have most carefully perused your letter, and perceive that you have strictly conformed to the rule enjoined by the discipline of the Church. Now to abide by that which appears at the same time pleasing to God, and accordant with apostolic tradition, is a proof of true piety: and you have reason to deem yourself happy on this behalf, that you are counted worthy, in the judgment, I may say, of all the world, to have the oversight of the whole Church. For the desire which all feel to claim you for their own, undoubtedly enhances your enviable fortune in this respect. Notwithstanding, your Prudence, whose resolve it is to observe the ordinances of God and the apostolic rule of the Church, has done excellently well in declining the bishopric of the Church at Antioch, and desiring to continue in that Church of which you first received the oversight by the will of God.”
From Constantine’s Letter to the Council (in Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, Book III. chap. 62).
“I have perused the letters written by your Prudences, and highly approve of the wise resolution of your colleague in the ministry, Eusebius. Having, moreover, been informed of the circumstances of the case, partly by your letters, partly by those of our illustrious friends Acacius and Strategius, after sufficient investigation I have written to the people at Antioch, suggesting the course which will be at once pleasing to God and advantageous for the Church. A copy of this I have ordered to be subjoined to this present letter, in order that ye yourselves may know what I thought fit, as an advocate of the cause of justice, to write to that people: since I find in your letter this proposal, that, in consonance with the choice of the people, sanctioned by your own desire, Eusebius the holy bishop of Cæsarea should preside over and take the charge of the Church at Antioch. Now the letters of Eusebius himself on this subject appeared to be strictly accordant with the order prescribed by the Church.”
From a Letter of Constantine to Eusebius (in Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, Book IV. chap. 35).
“It is indeed an arduous task, and beyond the power of language itself, worthily to treat of the mysteries of Christ, and to explain in a fitting manner the controversy respecting the feast of Easter, its origin as well as its precious and toilsome accomplishment. For it is not in the power even of those who are able to apprehend them, adequately to describe the things of God. I am, notwithstanding, filled with admiration of your learning and zeal, and have not only myself read your work with pleasure, but have given directions, according to your own desire, that it be communicated to many sincere followers of our holy religion. Seeing, then, with what pleasure we receive favors of this kind from your Sagacity, be pleased to gladden us more frequently with those compositions, to the practice of which, indeed, you confess yourself to have been trained from an early period, so that I am urging a willing man (as they say), in exhorting you to your customary pursuits. And certainly the high and confident judgment we entertain is a proof that the person who has translated your writings into the Latin tongue is in no respect incompetent to the task, impossible though it be that such version should fully equal the excellence of the works themselves.”
From a Letter of Constantine to Eusebius (in Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, Book IV. chap. 36).
“It happens, through the favoring providence of God our Saviour, that great numbers have united themselves to the most holy Church in the city which is called by my name. It seems, therefore, highly requisite, since that city is rapidly advancing in prosperity in all other respects, that the number of Churches should also be increased. Do you, therefore, receive with all readiness my determination on this behalf. I have thought it expedient to instruct your Prudence to order fifty copies of the sacred scriptures (the provision and use of which you know to be most needful for the instruction of the Church) to be written on prepared parchment in a legible manner, and in a commodious and portable form, by transcribers thoroughly practiced in their art. The procurator of the diocese has also received instructions by letter from our Clemency to be careful to furnish all things necessary for the preparation of such copies; and it will be for you to take special care that they be completed with as little delay as possible. You have authority also, in virtue of this letter, to use two of the public carriages for their conveyance, by which arrangement the copies when fairly written will most easily be forwarded for my personal inspection; and one of the deacons of your Church may be intrusted with this service, who, on his arrival here, shall experience my liberality. God preserve you, beloved brother!”
From the Epistle of Eusebius of Nicomedia, to Paulinus, Bishop of Tyre (given by Theodoret in his Eccles. Hist. I. 6).
“Neither has the zeal of my lord Eusebius concerning the truth, nor thy silence in this matter been unknown, but has reached even us. And, as was fitting, on the one hand we have rejoiced on account of my lord Eusebius; but on the other, we are grieved on thy account, since we look upon the silence of such a man as a condemnation of our cause.”
From the Book of Basil, to Amphilochius, on the Holy Spirit (chap. 29).
“If to any one Eusebius of Palestine seem trustworthy on account of his great experience, we give his own words in the Difficulties concerning the Polygamy of the Ancients.”
From the Book of Questions on the Old and New Testaments, which is published among the Works of Augustine (chap. 125).
“We remember to have read in a certain pamphlet of Eusebius, a man formerly distinguished among the rest of men, that not even the Holy Spirit knows the mystery of the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ; and I wonder that a man of so great learning should have imposed this stigma upon the Holy Spirit.”
From Jerome’s Epistle to Pammachius and Oceanus (Ep. 65).
“Apollinarius wrote the very strongest books against Porphyry; Eusebius has excellently composed his Ecclesiastical History. Of these men, one taught an incomplete human nature in Christ; the other was a most open defender of the heresy of Arius.”
From the Apology of Jerome against Rufinus (Book I. chap. 8).
“As I have already said, Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea, formerly leader of the Arian party, has written six books in defense of Origen—a very extensive and elaborate work; with much evidence he has proved that Origen was, from his point of view, a Catholic, that is, from ours, an Arian.”
From the same book (chap. 9).
“For Eusebius himself, a friend, eulogist and companion of Pamphilus, has written three very elegant books comprising a life of Pamphilus. In these, after extolling other things with wondrous praises and exalting his humility to the skies, he also adds this in the third book,” &c.
And a little farther on in the same book (chap. 11).
“I have praised Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History, in his Chronological Canons, in his Description of the Holy Land; and turning these same little works into Latin I have given them to those of my own tongue. Am I therefore an Arian, because Eusebius who wrote these books is an Arian?”
From Jerome’s second book against Rufinus (chap. 16).
“Eusebius, a very learned man (I have said learned, not Catholic; lest after the usual manner, even in this thing, thou heap calumny upon me), in six volumes does nothing else than show Origen to be of his own faith; that is, of the Arian heresy.”
From the Preface of Jerome’s Book on Hebrew Topography.
“Eusebius, who took his surname from the blessed martyr Pamphilus, after the ten books of his Ecclesiastical History, after his Chronological Canons, which we have published in the Latin tongue, after his Names of Various Nations, in which he showed how these were formerly, and are now, called among the Hebrews; after his Topography of the Land of Judea, with the inheritances of the tribes; after his Jerusalem, also, and his Plan of the Temple, with a very brief explanation,—after all these he has finally in this little work labored that he might collect for us from Holy Scripture the names of almost all the cities, mountains, rivers, villages, and divers places, which either remain the same, or have since been changed, or else have become corrupted from some source, wherefore we also, following the zeal of this admirable man,” &c.
From Jerome’s Book on Ecclesiastical Writers (chap. 61).
“Hippolytus, bishop of a certain church (I have not indeed been able to find out the name of the city), wrote a reckoning of Easter, and chronological tables up to the first year of the Emperor Alexander, and hit upon a cycle of sixteen years which the Greeks call ἑκκαιδεκαετηρίδα; and gave an occasion to Eusebius, who also composed an Easter canon, with a cycle of nineteen years, that is ἐννεαδεκαετηρίδα.”
From the same book (chap. 81).
“Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, a man most studious in the sacred Scriptures, and along with Pamphilus the martyr a most diligent investigator of sacred literature, has edited an infinite number of volumes, some of which are these: of the Demonstratio Evangelica, twenty books; of the Præparatio Evangelica, fifteen books; of the Theophania, five books; of the Ecclesiastical History, ten books; a General History in Chronological Tables, and an Epitome of them; also, On the Discrepancies of the Gospels; On Isaiah, ten books; and Against Porphyry (who at the same time was writing in Sicily, as some think), thirty books, of which only twenty have come to my notice; of his Topica, one book; of the Apologia, in defense of Origen, six books; On the Life of Pamphilus, three books; Concerning the Martyrs, other small works; also very learned commentaries on the hundred and fifty Psalms, and many other writings. He flourished chiefly under the emperors Constantine and Constantius; and on account of his friendship with Pamphilus the martyr, he took from him his surname.”
From the same book (chap. 96).
“Eusebius, by nation a Sardinian, and, after being reader in Rome, bishop of Vercellæ, on account of his confession of the faith banished by the Prince Constantius to Scythopolis, and thence to Cappadocia, under Julian the emperor sent back to the Church, has published the Commentaries on the Psalms of Eusebius of Cæsarea, which he had translated from Greek into Latin.”
Jerome in the Preface to his Commentaries on Daniel.
“Against the prophet Daniel Porphyry wrote a twelfth volume, denying that that book was composed by him with whose name it is inscribed, &c. To him Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea, has replied very skillfully in three volumes, that is, in volumes XVIII., XIX., and XX. Apollinarius also in one large volume, that is, in the twenty-sixth volume, and before these, in part, Methodius.”
Jerome on the Twenty-fourth Chapter of Matthew.
“Concerning this place, that is, concerning the abomination of desolation which was spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place, Porphyry has uttered many blasphemies against us in the thirteenth volume of his work. To whom Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea, has replied in three volumes, that is, in volumes XVIII., XIX., and XX.”
The same, in his Epistle to Magnus (Ep. 84).
“Celsus and Porphyry have written against us. To the former Origen, to the latter Methodius, Eusebius, and Apollinarius have very vigorously replied. Of whom Origen wrote eight books, Methodius proceeded as far as ten thousand lines, Eusebius and Apollinarius composed twenty-five and thirty volumes respectively.”
The same, in his Epistle to Pammachius and Oceanus (Ep. 65).
“What more skillful, more learned, more eloquent men can be found than Eusebius and Didymus, the advocates of Origen? The former of whom, in the six volumes of his Apologia, proves that he [Origen] was of the same opinion as himself.”
Jerome, in the Preface to his Commentaries on Isaiah.
“Eusebius Pamphili also has published an historical commentary in fifteen volumes.”
The same, in the Preface to the Fifth Book of his Commentaries on Isaiah.
“Shall I take upon myself a work at which the most learned men have labored hard? I speak of Origen and Eusebius Pamphili. Of these the former wanders afar in the free spaces of allegory, and his genius so interprets single names as to make out of them the sacred things of the Church. The latter, while promising in his title an historical exposition, meanwhile forgets his purpose, and yields himself up to the tenets of Origen.”
The same, in the fifth book of his Commentaries on Isaiah.
“Eusebius of Cæsarea, while promising in his title an historical exposition, strays off in divers notions: while reading his books I found much else than what he gave promise of in his title. For wherever history has failed him, he has crossed over into allegory; and in such a manner does he unite things that are distinct, that I wonder at his joining together by a new art of discourse stone and iron into one body.”
Jerome on the first chapter of Matthew.
“This [chapter] also Africanus, a writer of chronology, and Eusebius of Cæsarea, in his books on the Discrepancies of the Gospels, have discussed more fully.”
Rufinus in his Epistle to the Bishop Chromatius.
“You charge me to translate into Latin the Ecclesiastical History, which the very learned Eusebius of Cæsarea wrote in the Greek tongue.”
Augustine, in his Book on Heresies (chap. 83).
“When I had searched through the History of Eusebius, to which Rufinus, after having himself translated it into the Latin tongue, has also added two books of subsequent history, I did not find any heresy which I had not read among these very ones, except that one which Eusebius inserts in his sixth book, stating that it had existed in Arabia. Therefore these heretics, since he assigns them no founder, we may call Arabians, who declared that the soul dies and is destroyed along with the body, and that at the end of the world both are raised again. But he states that they were very quickly corrected, these by the disputation of Origen in person, and those by his exhortation.”
Antipater, Bishop of Bostra, in his First Book against Eusebius of Cæsarea’s Apology for Origen.
“Since now this man was very learned, having searched out and traced back all the books and writings of the more ancient writers, and having set forth the opinions of almost all of them, and having left behind very many writings, some of which are worthy of all acceptation, making use of such an estimation as this of the man, they attempt to lead away some, saying, that Eusebius would not have chosen to take this view, unless he had accurately ascertained that all the opinions of the ancients required it. I, indeed, agree and admit that the man was very learned, and that not anything of the more ancient writings escaped his knowledge; for, taking advantage of the imperial co-operation, he was enabled easily to collect for his use material from whatever quarter.”
From the First Book of Extracts from the Ecclesiastical History of Philostorgius.
“Philostorgius, while praising Eusebius Pamphili both as to whatever of worth belongs to his histories and as to other things, yet declares that with regard to religion he has fallen into great error; and that he impiously sets forth this error of his in detail, holding that the Deity is unknowable and incomprehensible. Moreover, he holds that he has also gone astray on other such things. But he unites with others in attesting that he brought his History down to the accession of the sons of Constantine the Great.”
Socrates in the First Book of his Ecclesiastical History (chap. 1).
“Eusebius, surnamed Pamphilus (i.e. universally beloved), has composed a History of the Church in ten books, brought down to the time of the Emperor Constantine, when the persecution ceased which Diocletian had commenced against the Christians. But, in writing the life of Constantine, this author has very slightly treated of the Arian controversy, being evidently more intent on a highly wrought eulogium of the emperor than an accurate statement of facts.”
The same Socrates in the Eighth Chapter of the same Book, speaking of Sabinus, Bishop of Macedonia, who had written a History of the Synod, says:—
“Yet he commends Eusebius Pamphilus as a witness worthy of credit, and praises the Emperor as capable in stating Christian doctrines; but he still brands the faith which was declared at Nice as having been set forth by ignorant men, and such as had no intelligence in the matter. Thus he voluntarily contemns the testimony of a man whom he himself pronounces a wise and true witness; for Eusebius declares that of the ministers of God who were present at the Nicene Synod, some were eminent for the word of wisdom, others for the strictness of their life; and that the Emperor himself being present, leading all into unanimity, established unity of judgment, and conformity of opinion among them.”
The same Socrates, in Book II. chap. 21.
“But since some have attempted to stigmatize Eusebius Pamphilus as having favored the Arian views in his works, it may not be irrelevant here to make a few remarks respecting him. In the first place, then, he was present at the council of Nice, and gave his assent to what was there determined in reference to the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father, and in the third book of the Life of Constantine, he thus expressed himself: ‘The Emperor incited all to unanimity, until he had rendered them united in judgment on those points on which they were previously at variance: so that they were quite agreed at Nice in matters of faith.’ Since, therefore, Eusebius, in mentioning the Nicene Synod, says that all differences were composed, and that unanimity of sentiment prevailed, what ground is there for assuming that he was himself an Arian? The Arians are certainly deceived in supposing him to be a favorer of their tenets. But some one will perhaps say that in his discourses he seems to have adopted the opinions of Arius, because of his frequently saying by Christ. Our answer is that ecclesiastical writers often use this mode of expression, and others of a similar kind denoting the economy of our Saviour’s humanity: and that before all these the apostle made use of such expressions without ever being accounted a teacher of false doctrine. Moreover, inasmuch as Arius has dared to say that the Son is a creature, as one of the others, observe what Eusebius says on this subject in his first book against Marcellus:
“‘He alone, and no other, has been declared to be, and is the only-begotten Son of God; whence any one would justly censure those who have presumed to affirm that he is a Creature made of nothing, like the rest of the creatures; for how then would he be a Son? and how could he be God’s only-begotten, were he assigned the same nature as the other creatures, and were he one of the many created things, seeing that he, like them, would in that case be partaker of a creation from nothing? The sacred Scriptures do not thus instruct us concerning these things.’ He again adds a little afterwards: ‘Whoever then determines that the Son is made of things that are not, and that he is a creature produced from nothing pre-existing, forgets that while he concedes the name of Son, he denies him to be so in reality. For he that is made of nothing cannot truly be the Son of God, any more than the other things which have been made: but the true Son of God, forasmuch as he is begotten of the Father, is properly denominated the only-begotten and beloved of the Father. For this reason also, he himself is God: for what can the offspring of God be but the perfect resemblance of him who begat him? A sovereign, indeed, builds a city, but does not beget it; and is said to beget a son, not to build one. An artificer may be called the framer, but not the father of his work; while he could by no means be styled the framer of him whom he had begotten. So also the God of the Universe is the father of the Son; but would be fitly termed the Framer and Maker of the world. And although it is once said in Scripture, The Lord created me the beginning of his ways on account of his works, yet it becomes us to consider the import of this phrase, which I shall hereafter explain; and not, as Marcellus has done, from a single passage to subvert one of the most important doctrines of the Church.’
“These and many other such expressions are found in the first book of Eusebius Pamphilus against Marcellus; and in his third book, declaring in what sense the term creature is to be taken, he says: ‘Accordingly these things being established, it follows that in the same sense as that which preceded, these words also are to be understood, The Lord created me in the beginning of his ways on account of his works. For although he says that he was created, it is not as if he should say that he had arrived at existence from what was not, nor that he himself also was made of nothing like the rest of the creatures, which some have erroneously supposed: but as subsisting, living, pre-existing, and being before the constitution of the whole world; and having been appointed to rule the universe by his Lord and Father: the word created being here used instead of ordained or constituted. Certainly the apostle expressly called the rulers and governors among men creature, when he said, Submit yourselves to every human creature for the Lord’s sake; whether to the king as supreme, or to governors as those sent by him. The prophet also does not use the word žκτισενcreated in the sense of made of that which had no previous existence, when he says, Prepare, Israel, to invoke thy God. For behold he who confirms the thunder, creates the Spirit, and announces his Christ unto men. For God did not then create the Spirit when he declared his Christ to all men, since There is nothing new under the sun; but the Spirit was, and subsisted before: but he was sent at what time the apostles were gathered together, when like thunder, There came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind: and they were filled with the Holy Spirit. And thus they declared unto all men the Christ of God in accordance with that prophecy which says, Behold he who confirms the thunder, creates the spirit, and announces his Christ unto men: the word creates being used instead of sends down, or appoints; and thunder in a similar way implying the preaching of the Gospel. Again he that says, Create in me a clean heart, O God, said not this as if he had no heart; but prayed that his mind might be purified. Thus also it is said, That he might create the two into one new man, instead of unite. Consider also whether this passage is not of the same kind, Clothe yourselves with the new man, which is created according to God; and this, if, therefore, any one be in Christ, he is a new creature, and Whatever other expressions of a similar nature any one may find who shall carefully search the divinely-inspired Scripture. Wherefore one should not be surprised if in this passage, The Lord created me the beginning of his ways, the term created is used metaphorically, instead of appointed, or constituted.’
“These quotations from the books of Eusebius against Marcellus have been adduced to confute those who have slanderously attempted to traduce and criminate him. Neither can they prove that Eusebius attributes a beginning of subsistence to the Son of God, although they may find him often using the expressions of dispensation: and especially so, because he was an emulator and admirer of the works of Origen, in which those who are able to comprehend that author’s writings, will perceive it to be everywhere stated that the Son was begotten of the Father. These remarks have been made in passing, in order to refute those who have misrepresented Eusebius.”
Sozomen in the First Book of his Ecclesiastical History (chap. 1.).
“I at first felt strongly inclined to trace the course of events from the very commencement; but on reflecting that similar records of the past, up to their own time, had been compiled by the learned Clemens and Hegesippus, successors of the apostles, by Africanus the historian and Eusebius surnamed Pamphilus, a man intimately acquainted with the sacred Scriptures and the writings of the Greek poets and historians, I merely drew up an epitome in two books of all that is recorded to have happened to the churches, from the ascension of Christ to the deposition of Licinius.”
Victorius in the Paschal Canon.
“Reviewing therefore the trustworthy histories of the ancients, namely the Chronicles and prologue of the blessed Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea, a city in Palestine, a man pre-eminently accomplished and learned; and likewise those things which have been added to these same Chronicles by Jerome of sacred memory.”
Jerome, in his Epistle to Chromatius and Heliodorus, prefixed to the Martyrology which bears Jerome’s Name.
“It is evident that our Lord Jesus Christ obtains triumphs at every martyrdom of his saints, whose sufferings we find described by the saintly Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea. For when Constantine Augustus came to Cæsarea and told the celebrated bishop to ask some favors which should benefit the church at Cæsarea, it is said that Eusebius answered: That a church enriched by its own resources was under no necessity of asking favors, yet that he himself had an unalterable desire, that whatever had been done in the Roman republic against God’s saints by successive judges in the whole Roman world they should search out by a careful examination of the public records; and that they should draw from the archives themselves and send to Eusebius himself, by royal command, the names of the martyrs: under what judge, in what province or city, upon what day, and with what steadfastness, they had obtained the reward of their suffering. Whence it has come about that, being an able narrator and a diligent historiographer, he has both composed an Ecclesiastical History and has set forth the triumphs of nearly all of the martyrs of all the Roman provinces.”
Pope Gelasius in his Decree concerning the Apocryphal Books.
“Likewise as to the Chronicles of Eusebius and the books of his Ecclesiastical History, although in the first book of his narration he has grown cold, and has afterwards written one book in praise and in defense of Origen the schismatic, yet on account of his singular knowledge of things which pertain to instruction, we do not say that they ought to be rejected.”
The same in his book On the Two Natures.
“That saying the same thing with one heart and one mouth we may also believe what we have received from our forefathers, and, God giving them to us, that we may hand them down to posterity to be believed in, with which things the adduced testimony of the Catholic masters, being summed up, bear witness that a united faith in a gracious God endures.”
And a little farther on.
“From the exposition of the seventh psalm, by Eusebius, bishop in Palestine, by surname Pamphili, etc. Likewise from his Præparatio Evangelica, Book VII.”
Pope Pelagius II. in his Third Epistle to Elias of Aquileia and other Bishops of Istria.
“For, indeed, among hæresiarchs who can be found worse than Origen, and among historiographers who more honorable than Eusebius? And who of us does not know with how great praises Eusebius extols Origen in his books? But because the holy Church deals more kindly with the hearts of her faithful ones than she does severely with their words, neither could the testimony of Eusebius remove him from his proper place among heretics, nor on the other hand has she condemned Eusebius for the fault of praising Origen.”
Evagrius, in the First Book of his Ecclesiastical History (chap. 1).
“Eusebius Pamphili—an especially able writer, to the extent, in particular, of inducing his readers to embrace our religion, though failing to perfect them in the faith—and Sozomen, Theodoret, and Socrates have produced a most excellent record of the advent of our compassionate God, and his ascension into heaven, and of all that has been achieved in the endurance of the divine Apostles, as well as of the other martyrs,” etc.
Gregory the Great in his Epistle to Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria.
“I have now become one of the number of hearers, to whom your Holiness has taken the pains to write, that we ought to transmit the deeds of all the martyrs which have been collected by Eusebius of Cæsarea in the age of Constantine of holy memory. But I was not aware before receiving your Holiness’ letter whether these things had been collected or not. I therefore am thankful that being informed by the writings of your most holy learning, I have begun to know what I did not know before. For excepting these things which are contained in the books of this same Eusebius On the deeds of the holy martyrs, I have met with nothing else in the archives of this our church, nor in the libraries of Rome, except some few collected in a single volume.”
Gelasius of Cyzicus in his Second Book On the Council of Nicæa (chap. 1).
“Let us hear now what says this the most illustrious husbandman in ecclesiastical farming, the most truth-loving Eusebius, surnamed after the celebrated Pamphilus. Licinius, indeed, he says, having followed the same path of impiety with the ungodly tyrants, has justly been brought to the same precipice with them, etc. (which may be found at the end of the tenth book of the Ecclesiastical History). As to Eusebius Pamphili, the most trustworthy of ancient ecclesiastical historians, who has investigated and set forth so many struggles, having made a choice from among his simply written works, we say that in all ten books of his Ecclesiastical History he has left behind an accurately written work. Beginning with the advent of our Lord he has, not without much labor, proceeded as far as those times. For how else could it be with him who took so great care to preserve for us the harmony of this collection? But as I have just said, he brought to bear upon it much study and an untold amount of labor. But let no one suppose, from those things which have been alleged with regard to him, that this man ever adopted the heresy of Arius; but let him be sure, that even if he did speak somewhat of, and did write briefly concerning the conjectures of Arius, he certainly did not do it on account of his entertaining the impious notion of that man, but from artless simplicity, as indeed he himself fully assures us in his Apology, which he distributed generally among orthodox bishops.”
The author of the Alexandrian Chronicle (p. 582).
“The very learned Eusebius Pamphili has written thus: As the Jews crucified Christ at the feast, so they all perished at their own feast.”
Nicephorus in the Sixth Book of his History (chap. 37).
“Upon whose authority also we know of the divine Pamphilus as both living the life of a philosopher and wearing the dignity of presbyter in that place. His life and every event in it, also his establishing in that place the study of sacred and profane philosophy, also his confession of his religion in divers persecutions, his struggles, and at last his wearing the martyr’s crown, Eusebius his nephew, who had such a regard for him as to take from him his surname, has comprehended in detail in one separate book; to this we refer those who may wish to find out accurately concerning him. This Eusebius, indeed, although having prosecuted many studies, especially excels in the study of sacred literature. His life extended until the time of Constantius. Being a man pre-eminently Christian, and endowed with great zeal for Christ, he has written the Præparatio Evangelica in fifteen books, and in ten more the Demonstratio Evangelica. He was also the first one to take in hand this subject, having been the first to call his book an Ecclesiastical History; this work is contained in ten volumes. There is also another book of his extant which he entitled Canons, in which he accurately investigates chronological matters. He has also composed five books On the Life of Constantine, and another addressed to him which he calls τριακονταετήρικον. To Stephanus he also dedicates another concerning those things in the sacred Gospels which have been called in question; and he has also left behind divers other works which are of great benefit to the Church. Apart from being such a man as this, he in many ways seems to uphold the opinions of Arius,” etc.
From the ms. Acts of Pope Silvester.
“Eusebius Pamphili, in writing his Ecclesiastical History, has in every case omitted to mention those things which he has pointed out in other works; for he has put into eleven books the sufferings of the martyrs, bishops, and confessors, who have suffered in almost all the provinces. But indeed as to the sufferings of women and maidens, such as with manly fortitude suffered for the sake of Christ the Lord, he records nothing. He is, moreover, the only one who has set forth in their order the sufferings of the bishops, from the Apostle Peter down. Moreover, he drew up for the benefit of the public a catalogue of the pontiffs of those cities and apostolic seats; that is, of the great city of Rome, and the cities of Alexandria and Antioch. Of the number then of those of whom, up to his own times, the above-mentioned author wrote in the Greek tongue, this man’s life he was unable to paraphrase; that is, the life of the saint Silvester,” etc.
An ancient author in the Passion of the Holy Valerian.
“The glorious struggles of the most blessed martyrs, for the honor of Christ the Lord and of our God, are celebrated by perpetual services and an annual solemnity, that while our faithful people know the faith of the martyrs, they may also rejoice in their triumphs, and may rest assured that it is by the protection of these that they themselves are to be protected. For it is held in repute that Eusebius the historian, of sacred memory, bishop of the city of Cæsarea, a most blessed priest of excellent life, very learned also in ecclesiastical matters, and to be venerated for his extraordinary carefulness, set forth for every city, in so far as the truth was able to be ascertained, the Holy Spirit announcing the deeds that had been done,—inasmuch as the cities of single provinces and localities or towns have merited being made famous by the heavenly triumphs of martyrs,—set forth, I say, in the time of what rulers the innumerable persecutions were inflicted at the command of officials. Who, although he has not described entire the sufferings of individual martyrs, yet has truly intimated why they ought to be described or celebrated by faithful and devoted Christians. Thus this faithful husbandman has cultivated the grace of God, which has been scattered abroad in all the earth, while, as it were, from a single grain of wheat, plenteous harvests are produced on account of the fertility of the field, and go on in multiplied abundance. So through the narration of the above-mentioned man, diffused from the fountain of a single book, with the ever-spreading writings of the faithful, the celebrating of the sufferings of the martyrs has watered all the earth.”
Usuardus in his Martyrology.
“On the twenty-first day of June, in Palestine, the holy Eusebius, bishop and confessor, a man of most excellent genius, and a historiographer.”
Notker in his Martyrology.
“On the twenty-first day of June, the deposition in Cæsarea of the holy bishop Eusebius.”
Manecharius in his Epistle to Ceraunius, Bishop of Paris.
“Unceasing in thy continual efforts to equal in merit the very excellent persons of the most blessed bishops in all the conversation of the priesthood, zealous to adorn thyself every day with holy religion, by thy zeal for reading thou hast searched through the whole of the doctrines of the sacred Scriptures. Now as an addition to thy praiseworthiness thou dost faithfully purpose, in the city of Paris, to gather together for the love of religion, the deeds of the holy martyrs. Wherefore thou art worthy of being compared in zeal with Eusebius of Cæsarea, and art worthy of being remembered perpetually with an equal share of glory.”
From an old Manuscript Breviary of the Lemovicensian Church.
“Of the holy Eusebius, bishop and confessor.
“Lesson 1. Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea in Palestine, on account of his friendship with Pamphilus the martyr, took from him the surname of Pamphili; inasmuch as along with this same Pamphilus he was a most diligent investigator of sacred literature. The man indeed is very worthy of being remembered in these times, both for his skill in many things, and for his wonderful genius, and by both Gentiles and Christians he was held distinguished and most noble among philosophers. This man, after having for a time labored in behalf of the Arian heresy, coming to the council of Nicæa, inspired by the Holy Spirit, followed the decision of the Fathers, and thereafter up to the time of his death lived in a most holy manner in the orthodox faith.
“Lesson 2. He was, moreover, very zealous in the study of the sacred Scriptures, and along with Pamphilus the martyr was a most diligent investigator of sacred literature. At the same time he has written many things, but especially the following books: The Præparatio Evangelica, the Ecclesiastical History, Against Porphyry, a very bitter enemy of the Christians; he has also composed Six Apologies in Behalf of Origen, a Life of Pamphilus the Martyr, from whom on account of friendship he took his surname, in three books; likewise very learned Commentaries on the hundred and fifty Psalms.
“Lesson 3. Moreover, as we read, after having ascertained the sufferings of many holy martyrs in all the provinces, and the lives of confessors and virgins, he has written concerning these saints twenty books; while on account of these books therefore, and especially on account of his Præparatio Evangelica, he was held most distinguished among the Gentiles, because of his love of truth he contemned the ancestral worship of the gods. He has written also a Chronicle, extending from the first year of Abraham up to the year 300 a.d., which the divine Hieronymus has continued. Finally this Eusebius, after the conversion of Constantine the Great, was united to him by strong friendship as long as he lived.”
In the Breviary of the same church, June twenty-first.
“Omnipotent, eternal God, who dost permit us to take part in the festivities in honor of Eusebius, thy holy confessor and priest, bring us, we pray thee, through his prayers, into the society of heavenly joys, through our Lord Jesus Christ,” etc.
From the book On the Lights of the Church.
“Eusebius of Cæsarea, the key of the Scriptures and custodian of the New Testament, is proved by the Greeks to be greater than many in his treatises. There are three celebrated works of his which truly testify to this: the Canons of the Four Gospels, which set forth and defend the New Testament, ten books of Ecclesiastical History, and the Chronicon, that is, a chronological summary. We have never found any one who has been able to follow in all his foot-prints.”
From the Miscellanies of Theodore Metochita (chap. 19)
“Eusebius Pamphili was also a Palestinian by birth, but as he himself says, he sojourned for quite a long time in Egypt. He was a very learned man, and it is evident indeed that he published many books, and that he used language thus.”
- The following Testimonies of the Ancients were collected by Valesius, and are printed in the original languages in his edition of Eusebius’ Historia Ecclesiastica, at the close of his Vita Eusebii. The order of Valesius has been preserved in the following pages, but occasionally a passage, for the sake of greater clearness, has been given more fully than by him. A few extracts have been omitted (as noted below), and one or two, overlooked by him, have been added. The extracts have all been translated from the original for this edition, with the exception of the quotations from the Life of Constantine, and from the Greek Ecclesiastical Historians,—Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Evagrius,—which have been copied, with a few necessary corrections, from the version found in Bagster’s edition of the Greek Ecclesiastical Historians. The translation has been made at my request by Mr. James McDonald, of Shelbyville, Ky., a member of the senior class (1890) of Lane Theological Seminary.
- Valesius adds brief extracts from other missals of the same church, which it is not necessary to quote here.