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burst asunder, fell down, and expired, being deprived at once both of communion and of life.' This, then, was the end of Arius. The partisans of Eusebius were covered with shame ; yet, as he had held the same sentiments as themselves, they buried him. Alexander was filled with joy, and rejoiced with the church in the re-establishment of piety and of orthodoxy ; he prayed with all the brethren, and glorified God. This was not because he rejoiced at the death of Arius—far from it, for all men must die; but it was because his mode of death surpassed the judgment of man. For God, when passing judgment upon the menaces of the partisans of Eusebius and the prayer of Alexander, condemned the Arian heresy, showing that it was unworthy of being received into the communion of the church; and thus manifesting that although it received the countenance and support of the emperor, and of all men, yet that it was condemned by truth. These were the first fruits, reaped by Arius, of those pernicious seeds which he had himself sown, forming the prelude to those punishments that await him in futurity. His sufferings form, as it were, a recital of his impiety."
I shall now turn the discourse upon the virtues of the emperor. He addressed a letter to all the subjects of the Roman empire, exhorting them to renounce their former superstitions, and to embrace the doctrines of our Saviour. He exhorted the bishops in every city to build churches, and encouraged them not only by words, but also by presenting them with large sums of money, adequate to defray all the expenses of building. This he explains in his own letter, which is as follows:
CHAP. XV.-LETTER WRITTEN BY THE EMPEROR CONSTANTINE
RESPECTING THE BUILDING OF CHURCHES. “CONSTANTINE AUGUSTUS, the great and the victorious, to Eusebius.
“I feel convinced, my beloved brother, that as the servants of Christ have en suffering up to the present time from nefarious machinations and tyrannical persecutions, all the churches must have either fallen into útter ruin from neglect, or at least must have become dilapidated from want of proper
But now that freedom is restored, and that the domi| This letter, according to Du Pin, was written A. D. 324 or 325.
nion of the dragon has been destroyed, through the providence of God, and by our instrumentality, I think that the Divine power has become known to all, and that those who hitherto, from incredulity or from depravity, have lived in error, will now, upon becoming acquainted with the truth, be led in the way of life. Exert yourself diligently in the reparation of the churches under your jurisdiction, and admonish the principal bishops, priests, and deacons of other places to engage zealously in the same work; in order that all the churches which still exist may be repaired or enlarged, and that new ones may be built wherever they are required. You, and others through your intervention, can apply to the governors of the provinces, and to the commanders of the troops, for all that may be necessary for this purpose : for they have received written injunctions to supply whatever your holiness may command. May God preserve you, beloved brother.”
Thus the emperor wrote to the bishops in each province respecting the re-building of churches. From his letter to Eusebius, bishop of Palestine, it is easily learnt what measures he adopted to obtain copies of the Holy Scriptures.
CHAP. XVI.-THE EPISTLE OF CONSTANTINE CONCERNING THE
PREPARATION OF COPIES OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. “CONSTANTINE AUGUSTUS, the great and the victorious, to Eusebius.
“ In the city which bears our name, a great number of persons have, through the providential care of God the Saviour, been adopted into the holy church. As all things here are in a state of rapid improvement, it is evidently requisite that the things which concern the church should progress proportionably. Adopt joyfully the mode of procedure determined upon by us. It appears expedient that you should get written, on fine parchment, fifty copies of the Scriptures, of which you know the church stands much in need; you must bave them clearly and elaborately transcribed by persons whom you believe capable of the task, so that they may be easily read and circulated. We have sent letters to the general director, in order that he may be careful that everything necessary for the undertaking is supplied. The duty devolving upon you is to take measures to insure the completion of these manuscripts within a short space of time. When they are finished, you are authorized by this letter to order two public carriages for the purpose of transmitting them to us; and thus they will be easily submitted to our inspection. Appoint one of the deacons of your church to take charge of this part of the business; when he comes to us, he shall receive proofs of our benevolence. May God preserve you, beloved brother.”
CHAP. XVII.-LETTER FROM THE EMPEROR TO MACARIUS, BI
OF JERUSALEM, CONCERNING THE BUILDING OF THE HOLY CHURCH “ CONSTANTINE, the victorious and the great, to Macarius.
“ The grace of our Saviour is so wonderful, that no words are adequate to express it. His having kept the monument of his most holy sufferings concealed beneath the earth during a long course of years, until the common enemies of all parties were dispersed, and his servants restored to liberty, proves that his providential care surpasses every other subject of admiration. If all the wise men throughout the world were collected into one place, they could not mention anything so amazing or so wonderful as this ; for this miracle is as much beyond all human power of belief, as heavenly wisdom is beyond the reasonings of man. Hence it is always my first and only object to excite all minds to the observation of the Holy Law with alacrity and diligence, proportioned to the brightness of the manifestation which is thrown by new miracles upon the truth of the faith, day by day. As my design is now generally known, you, above all, must be convinced that my most intense desire is to erect beautiful edifices upon that consecrated spot, which God from the beginning declared holy, and which has been rendered still more holy by the sufferings of our Lord, who thus brought faith to light. The abominable idol which lately desecrated the spot, is now happily removed. I trust, then, to your sagacity to take every necessary care and precaution that these edifices may not only be magnificent, but that they may be incomparably superior to all the most beautiful structures in the world. We have intrusted our friend Dracilianus, governor of the province, with the care of engaging, under your direction, the most skilful workmen for the erection of the walls. He will emulate our piety, and will provide all that you may deem requisite. Let us know,
by letter, what columns or marbles you may consider would be ornamental or useful, and we will have them promptly conveyed to you.
Whatever wants you mention shall be supplied; for that which is of all places the most wonderful, ought to be rendered the most beautiful. I wish to learn from you whether
think that the royal arch ought to be fluted, or to be adorned in some other way; for if it is to be fluted, it would be well to gild it. Your holiness must signify to the aforesaid officers, as soon as possible, what workmen and artificers, and what sums of money, are requisite ; and let me know promptly not only what marbles and columns, but also what ornamental works, are considered the most beautiful. May God preserve you, beloved brother."
CHAP. XVIII.-HELENA, MOTHER OF THE EMPEROR CONSTAN
TINE.HER ZEAL IN THE ERECTION OF THE HOLY CHURCH. · These letters were carried by no less illustrious a personage than the mother of the emperor, even by her whose piety was reverenced by all, and who was most highly blessed in her maternal capacity, having been the means of producing that great light which she still nourished by religious counsels. She did not shrink from the fatigue of the journey on account of her extreme old age, but undertook it a little before her death, which occurred in her eightieth year. When she arrived at the place where the Saviour suffered, she immediately ordered the idolatrous temple, which had been there erected, to be destroyed, and the very materials to be removed. The tomb, which had been so long concealed, was discovered ; and three crosses, the memorials of the Lord, were perceived near it. All were of opinion that one of these crosses was that of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that the other two were those of the thieves who were crucified with him. Yet they could not discern upon which one the body of the Lord had been nailed, and upon which his blood had fallen. But the wise and holy Macarius, the bishop of the city, succeeded in resolving this question. Aster engaging in prayer, he induced a lady of rank, who had been long suffering from disease, to touch each ot the crosses, and the efficacious power residing in that of the Saviour manifested its identity. In fact, it had scarcely been brought near the lady, when the inveterate disease left her,
and she was healed. The mother of the emperor, on being informed of the accomplishment of what she had most desired, gave orders that some of the nails should be driven into the royal helmet, in order that the head of her child might be preserved from the darts of his enemies; and she ordered some of the other nails to be fixed in the bridle of his horse, not only to insure the safety of the emperor, but also to fulfil an ancient prophecy; for Zachariah, the prophet, predicted, that “what is upon the bridles of the horses shall be holiness unto the Lord Almighty.” She had part of the cross of our Saviour conveyed to the palace, and the rest was enclosed in a covering of silver, and committed to the care of the bishop of the city, whom she exhorted to preserve it carefully, in order that it might be transmitted uninjured to posterity. She then sent everywhere for workmen and for materials, and caused the most spacious and most magnificent churches to be here erected. It is unnecessary to describe their beauty and grandeur; for all the pious, if I may so speak, visited and viewed with admiration these magnificent productions of art.
This celebrated and admirable empress performed another action worthy of being remembered. She assembled a number of young women who had vowed perpetual virginity, and made them recline on couches, while she presented them with meat and with a beverage mixed with wine, and waited upon them; she then brought them water to wash their hands.
After performing other laudable actions, the empress returned to her son. Not long after, she tranquilly entered upon another and a better life, after having given her son much pious advice and her fervent blessing. After her death, those honours were rendered to her memory which her stedfast and entire adherence to God deserved.
CHAP. XIX.-THE UNLAWFUL TRANSLATION OF EUSEBIUS,
BISHOP OF NICOMEDIA. The Arian party did not desist from their evil machinations. They had only signed the confession of faith for the purpose of disguising themselves in sheep's skins, while they were acting the part of wolves. The holy Alexander, bishop of Byzantium, now called Constantinople, whose prayer had occasioned the death of Arius, had, at the period to which we