The Sacred Writings of Saint Athanasius

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Translated and edited by John Henry Newman, this volume contains the encyclical epistles of Athanasius, written most likely while Athanasius was in exile. With lengthy and well-researched prefatory material and historical and translational notes throughout the letters, this volume is one of the most respected translations on Athanasius to date. Newman was raised in a strict Calvinist home and received his primary education at the famous Ealing School.

On June 13, he was ordained into the Anglican priesthood. Between and , during a time of solitude and the completion of Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine , Newman underwent a process conversion to Roman Catholicism.

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Newman also published the Oxford Conservative Journal during this time period as a platform for retracting any negative remarks he previously assailed towards the Roman Church. He was officially received into the Catholic Church on October 9, Frustrated with the errors inherent in both Protestantism and Roman Catholicism, Newman abandoned his search for the via media or, middle way of Anglicanism and converted to the Roman Catholic Church.


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In , Newman founded the Birmingham Oratory at Maryvale and began ministering to the Catholic population of the city. In , the Bishops of Ireland elected to start a Catholic university in Dublin and they appointed Newman to be the founder and first rector of the institution.

His Idea of a University was prepared for founding faculty of the university at Dublin. John Henry Cardinal Newman died on August 11, Cardinal Newman is currently under consideration by the Vatican for sainthood. This volume is an exploration of the historical difficulties surrounding the Arian controversy. John Kaye had just completed this volume before he passed away.

John Kaye — was an ordained minister and bishop in the Church of England. He became vice-chancellor of Cambridge in and appointed bishop of Bristol from to His final bishopric was at Lincoln from until his death. Readers of all ages will marvel at the distinct style and clever illustration of his life. Born to a Scottish Presbyterian family, she became Roman Catholic in and joined the Society of the Sacred Heart a few months later.

Before the outbreak of the Arian controversy, which began in , Athanasius had made himself known as the author of two essays addressed to a convert from heathenism, one of them entitled Against the Gentiles , and the other On the Incarnation of the Word. Both are of the nature of apologetical treatises, arguing such questions as monotheism, and the necessity of divine interposition for the salvation of the world; and already in the second may be traced that tone of thought respecting the essential divinity of Christ as the "God-man" for which he afterwards became conspicuous.

There is no distinct evidence of the connection of Athanasius with the first contentions of Arius and his bishop, which ended in the exile of the former, and his entrance into Palestine under the protection of Eusebius the historian, who was bishop of Caesarea and subsequently of his namesake the bishop of Nicomedia.

St. Athanasius, Patriarch of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church

It can hardly be doubted, however, that Athanasius would be a cordial assistant of his friend and patron Alexander, and that the latter was strengthened in his theological position by the young enthusiastic student who had already expounded the nature of the divine Incarnation, and who seems about this time to have become archdeacon of Alexandria. At the Council of Nicaea, in the year , he appears prominently in connection with the dispute.

He attended the council, not as one of its members who were properly only bishops or delegates of bishops , but merely as the attendant of Alexander.

In this capacity, however, he was apparently allowed to take part in its discussions, for Theodoret i. He was elected in the sight and amidst the acclamations of the people. He was now about 30 years of age, and is spoken of as remarkable both for his physical and mental characteristics. He was small in stature, but his face was radiant with intelligence, as 'the face of an angel. This is the expression of Gregory of Nazianzus Orat.

The first few years of the episcopate of Athanasius were tranquil; but the storms in which the remainder of his life was passed soon began to gather around him. The Council of Nicaea had settled the creed of Christendom, but had by no means composed the divisions in the church which the Arian controversy had provoked. Arius himself still lived, and his friend Eusebius of Nicomedia rapidly regained influence over the Emperor Constantine.

The result of this was a demand made by the emperor that Arius should be re-admitted to communion. Athanasius stood firm, and refused to have any communion with the advocates of a "heresy that was fighting against Christ. The archbishop of Alexandria was charged with cruelty, even with sorcery and murder. It was reported that a Meletian bishop in the Thebaid, of the name of Arsenius, had been unlawfully put to death by him. He was easily able to clear himself of such charges, but the hatred of his enemies was not relaxed, and in the summer of he was peremptorily ordered to appear at Tyre, where a council had been summoned to sit in judgment upon his conduct.

He did not venture to disobey the imperial order, and a commission was appointed to inquire into an alleged instance of cruelty urged against him, notwithstanding the explanations which he had made. There appeared plainly a predetermination to condemn him, and he fled from Tyre to Constantinople to appeal to the emperor himself. Refused at first a hearing, his perseverance was at length rewarded by the emperor's consent to his reasonable request--that his accusers should be brought face to face with him in the imperial presence. The leaders of the Tyrian council, amongst the most conspicuous of whom were the two Eusebii, were accordingly summoned to Constantinople just after they had celebrated, at a great dedication festival at Jerusalem, the condemnation of Athanasius and the restoration of Arius to church communion.

In confronting the former before Constantine they did not attempt to repeat the charge of cruelty, but found a more ready and effective weapon to their hands in a new charge of a political kind--that Athanasius had threatened to stop the Alexandrian corn-ships bound for Constantinople.

Here, as in other matters, it is very difficult to understand how far there was any truth in the persistent accusations made against the prince-bishop of Alexandria. Probably there was in the very greatness of his character and the extent of his popular influence a certain species of dominance which lent a colour of truth to some of the things said against him. On the present occasion his accusers succeeded in at once arousing the imperial jealousy; and the consequence was, that, notwithstanding his earnest denial of the act attributed to him, he was banished to Trier, or Treves, the capital of Gaul.

This was the first banishment of Athanasius, which lasted about two years and a half. It was only brought to a close by the death of Constantine, and the accession of Constantine II.

It is recorded by himself Apol. His position as patriarch of Alexandria placed him, not under his friend Constantine II. He in his turn fell, as his father had done, more and more under the influence of the Nicomedian Eusebius, now transferred to the see of Constantinople. A second expulsion of Athanasius was accordingly resolved upon. The old charges against him were revived, with the addition of his having set at naught the decision of a council. It was further resolved on this occasion to put another bishop in his place. Accordingly, in the beginning of the year , a Cappadocian named Gregory, said to be an Arian, was installed by military force on the throne of the great defender of the faith, who, to save his followers from outrage, withdrew to a place of concealment.

As soon as it was possible he repaired to Rome, to "lay his case before the church. Julius, the bishop of Rome, warmly espoused his cause, and, generally, it may be said that the Western Church was Athanasian in its sympathies and its creed, while the majority of the Eastern bishops sided with the Eusebian party. This severance was clearly shown at the Council of Sardica, where the Orientals refused to meet with the representation of the Western Church, because the latter insisted on recognising the right of Athanasius and his friends to attend the council as regular bishops.

The commonly received date of this council is , but the rediscovered Festal Letters of Athanasius have had the effect of throwing back this date for some years.

Saint Athanasius, Bishop, Doctor of the Church

It has been placed by some as early as the end of , by Mansi and others in the end of The decision of the Council of Sardica, however, had no immediate effect in favour of Athanasius. Constantius continued for some time implacable, and the bold action of the Western bishops only incited the Arian party in Alexandria to fresh severities.

Gradually, however, the excesses of the Arian party brought their own revenge, while the death of the intruded bishop Gregory, in the beginning of , opened up the way for a reconciliation betwixt the Eastern emporor and the banished prelate.