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NPNF2-01. Eusebius Pamphilius: Church History, Life of Constantine, Oration in Praise of Constantine
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Book X.

Chapter I.—The Peace granted us by God.

1. Thanks for all things be given unto God the Omnipotent Ruler and King of the universe, and the greatest thanks to Jesus Christ the Saviour and Redeemer of our souls, through whom we pray that peace may be always preserved for us firm and undisturbed by external troubles and by troubles of the mind.

2. Since in accordance with thy wishes, my most holy Paulinus,27992799    Paulinus, bishop of Tyre, became afterward bishop of Antioch, as we are told by Eusebius, Contra Marcellum, I. 4, and by Philostorgius, H. E. III. 15. According to Jerome’s Chron, year of Abr. 2345, he was the successor of Philogonius and the predecessor of Eustathius in the episcopate of Antioch. He was still alive when Eusebius completed his History, that is, at least as late as 323 (see above, p. 45), but he was already dead when the Council of Nicæa met; for Eustathius was at that time bishop of Antioch (see e.g. Sozomen, H. E. I. 17, Theodoret, H. E. I. 7, and the Acts of the Council of Nicæa, ed. Labbei et Cossartii, I. p. 51), and Zeno, bishop of Tyre (see the Acts of the Nicene Council, ibid.). Philostorgius (ibid.) informs us that he became bishop of Antioch but six months before his death, and there is no reason to doubt the statement. Eusebius speaks of him in the highest terms, both here and in his Contra Marcellum, and it was at the dedication of his church in Tyre that he delivered the panegyric oration quoted in chap. 4, below. He is claimed as a sympathizer by Arius in his epistle to Eusebius of Nicomedia (Theodoret, H. E. I. 5), and that he accepted Arius’ tenets is implied by Eusebius of Nicomedia, who, however, feels obliged to admonish him for not showing greater zeal in the support of the cause (see this epistle quoted by Theodoret, H. E. I. 6). This is the extent of our information in regard to him. we have added the tenth book of the Church History to those which have preceded,28002800    On the date of the composition of the tenth book of the History, and its relation to the earlier books, see above, p. 45. we will inscribe it to thee, proclaiming thee as the seal of the whole work; and we will fitly add in a perfect number the perfect panegyric upon the restoration of the churches,28012801    εἰκότως δ᾽ ἐν ἀριθμῷ τελεί& 251· τὸν τέλειον ἐνταῦθα καὶ πανηγυρικὸν τῆς τῶν ἐκκλησιῶν ἀνανεώσεως λόγον κατατ€ξομεν. The meaning of this sentence is very obscure. Valesius translates: Nec absurde ut opinor, absolutam omnibus numeris orationem panegyricam de ecclesiarum instauratione hic in perfecto numero collocabimus. Stroth, followed by Closs, renders: “Mit Recht werden wir hier auch eine vollständige feierliche Rede, von der Wiedererneuerung der Kirchen, als einen ordentlichen Theil miteinrücken.” Crusè reads: “Justly, indeed, shall we here subjoin in a perfect number a complete discourse and panegyric on the renovation of the churches.” The “perfect number” seems to refer to the number of the book (the number ten being commonly so called in ancient times), to which he has referred in the previous clause. Could we regard the “perfect panegyric” as referring to the book as a whole, as Crusè does, the sentence would be somewhat clearer; but the phrase seems to be a plain reference to the oration given in chap. 4, especially since Eusebius does not say τῆς ἐκκλησίας, but τῶν ἐκκλησὶ& 242·ν, as in the title of that oration. I have preserved the play of words, τελεί& 251·—τέλειον, in order to bring out Eusebius’ thought more clearly, but it must be remarked that the word τέλειον does not imply praise of the quality of his oration on the author’s part. It is used rather in the sense of complete or final, because it celebrates a completed work, as the tenth book completes his History, and thus crowns the whole. obeying the Divine Spirit which exhorts us in the following words:

3. “Sing unto the Lord a new song, for he hath done marvelous things. His right hand and his holy arm hath saved him. The Lord hath made known his salvation, his righteousness hath he revealed in the presence of the nations.”28022802    Psa. xcviii. 1, 2.

4. And in accordance with the utterance which commands us to sing the new song, let us proceed to show that, after those terrible and gloomy spectacles which we have described,28032803    Literally, “spectacles and narratives” (ὄψεις τε καὶ διηγήσεις). we are now permitted to see and celebrate such things as many truly righteous men and martyrs of God before us desired to see upon earth and did not see, and to hear and did not hear.28042804    Cf. Matt. xiii. 17.

5. But they, hastening on, obtained far better things,28052805    Cf. Phil. i. 23 being carried to heaven and the paradise of divine pleasure. But, acknowledging that even these things are greater than we deserve, we have been astonished at the grace manifested by the author of the great gifts, and rightly do we admire him, worshiping him with the whole power of our souls, and testifying to the truth of those recorded utterances, in which it is said, “Come and see the works of the Lord, the wonders which he hath done upon the earth; he removeth wars to the ends of the world, he shall break the bow and snap the spear in sunder, and shall burn the shields with fire.”28062806    Psa. xlvi. 8, 9.

6. Rejoicing in these things which have been clearly fulfilled in our day, let us proceed with our account.

7. The whole race of God’s enemies was destroyed in the manner indicated,28072807    See chaps. 10 and 11 of the preceding book. and was thus suddenly swept from the sight of men. So that again a divine utterance had its fulfillment: “I have seen the impious highly exalted and raising himself like the cedars of Lebanon and I have passed by, and behold, he was not and I have sought his place, and it could not be found.”28082808    Psa. xxxvii. 35, 36.

8. And finally a bright and splendid day, overshadowed by no cloud, illuminated with beams of heavenly light the churches of Christ throughout the entire world. And not even those without our communion28092809    τοῖς žξωθεν τοῦ καθ᾽ ἡμᾶς θι€σου. were prevented from sharing in the same blessings, or at least from coming under their influence and enjoying a part of the benefits bestowed upon us by God.28102810    By the edict of Constantine and Licinius full religious liberty was granted, not only to the Christians, but to all men of whatever creed or cult.


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