Chapter XVIII.—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 sheeps-skins, while they were acting the part of wolves. The holy Alexander, of Byzantium, for the city was not yet called Constantinople, who by his prayer had pierced Arius to the heart, had, at the period to which we are referring, been translated to a better life. Eusebius, the propagator of impiety, little regarding the definition which, only a short time previously, he with the other bishops had agreed upon, without delay quitted Nicomedia and seized upon the see of Constantinople, in direct violation of that canon 404 which prohibits bishops and presbyters from being translated from one city to another. But that those who carry their infatuation so far as to deny the divinity of the only-begotten Son of God, should likewise violate the other laws, cannot excite surprise. Nor was this the first occasion p. 56 that he made this innovation; for, having been originally entrusted with the see of Berytus, he leapt from thence to Nicomedia. Whence he was expelled by the synod, on account of his manifest impiety, as was likewise Theognis, bishop of Nicæa. This is related a second time in the letters of the emperor Constantine; and I shall here insert the close of the letter which he wrote to the Nicomedians.
i.e. Apost. Can. xiv., which forbids translation without an “εὔλογος αἰτία, or prospect of more spiritual gain in saving souls; and guards the application of the rule by the proviso that neither the bishop himself, nor the παροικία desiring him, but many bishops, shall decide the point.” Dict. Christ. Ant. i. 226.