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into the alimentary canal. Rejecting therefore from the statement what is evidently fabulous, and confining ourselves to facts naturally possible and sufficiently authenticated, the account would read thus : That Arius while walking through the streets with his friends, was suddenly seized with violent pains of the bowels, fol. lowed by a copious discharge of blood ; from the effects of which he very soon died.”
Now although such a death, under just such circumstances of time and manner, was very remarkable, yet there is nothing to connect it probably with poison as a cause. At near the time of sunset, it may be assumed as quite certain that Arius had not partaken of food for several hours. The Greek breakfast or dinner would have taken place as early as ten or eleven o'clock in the morning, and the hour for supper had not yet arrived. No poison that Arius could have taken at a meal would have developed itself in the sudden manner indicated in the story. Supposing him to have imbibed some poisonous draught in the palace, if powerful enough to produce such effects, he would have felt it instantly or in a few moments. If not intensely powerful it would have pervaded the system and affected other organs before the full devel. opment of its violent action on the stomach. We reject therefore the supposition of poison as inadmissible, or not sufficiently warranted. No doubt it would be more satisfactory if we had the result of a coroner's inquest like that held over Sir Theodosius Boughton, or Mr. Chapman of Pennsylvania. A post mortem examination, with a chemical analysis of the contents of the stom. ach (for in spite of Athanasius and Alexander probably something was left) might have enabled us to speak more confidently; but we suggest the strong probability that the Christisons and Becks of Constantinople would have detected neither arsenic nor laurelwater; neither poisons from the mineral nor from the vegetable kingdom. Our nearest approach to a coroner's inquest over the body of Arius points in that direction. His friends made no accusation of poison. They alleged sorcery ; a crime which had been before charged upon leading antagonists of Arius. Had there been any ground for the suspicion of poisoning, they would no doubt have made the most of it.
Let us inquire then whether there is any room in the case for the interposition of miracle. The supposition implies that the Most High to vindicate the doctrine of the supreme divinity of Christ; to avenge the impiety or hypocrisy of Arius and prevent his restoration to church fellowship, smote him in the same miraculous way that Herod and Ananias were smitten. The immediate power of God without the presence of natural disease, or of any irri. tating agents in the system, produced the effects under which Arius died. We might inquire here
1. Respecting the real doctrines of Arius; whether they were so peculiarly blasphemous as to require that among all heretics he should be singled out as the subject of an immediate visitation of God. Any doctrine which degrades to the rank of a creature Him whom all men should honor as they honor the Father, is no doubt blasphemous. It must be offensive in a very high degree to a God of truth, jealous of his own glory; but we cannot perceive that there was anything in the peculiar kind of subordination view maintained by Arius, peculiarly shocking. It can scarcely be thought worse to ascribe the highest conceivable honors to the Son short of absolute Deity, than to reject His person. ality altogether; to speak of Him as a mere emanation of the Father; or to reduce him to the level of common peccable humanity. No one surely can imagine that Arianism which struggled to express in suitable terms its conviction of the all but infinite glory of Christ and prostrated itself in profound reverence before Him as God of God and Light of Light, the only begotten of the Father, is to be named at the same time with those insolent and disgusting systems of elaborate blasphemy invented by Basilides and Valentine. Arius, in the opinion of Neander, is not by any means to be regarded as the intentional assertor of novel doctrines in regard to the person of Christ. “He was intending simply to defend the old doctrine of the church respecting the Trinity against Sabellian and Gnostic opinions, and to exhibit it in a consistent manner.” This indeed is stated by Socrates himself in his account of the origin of the controversy.–Arius imagined that in the conference held between Alexander and his presbyters the former verged towards Sabellian errors. He held that the Son was of the same substance with the Father, the Sabellian expression. Recoiling from this statement in the Sabellian sense, Arius maintained that the Son was not Quoñolos TQ natge, but only of a similar nature or substance. It was not that a portion of the Father's essence went to make up the Son, as all the Patripassi. ans taught, but that so far as a begotten (and therefore, reasoned Arius, a derived) being could be divine, the Son was in all respects like the Father; a created being, but of a nature similar to that of the self-existent and eternal Father from whom he proceeded. On this account, Arius held him worthy of the highest titles, the most exalted honors. He was his Creator and his Redeemer; his Lord and his God. There was nothing in Trinitarianism, so far as it was expressed in that imperfect symbol, the Nicene creed, to which he would not subscribe, excepting only the Homoöusion. He could have subscribed the formulæ of the Council of Antioch; a Council avowedly Arian, with a confession by universal consent, orthodox, only omitting the Nicene shibboleth...
It cannot seem likely that the same holy and jealous God who bore with Cerinthus Sabellius and that Father of heresies, Origen, should have interposed miraculously to express his abhorrence of such sentiments.
2. Was Arius guilty of any such flagrant hypocrisy or perjury as we should expect would be visited with a special judgment? Neander expresses the opinion that Arius erred from honest conviction, and in confirming with an oath his assent to the Nicene view, had sworn to nothing but what he sincerely believed. We are compelled to differ from him, (if the statement of Sozomen can be depended on,) and to hold that Arius was guilty both of hypocrisy and of perjury ; for while he might honestly perhaps have used the same terms as the orthodox used to express the true divinity of Christ, putting his own construction upon them, he could not honestly have sworn that he held the same opinions on the subject, that the whole church held. This he knew was untrue. But even flagrant hypocrisy and perjury in religious things will not be held in the administration of Divine Providence,sufficient ground for suspecting a direct judgment on the offender. These criines are ordinarily left to their own natural punishment here, and to just retribution hereafter.
The Father, who is holy, wise, and pure,
, we shphom AriusWe of vengeauliar wi
Multitudes of men, worse in every respect than Arius, doctrinally and practically, have passed unchallenged by Divine justice through the church. Could we go through the existing religious establishments of Europe, and without pretend. ing to search the heart, examine only the lives and teachings of their members, we should find bishops, priests, and deacons, not a few, compared with whom Arius was an eminent Christian. When God does interpose with a miracle of vengeance, we may be sure the arrow is launched against signal and peculiar wickedness.
3. The immediate occasion of the supposed judgment was not a dignus vindice nodus ; and there is sense in the Horatian maxim which forbids us to introduce a Deity without adequate cause, to arbitrate on the scene of human events. The excommunication had been already taken off from Arius by competent authority at Jerusalem. · He was already in the enjoyment of church fellowship. The scene at Constantinople was to be only a more public recognition of the fact, to silence the clamors of those who still cried out against Arius as a declared heretic. But even were this to have been his first recognition as sound in the faith, it cannot be ad mitted as sufficient cause of miraculous interposition. It was onl the restoration of an unsound and unworthy member to the church ; and it is in the highest degree likely that the church ai Constanti. nople contained hundreds who were equally heretical with Arius,
and far more objectionable on the score of morality. The heresiarch was a man of grave, dignified and religious life.
4. The interposition of a special judgment would have been an encouragement to superstition, and an apparent answer to unauthorized and vindictive prayers. Alexander the bishop unable to resist the mandate of Constantine, betook himself vigorously to imprecation. Entering the church of Irene he prostrated himself before the altar, and prayed that either Arius or himself might be cut off before the time set for the public restoration should arrive. If the opinions of Arius were sound , he prayed that he might not live to witness their triumph in his person. If they were false, he prayed that 'swift vengeance might overtake the heretic. It will be easily admitted that this was a fanatical and unchristian prayer: one which finds no warrant in the Scriptures, and which God could not answer. It was the curse causeless. In the wise administration of that department of the Divine Providence which assigns to each man the bound he cannot pass, and in accordance with the demand of Arius' physical system, his end synchronized in a very remarkable manner with the prayer of Alexander. No doubt, the bishop thought with Cenci,
'Tis plain I have been favor'd from above,
but Arius would equally have died, whether Alexander had cursed or blessed. The catastrophe was post hoc, but not propter hoc. The prayer was but the croak of the raven. The victory was decided by influences of a very different character. It is well for the peace of society, that hands like this fanatical bishop's are not permitted
God's bolts to throw, · And deal damnation round the land
. On each they judge his foe.
The only conclusion remaining then is, that the death of Arius, extraordinary as it was in its circumstances, and in its opportuneness for the cause of orthodoxy, was the result of natural causes previously at work in his system. It is well known that there are certain conditions of the viscera in which the vessels of the lower part of the body become gorged with blood ; and that the depletion from them is sometimes very great and rapid. It is also a fact,
"An accomplished physician, resident at Avon Springs, Dr. Salisbury, mentioned to the writer a case occurring in his own practice, illustrative of this history. An individual liable to a constipated habit of body, was found in preeisely the same situation as Arius, having suffered a loss of blood which had produced deliquium, and but for a timely discovery would have terminated in death.
that in this condition of body the hæmorrage may be immediately produced, and produced in excess, by mental emotions; by joy or grief; by elation or despondency, as well as by exposure or fatigue. We have only to suppose that the previons state of Arius' health, whether connected with the circumstances of his exile or not, had led to this particular congestion. The fatigue and excitement of the day produced a rupture of the conjested vessels ; and the hæmhorrage was so sudden and violent, as in the absence of medical aid to terminate in death. The sanguinis copia was real. The discharge of the tenuia intestina simul cum splene ac jecore was a fable originated by the protrusion of the intestine which is common in similar cases.
TIE DEMAND AND DEMONSTRATION OF A FUTURE RETRIBUTION IN
By Rev. GEORGE B. CHEEVER, D.D., New York.
It is no improbable conjecture, but a very rational one, among the many that have been raised, respecting the book of Ecclesiastes, that it is simply a survey of some of the lessons in the volume of Natural Theology, and of the apparent inconsistencies and incomprehensibilities in the same, with the demonstration at last deduced from the whole, of a righteous judgment in the future world. That which is crooked cannot be made straight, and that which is wanting cannot, in this world, be numbered. But all the incontrovertible crookednesses of present things, and all the permitted injustice and oppression, and all the vanity and vexation of spirit, and all the now insoluble riddles of our being, shall be straightened and accounted for and solved, when, at the last, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked.
There is a vanity which is done upon the earth : that there be just men, unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the wicked: again, there be wicked men unto whom it happeneth according to the work of the righteous: I said that this also is vanity. We seem to see a man walking thoughtful on the shore of a great ocean, far-seeing, anxious, burdened with human guilt, surveying the depravities of man, and the providence of God in the midst of them. His thoughts stir up perplexity upon perplexity, but there are grand bursts of light hetween. He walks and ponders. I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there,