Documents and Links for Episodes 51 & 52

Sorry for the hurly burly of my life. Hopefully no witches have been shaping the blogs destiny, though there are some big announcements ahead. Part of my “laziness” in keepint the blog in fighting trim has to do with a project that will greatly change this blog (all for the better) with more content and more media.

Here are the links to episodes 51 (The Council of Nicaea II) and 52 (St. Constantine the Great).

St. Constantine’s Remarks to the Bishops at Nicaea

“It was my highest wish, my friends, that I might be permitted to enjoy your assembly. I must thank God that, in addition to all other blessings, he has shown me this highest one of all: to see you all gathered here in harmony and with one mind. May no malicious enemy rob us of this happiness, and now that the tyranny of Christ’s enemy [Licinius and his army] is conquered by the help of the Redeemer, the wicked demon shall not persecute the divine law with new blasphemies. Discord in the church I consider more fearful and painful than any other war. As soon as I by the help of God had overcome my enemies, I believed that nothing more was now necessary than to give thanks to God in common joy with those whom I had liberated. But when I heard of your division, I was convinced that this matter should by no means be neglected, and in the desire to help you with my service, I have summoned you as soon as I could. I shall, however, feel my desire fulfilled only when I see the minds of all united in that peaceful harmony which you, as the anointed of God, must preach to others. And so, be quick, my friends, don’t delay, you servants of God; put away all causes of strife, and loose all knots of discord by the laws of peace. Thus shall you accomplish the work most pleasing to God, and confer upon me, your fellow servant, an exceeding great joy.”

The Original Creed of Nicaea

We believe in One God, the Father Almighty, the Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in One Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, God from God, Light from Light, Life from Life, Son Only-begotten, first-born of every creature, before all the ages, begotten from the Father, by Whom also all things were made; Who for our salvation was made flesh, and lived among men, and suffered, and rose again the third day, and ascended to the Father, and will come again in glory to judge the quick and dead. And we believe also in One Holy Ghost.

St. Constantine’s vision according the Lactantius

And now a civil war broke out between Constantine and Maxentius. Although Maxentius kept himself within Rome, because the soothsayers had foretold that were he to leave he would perish, still he directed the war by his capable generals. He had more troops than his adversaries, since he had his father’s army that had deserted Severus, and also his own, recently conscripted from Mauritania and Italy. In the first conflicts Maxentius’s troops proved their mettle. Finally Constantine, with steeled courage and an attention for every eventuality, brought the whole of his army to the vicinity of Rome, and encamped them opposite to the Milvian bridge. The anniversary of the reign of Maxentius approached, that is, the sixth of the kalends of November, and the fifth year of his reign was drawing to an end. Constantine was directed in a dream to cause the heavenly sign to be delineated on the shields of his soldiers, and so to proceed to battle. He did as he had been commanded, and he marked on their shields the letter X, with a perpendicular line drawn through it and turned round thus at the top, being the cipher of CHRIST. Having this sign, his troops stood to arms.

Constantine’s Vision according to Eusebius of Caesarea

Constantine prayed to God. He asked him and besought him to say Who He was and to stretch forth a hand to him in his present situation. As he prayed in this fashion and as he earnestly gave voice to his entreaties, a most marvellous sign appeared to the emperor from God.
It would have been hard to believe if anyone else had spoken of it. But a long time later the triumphant emperor himself described it to the writer of this work. This was when I had the honour of knowing him and of being in his company. When he told me the story, he swore to its truth. And who could refuse to believe it, especially when later evidence showed it to have been genuine?
Around noon-time, when the day was already beginning to decline, he saw before him in the sky the sign of a cross of light. He said it was above the sun, and it bore the inscription, ‘Conquer with this’. The vision astounded him, as it astoundei the whole army which was with him on this expedition and which also beheld the miraculous event.
He said he became disturbed. What could the vision mean? He continued to ponder and to give great thought to the question, and night came on him suddenly. When he was asleep, the Christ of God appeared to him and he brought with him the sign which had appeared in the sky. He ordered Constantine to make a replica of this sign which he had witnessed in the sky, and he was to use it as a protection during his encounters with the enemy.
In the morning he told his friends of this extraordinary occurrence. Then he summoned those who worked with gold or precious stones, and he sat among them and described the appearance of the sign. He told them to represent it in gold and precious stones ….
At the time I have been describing … he resolved to worship none but the God who had been revealed to him.


About Gary Cyril Jenkins

Professor of History
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