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On the Schism of the Audians. 50, but 70 of the Series
1,1 Audians, or Odians, are a body of laity. They have withdrawn from the world and reside in monasteries—in deserts and, nearer the cities, in suburbs, and wherever they have their residences, or “folds.” Audius became their founder in Arius’ time, when the council of those who deposed him was convened against Arius.
1,2 Audius was from Mesopotamia and a man eminent in his home- land for the purity of his life, godly zeal, and faith. And often, when he saw the things that went on in the churches under the noses of the bishops and presbyters, he would oppose such behaviour, saying in reproof, “This is not the way it should be; these things ought not to be so done”—like a truth-teller, and as befits persons who speak openly from regard for the truth, particularly when their own lives are exemplary.
1,3 And so, as I said, when he saw such things in the churches he felt compelled to speak in reproof of them, and would not keep quiet. For if he saw a money-loving member of the clergy—a bishop, or presbyter, or any other cleric—he was sure to speak out. And if he saw one < living > in luxury and wantonness, or someone debasing the church’s message and ordinance, he could not abide it, and, as I said, would accuse him. (4) And to those whose lives were not up to standard, this was burdensome.
He was insulted and contradicted for this, was hated, and lived a stormy life of rejection and dishonour. For some time he was in good standing in the churches until certain persons, in extreme annoyance, expelled him for this reason. He would not consent to this, however, but persisted in speaking the truth and in not withdrawing from the bond of the one unity of the holy catholic church.
1,5 But because he was subjected to beatings, and his companions with him, and often very ill-used, he most reluctantly took account of the wretchedness of his mistreatment. For he separated himself from the church and many rebelled with him, and this is the way he caused the division, with no divergence at all from the faith but entire orthodoxy on his part and his companions’—even though one must certainly say that he and his aderents are contentious in a certain small point.
2,1 Besides his admirable confession of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in the sense of the catholic church, and his completely orthodox observance of the rest, his whole manner of life < was > admirable. (2) For he earned his living with his own hands, and so did the bishops under him, and the presbyters and all the rest. (He was consecrated bishop later, after his expulsion from the church, by another bishop who had the same complaint and had withdrawn from the church.) (3) < But > as to what I started to say—since I have gotten sidetracked I shall take up the thread again and tell the whole story—I mean about the expression from the sacred scriptures which he harps on, as though to be as stubborn, ignorant and contentious as possible. (4) For he and his adherents stubbornly declare that the gift God granted Adam of being in his image applies to his body, supposedly because of the literal wording of “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness.” And then the word of God adds, “And God took dust of the earth and made man.” (5) “Since scripture has said < that God made > man from the earth,” says Audius, “see how it has said with perfect truth that the entire earthy part is ‘man.’ Therefore it said earlier that the earthy part of man will itself be in the image of God.”
And this is stubborn, as I said, and ignorant—this deciding in which part of man, if there is any need to say, “part,” God’s image is located— because of the many conflicting ideas of this text which occur to people, occasioning a number of disputes. (6) If being “in the image of God” applies literally, and not figuratively, to the body, we shall either make God visible and corporeal by saying this, or else make man God’s equal. (7) We should therefore never declare or affirm with confidence which part of man is “in God’s image,” but, not to make light of God’s grace and disbelieve God, we should confess that God’s image is in man.
For whatever God says is true, even though, in a few instances, it has eluded our understanding. (8) To deny this doctrine of God’s image is not faithful, or true to God’s holy church. All people are plainly in God’s image and no one whose hope is in God will deny it, unless certain persons, who are expelled from the church and the tradition of the patriarchs, prophets, Law, apostles and evangelists, make up their own mythology.
3,1 And thus, with their quite contentious position on this point, the Audians too depart from the church’s form of the tradition, which believes that everyone is in God’s image but < makes > no < attempt > to define where in man the image is located. For neither those who discuss this in mythological terms, nor those who deny it, can prove their point. (2) For some say that “in the image” applies to the soul, from a belief that only physical things are susceptible to reasoning. And people like this do not know that the soul can be reasoned about—if we must attend to syllogisms and not just rely on God with simple minds and believe that what God has said is truth, but is known only to one who knows the whole truth.
3,3 Others, though, say in turn that “in the image” applies neither to the soul nor to the body, but means virtue. But others say that it is not virtue but baptism and the gift conferred in baptism, supposedly from the literal wording of “As we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” Others, again, disagree (4) but prefer to say that the image of God was in Adam until he fell into transgression, ate of the tree, and was expelled. But from the time of his expulsion he lost the image. (5) And people do make up a lot of stories! We must not “give place” to them “even for an hour”—to the one group or the other, to those who say this, or those who say that—but believe that the image of God is in man, but that, first and foremost, it is in the whole man and not just < in one part >. But where this image is, or to which part of man “in the image” applies, is known only to the God who has graciously granted man the image.
3,6 For man has not lost the image of God, unless he has debased the image by sullying himself with unimportant matters and pernicious sins. See here, God says to Noah after Adam’s time, “Lo, I have given thee all things as herbs of the field. Slay and eat, but eat not flesh with the life- blood, for I shall require your lives. Everyone that sheds a man’s blood upon the earth, for the blood of that man his own blood shall be required, for in the image of God have I made man, and I will require your blood from everyone that sheds it upon the face of the earth.” (7) And do you see that God’s image is said to be in man ten generations after the creation of Adam?
David too, much later, says < in > the Holy Spirit, “All is vanity, every man that liveth; < and yet man goeth on in the image. >” Moreover, the apostle after him says, “A man ought not to have long hair, for he is the image and glory of God.” (8) Moreover James after him says that ‘The tongue is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith we bless our God and Father, and therewith curse we men, which are made in the image of God. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” And see how the argument of those who say that Adam lost the image of God has come to nothing.
4,1 But again, the argument and explanation of the people who say that “in the image” means the soul, goes something like this. The soul is invis- ible as God is invisible. It is active, a mover, intelligent, rational—and for this reason it is the image of God, since it mimics God on earth by mov- ing, acting and doing all the other things that man does rationally. (2) But they too can be out-argued. If these are the reasons why the soul is said to be in the image of God, it cannot be in his image. God is more than ten thousand times, and still more incomprehensible and inconceivable than the soul, knowing all things past and present, visible and invisible, the ends of the earth and the pillars of the abyss, the heights of heaven and all that is, himself containing all things but contained by none. (3) The soul, however, is contained in a body, does not know the pillars of the abyss, has no knowledge of the breadth of the earth, is unacquainted with the ends of the world, does not comprehend the heights of heaven, < and does not know* > all that will be, or when it, and all that has come to be before it, comes to be. And there is a great deal to say about it and about things of its sort, and besides, the soul has divisions, while God is indivisible. (4) The apostle says, “For the word of God is living, and quick, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and marrow, and is a discerner of thoughts and intents. And no creature is not manifest in his sight,” and so on. And you see that their argument [here] has also failed.
5,1 And the argument of those who say that the body is in God’s image has failed in its turn. How can the visible be like the invisible? How can the corporeal be like the incorporeal? How can the tangible be like the incomprehensible? (2) We see in front of us with the eyes we have, but do not know what is behind us. But in God there is no vicissitude, no defect, never think it! He is altogether light, altogether eye, altogether glory; for God is spirit, and spirit above spirit, and light above every light. For all that he has made is inferior to his glory; only the Trinity exists in incomprehensibility, and in incomparable, unfathomable glory.
5,3 And as to the argument of those who say, in turn, that virtue is the image—there can be no virtue without the observance of the commandments, but many people differ from each other in virtue. For there are many kinds of virtue. I myself know some who are confessors, who have given their bodies and souls for their Master in the confession of him; who have persevered in purity and held the truest faith; who are outstanding in godliness, kindliness and piety and have persevered in fasting, and in every kind of goodness and the marks of virtue. (4) But they happen to have some failing—< they are > abusive, swear by God’s name, are story-tellers or irritable, lead a life < covetous* > of gold, silver and the rest—all things which lessen the measure of virtue. What shall we say? Did they acquire God’s image because of their virtue, but suddenly < lose* > God’s image because of a few human failings, < so that* > the image of God < is incomplete* >, and the image in them is no longer full? And again, their argument has failed.
5,5 Once more, there is a great deal wrong with the argument of those who say that baptism is < the > image of God. Abraham did not have baptism—or Isaac, Jacob, Elijah, Moses, or Noah and Enoch before them, or the prophets, Isaiah and the rest. Well? Don’t they have the image? And there is much to say in reply < to > these people, as there is <to> the Audians with their contentious location of the image of God in the body.
6,1 But the Audians cite certain other texts as well. They say, “ ‘ The eyes of the Lord look upon the poor, and his ears are open unto their prayer, and, ‘The hand of the Lord hath made all these,’ and, ‘Hath not my hand made all these, O stiff-necked people?’ (2) and, ‘Heaven is my throne and the earth is my footstool,’ and whatever else of the kind that scripture says of God. ‘I saw the Lord of hosts seated upon a throne high and lifted up’; His head was white as wool and his garment white as snow.’ And do you see,” they say, “how the body is in the image of God?” And even in this they are refractory, and press the text, “The Lord appeared to the prophets” farther than it is in man’s power to do.
6,3 Of course the Lord appeared as he chose since he is mighty in all things, and we do not deny that the prophets saw God—and not only the prophets, but the apostles as well. St. Stephen the Protomartyr says, “Behold, I see heaven open, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God and the Father.”
6,4 But in his kindness to his creation God the all-good [reveals himself] by his power, so that no unbeliever may suppose that what is said of God is mere words and not fact, that what is said of God stops with speech, and that the apostle’s “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that love him,” is not so. (5) To hearten the man he has formed God reveals himself to his holy and worthy ones, so that they may actually see God, be secure in their minds, hope in truth, truly proclaim him, and assure the faithful, (6) “Of course the pagans’ beliefs about God are nothing but words and imagination. But we really know God, the true and truly existent king, the incomprehensible, the maker of all, one God—and the only-begotten God who is begotten of him and in no way different from the Father; and his Holy Spirit, who differs in no way from the Father and the Son”—as I have said at length, in every Sect, about the godly faith.
7,1 And that God has appeared to men I have often said and do not deny. For if we deny the sacred scriptures we are not truthful, but guilty of abandoning the truth—or, if we reject the Old Testament, we are no longer members of the catholic church.
7,2 But the Gospel has said, “No man hath seen God at any time, let the only-begotten God himself declare him.” On the other hand, the same sacred scripture < says >, “God appeared to Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia.” And the Lord himself says in the Gospel, “Their angels behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”
7,3 But someone will be sure to say the sacred scripture means that the prophets saw God in their minds, because of the text, “Even their angels behold the face of my Father which is in heaven,” and again, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (4) If < someone > has noticed this and put texts together to fit his own conception, < he > might say that each prophet sees God in his mind, for he does not do it with his eyes.
7,5 But the sacred scripture contradicts this by saying through Isaiah the prophet, “Woe is me, for I am stunned, for I, a man of unclean lips, dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips, and with mine eyes I have seen the Lord of hosts.” And he didn’t say with his mind or in his thoughts but with his eyes, confirming the truths and certainties of the faith.
7,6 What can we say, then, when the Gospel says that no one has ever seen God, while the prophets and apostles, and the Lord himself, say that they have? Is there any contradiction in the sacred scripture? Never! (7) Prophets and apostles did see God, and this is true. But they saw him as they were able and as it was possible for them, and God appeared to them as he willed, “for with him all things are possible.” That God is invisible and incomprehensible, this is plain and universally agreed; but on the other hand, he is able to do what he wills, “For none can resist his will.” By his nature, then, he is invisible, and in his glory he is incomprehensible; (8) but if he chooses to appear to the man he has made, there is nothing to oppose his will. For the Godhead has no frailties to prevent its doing what it wills or make it do what it does not will; it has the power to do what it wills. But it does what befits the Godhead, for there is nothing whatever to oppose God’s will so that he cannot do what he wills in keeping with his Godhead. (9) And first and foremost, it is not possible for a human being to see God, and the visible is not competent to see the invisible. But the invisible God has accomplished the impossible by his loving kindness and power, and by his might has rendered some worthy of seeing the invisible. And the person who < saw > him saw the invisible and infinite, not as the infinite was, but as the nature of one who had no power to see him could bear when empowered to the fullest. And there can be no discrepancy in the sacred scripture, nor will text will be found in contradiction to text.
8,1 To give an example I have often used, it is as though one saw the sky through a very small opening and said, “I see the sky,” and such a man would not be lying; he really does see the sky. But someone might wisely tell him, “You haven’t seen the sky,” and he would not be lying. (2) The person who says he has seen the sky isn’t lying, and the person who tells him he hasn’t is also telling the truth. For the man didn’t see its extent or its breadth. And the person who had seen it told the truth, but the one who replied that he hadn’t did not lie, but also told the truth.
8,3 Besides, we often stand on a mountain top and behold the sea, and if we say we have seen the sea, we haven’t lied. But if someone replies, “You haven’t seen it,” he isn’t lying either. Where its full breadth reaches to, its full length, its depth, where the innermost chambers of the deep are and the furthest bounds of the deep, < no > human being can know. (4) Now if our knowledge of created things is so limited, how much more with the grace God has granted the prophets and apostles? They truly saw God, and yet did not see him. They saw him as far as their natures could bear, and that by the grace of the power with which, from love of the man who is his, He who is mighty in all things has endowed his true servants.
8,5 So if Audians think that God has hands for this reason, or eyes or the rest, because he so appeared to the prophets and apostles, they are behaving contentiously but are confuted by the truth. (6) Of all that God says in the sacred scripture, we must believe that it is; but how it is, is known to him alone. And that he really appeared—yes, but he appeared as he willed to, and truly looked as he appeared. For God can do all things, and nothing is impossible for him. But, being unfathomable spirit, he is incomprehensible, containing all things but himself contained by none. (7) And as is the Father, so is the Son, and so is the Holy Spirit in Godhead. But only the Only-begotten came and assumed the flesh in which he also rose, which he also united with his Godhead joining it to spirit, < and > [in which] he sat down in glory at the Father’s right hand as the scripture says. (8) And since he is incomprehensible and unfathomable, all that is said of him is really true. And since God is incomprehensible all that is said of him is sure, but there is no comprehending God’s attributes, and how he exists in incomprehensible glory.
8,9 And with my human lips I have said these things in praise of God as I was able. For even though I have further ideas about God in my mind I do not have the use of a tongue other than the one God has meted out to me. But all that is in the mind the mouth cannot say since it is closed by its measure and hemmed in by the organs of the body. (10) And so God pardons me and accepts my knowledge of him, and the praise that is beyond my power to give. < Not that I desire > to give God anything, but I desire to glorify the Godhead as best I can, so as to hold godly beliefs, and not be deprived of his grace and truth.
8,11 In singling out these points about Audius and the Audians I have reported the things they say, which they inappropriately affirm by expounding them themselves in an eccentric way, and by contentiously persisting in them. (9,1) But they have certain other positions besides, on which they take a particularly strong stand and have aggravated the division of the church, and with which they frighten others, often detach them from the church, and have attracted men and women. (2) For they choose to celebrate the Passover with the Jews—that is, they contentiously celebrate the Passover at the same time that the Jews are holding their Festival of Unleavened Bread. And indeed, < it is true > that this used to be the church’s custom—even though they tell churchmen a slanderous thing in this regard and say, (3) “You abandoned the fathers’ Paschal rite in Constantine’s time from deference to the emperor, and changed the day to suit the emperor.” (4) And some, again, declare with a contentiousness of their own, “You changed the Passover to Constantine’s birthday.”
9,5 And if the Paschal Feast were celebrated on the same day each year, and it had been decided to keep it on that day at the council con- voked by Constantine, what they say might be plausible. But since the rite cannot be held on the same date each year, their argument is worthless. The emperor was not concerned for his birthday, but for the unity of the church. (6) In fact God accomplished two very important things through Constantine, the most beloved of God and forever the most blessed. [One was] the gathering of an ecumenical council and the publication of the creed that was issued at Nicaea and confessed < by > the assembled bishops with their signatures—the deposition of Arius, and the declaration to all of the purity of the faith. [The other was] their rectification of the Paschal Feast for the sake of our unity.
9,7 For long ago, even from the earliest days, its various celebrations in the church differed, occasioning ridicule every year, with some keeping it a week early and quarrelling with the others, others a week late—some celebrating it in advance, some in between, others afterwards. (8) And in a word, as is not unknown to many scholarly persons, there was a lot of muddle and tiresomeness every time a controversy was aroused in the church’s teaching about this festival—as in the time of Polycarp and Victor the east was at odds with the west and they would not accept letters of commendation from each other. (9) But in as many other times—as in the time of Alexander, the bishop of Alexandria, and Criscentius, when each is found writing to the other and quarrelling, and down to our own day. This has been the situation ever since < the church > was thrown into disorder after the time of the circumcised bishops. And so < bishops >, gathering then from every quarter and making a precise investigation, determined that the festival be celebrated with one accord, as befits its date and rite.
10,1 But on this point the Audians cite the Ordinance of the Apostles, which is held to be dubious by many but is not spurious. For it contains every canonical regulation and no falsification of the faith < is to be found > there—of its confession, or of the church’s order, law and creed. (2) But the line which they seriously misinterpret, and ignorantly misunderstand in taking < their cue > for the Paschal Feast from it, is < the following >. The apostles decree in the Ordinance, “Reckon ye not, but celebrate when your brethren of the circumcision do; celebrate with them.” And they did not say, “your brethren in the circumcision,” but, “your brethren of the circumcision,” to show that those who had come from the circumcision to the church were the leaders from then on, and so that the others would agree < with them >, and one not celebrate the Paschal Feast at one time, and another at another. (3) For they came to this conclusion entirely for the sake of the [church’s] unity.
But the Audians were not aware of the apostles’ intent and the intent of the passage in the Ordinance, and thought that the Paschal Feast should be celebrated with the Jews. (4) And there were altogether fifteen bishops from the circumcision. And at that time, when the circumcised bishops were consecrated at Jerusalem, it was essential that the whole world follow and celebrate with them, so that there would be one concord and agreement, the celebration of one festival. (5) Hence their their concern [was] to bring people’s minds into accord for the unity of the church.
< But* > since < the festival* > could not be celebrated < in this way* > for such a long time, by God‘s good pleasure < a correction > was made for harmony’s sake was made in the time of Constantine. (6) For the words of the apostles are quoted here for the sake of harmony, as they testify by saying, “Even if they are in error, let it not concern you.” But from the very words that are said there, the contradiction will be evident. For they say that the vigil should be held midway through the Days of Unleavened Bread. But by the church’s dating [of the Paschal Feast] this cannot always be done.
11,1 For the fixing of the date of the Paschal Feast is determined by three factors: from the course of the sun; because of the Lord’s Day; and because of the lunar month which is found in the Law, so that the Passover may be slain on the fourteenth of the month as the Law says. (2) Thus it cannot be celebrated unless the day of the equinox is past, although the Jews do not observe this or care to keep so important a matter precise; with them, everything is worthless and erroneous. Still, even though such precision is required in so important a question, the apostles’ declaration was not made for the sake of this question and for precision, but in the interest of concord. And < if >, as the Audians insist, the apostles’ ordinance was that we celebrate with the enemies of Christ, how much more must we celebrate with the church for the sake of concord, so as not to mar the harmony of the church?
11,3 Now how can this (i.e., celebrating on the Jewish date) be done? The same apostles say, “When they feast, mourn ye for them with fasting, for they crucified Christ on the day of the feast. And when they mourn on the Day of Unleavened Bread and eat with bitter herbs, then feast ye.” (4) But it sometimes happens that they take the bitter herbs on the Lord’s Day. For they can slay the Passover at evening at the dawning of the Lord’s Day. For they cannot do [this] work after the evening [ just after] the Sabbath is over. Very well, if they wake up feasting after slaughtering [the lamb], how can we mourn and weep on the Lord’s Day since, again, the apostles tell us in the Ordinance, “Who so afflicts his soul on the Lord’s Day is under God’s curse.”
11,5 And do you see how much scruple and contradiction there is when the thing cannot be done as directed? But the whole truth lies in the purpose of their teaching, and from the apostles’ Ordinance itself < it is plain > how the fixing of the reckoning was arrived at for the sake of concord. < For > if we < always > celebrate when the Jews do, < we shall sometimes celebrate > after the equinox, as they often do, and we too; and again, we shall sometimes celebrate before the equinox, as they do when they celebrate alone. (6) Therefore if we celebrate [then] too, we may keep two Paschal Feasts in one year, [one] after the equinox and [one] before it; but the next year we shall not keep any Paschal Feast at all, and the whole thing will turn out to be error rather than of truth. For the year will not be over before the day of the equinox; and the cycle of the course [of the sun], which God has given men, is not complete unless the equinox is past.
12,1 And much could be said about the good the fathers did—or rather, the good God did through them—by arriving at the absolutely correct determination, for the church, of this all-venerable, all-holy Paschal Feast, its celebration after the equinox, which is the day on which the date of the fourteenth of the lunar month falls. Not that we are to keep it on the fourteenth itself; the Jews require one day, while we require not one day but six, a full week. (2) The Law itself says, to extend the time, “Ye shall take for yourselves a lamb of a year old, without blemish, perfect, on the tenth of the month, and ye shall keep it until the fourteenth, and ye shall slay it near evening on the fourteenth day of the month,” that is, the lunar. But the church observes the Paschal festival, (3) that is, the week which is designated even by the apostles themselves in the Ordinance, beginning with the second day of the week, the purchase of the lamb. And the lamb is publicly slaughtered (i.e., by the Jews) if the fourteenth of the month falls on the second day of the week—or if it falls on the third, the fourth, the fifth, the eve of the Sabbath, or the Sabbath; for the six days are designated for this purpose.
12,4 For neither can we < end > the Paschal Feast when the sixteenth of the month begins, or begin the so-called holy week of dry fare and Paschal Feast on the ninth, but [must keep] between the tenth and the night before the fifteenth, in between the two courses of night and day. (5) And though their reckoning, of the fourteen days of the lunar month, is included [in ours]—even though it barely reaches to daybreak on the fifteenth because of our necessarily exact calculation of the course of the sun after the equinox, the course of the moon because of the fourteenth, and the full week because of the Lord’s Day—[still], we also < observe > the calculation on the tenth day, which is the taking of the lamb and the initial letter of the name of Jesus. For his antitype, a lamb, was taken in this name, and so is set on the tenth.
But we cannot have the beginning or end [of the festival] at the beginning of the sixteenth of the month, or on the ninth. (6) For by growing progressively shorter because of the difference between the courses of the sun and the moon the [lunar] years cause the following inequality, though this is not meant to be a divinely ordained stumbling block. For this exact computation has been set by God in his all-wise governance, which he has granted his world by appointing, of his loving kindness, the bounds of the luminaries, seasons, months, years and solstices, through his providential care for humankind.
13,1 For though the solar year is completed in 365 days and three hours, there is still a shortage of eleven days, three hours in the course of the moon, since the moon completes its year in 354 days. (2) And the first year has eleven intercalary days, so called, and three hours, the second has twenty-two days and six hours, and the third has thirty-three days and nine hours. This makes one intercalary month, as it is called.
13,3 For the thirty days are intercalated, but three days and nine hours are left over. Added to the eleven days and three hours of the fourth year, these make fourteen days and twelve hours. And when another eleven days and three hours are added, the total is twenty-five days and fifteen hours. And in the sixth year, since another eleven days and three hours are added to the year, there is a total of thirty-six days and eighteen hours, which make one intercalary month. And two months have been interca- lated, and (one) every three years. (4) There is one month in the first three years, and another month in the other three.
And six days, plus eighteen hours, are left over from the intercalary days. When these are added, in the seventh year, to the eleven days and three hours of that year, the total is seventeen days and twenty-one hours. And when the eleven days and three hours are again added on the eighth year, this becomes twenty-eight intercalated days—and twenty-four hours, which make two days. (5) The sum of these hours added to the twenty-eight days is thirty. And so the thirty days < are intercalated > in the eighth year, the one month in two years. (6) And thus ninety days < are intercalated > over a period of eight years These are a total of three intercalary months, which come one month every three years, and later one month in two. The paschal festival differs among Jews, Christians and the others, in these three intercalations of the groups of days.
14,1 Here is where the Audians differ; and they deceive men and women in this regard with their parade of keeping the original tradition and following the Ordinance of the Apostles. But they ignore any exact calculation and are not clear about the apostles’ charge in the Ordinance—which was by no means to hold the observance exactly < like > the Jews, but to eliminate the contentiousness of those who each wanted to celebrate in their own way, and not in harmony. (2) For Christ desires one Paschal Feast, reckons this [one a Paschal Feast], and accepts a per- son who keeps it without contention but with those whose observance is exact, [that is], all the holy church which keeps the festival in many places. (3) And if the Paschal Feast had been fragmented after Constantine, the slanderers would have a point. But since the divisions came before Constantine and ridicule arose, with the pagans talking about the disharmony in the church and making fun of it—but by the zeal of the bishops the division was united in one harmony in Constantine’s time— (4) what can be more important and acceptable than to reconcile a peo- ple to God from [all] the ends of the earth on one day? [What better] than that they agree, hold their vigil and keep exactly the same days, and < serve* > God with watchings, supplications, concord, service, fasting, abstinence, purity and the other good things that please God, on this all- venerable day? But I think this is enough about this matter of the Audians’ disagreement.
14,5 Audius suffered exile in his old age and was banished to Scythia by the emperor; < for > he was reported to the emperor by the bishops because of the rebellion of the laity. He lived there for the most part—I cannot say for how many years—and then went further on, even into the interior of Gothia. He instructed many Goths, and many monaster- ies therefore arose in Gothia itself, and the religious life, virginity and an ascetic discipline of no mean order. (6) In fact this body is absolutely < outstanding* > in its admirable conduct, and all their customs are well regulated in their monasteries, except for these points of contention, the difference in their Paschal Feast and their ignorant profession of the doc- trine of the divine image.
15,1 But the worst, most fearful thing of all is that they will not pray with someone even if he is plainly respectable and they have nothing to accuse him of—no charge of fornication, adultery or covetousness, but simply membership in the church. Besides, this is a fearful thing, to change the name of the Christians—the holy church, which has no additional name, but simply the name of Christ and Christians—< and > be named for Audius, and to make, and be required to make a covenant < against > the human race even though the group is outstanding in life, pure and boasts of all righteousness.
15,2 For even after Audius’ death many joined them and became bishops of his faction after him—one Uranius of Mesopotamia, and they got some men from Gothia and consecrated them as bishops, < including. . . > and there was a Silvanus and certain others. But some of these have died, Uranius in particular. For he was proud to be a member of this group.
15,3 But many members were dispersed after the death of these bishops, Uranius and Silvanus of Gothia, and their body dwindled to a small one in Chalcis by Antioch, and the Euphrates region. (4) Indeed, the majority of them were hounded out of Gothia—not only they, but also the Christians of our kind who were there, when a great persecution was launched by a pagan king. He was a dreadful person; besides, he drove all the Christians out of those < territories* > from anger at the Romans, because the Roman emperors were Christian. But neither a root of wisdom nor a shoot of faith is wanting; even if they all appear to have been driven out, there must surely be < faithful > men there. It is not possible for the spring of faith to fail.
15,5 Many Audian refugees from Gothia came even here < to > our country, and lived as resident aliens for four years after that time. But they also withdrew once again < to > their Audian monasteries in the Taurus mountains, and in Palestine and Arabia. For they are widely dispersed by now but are still very few in number, and have few monasteries. But perhaps the group is still in two villages in the outer part of Chalcis, as I mentioned, and beyond Damascus and Mesopotamia, though, as I said, gready reduced in number.
15,6 But I think that is enough about this group in its turn. Once more, I shall pass them by and investigate the rest, so as to omit nothing about the divisions, splits, differences and schisms which have arisen in the world. For even though they are not that much changed in faith and < different* > in behaviour, if I can help it I am still not going to omit any separate group which has its own name.