The beginning of this madness was Arius (whose name is derived from frenzy ), who paid the penalty of his unbridled tongue by his death in a profane spot, brought about by prayer not by disease, when he like Judas burst asunder Acts 1:18 for his similar treachery to the Word. Then others, catching the infection, organized an art of impiety, and, confining Deity to the Unbegotten, expelled from Deity not only the Begotten, but also the Proceeding one, and honoured the Trinity with communion in name alone, or even refused to retain this for it. Not so that blessed one, Who was indeed a man of God and a mighty trumpet of truth: but being aware that to contract the Three Persons to a numerical Unity is heretical, and the innovation of Sabellius, who first devised a contraction of Deity; and that to sever the Three Persons by a distinction of nature, is an unnatural mutilation of Deity; he both happily preserved the Unity, which belongs to the Godhead, and religiously taught the Trinity, which refers to Personality, neither confounding the Three Persons in the Unity, nor dividing the Substance among the Three Persons, but abiding within the bounds of piety, by avoiding excessive inclination or opposition to either side.
And therefore, first in the holy Synod of Nicaea, the gathering of the three hundred and eighteen chosen men, united by the Holy Ghost, as far as in him lay, he stayed the disease. Though not yet ranked among the Bishops, he held the first rank among the members of the Council, for preference was given to virtue just as much as to office. Afterwards, when the flame had been fanned by the blasts of the evil one, and had spread very widely (hence came the tragedies of which almost the whole earth and sea are full), the fight raged fiercely around him who was the noble champion of the Word. For the assault is hottest upon the point of resistance, while various dangers surround it on every side: for impiety is skillful in designing evils, and excessively daring in taking them in hand: and how would they spare men, who had not spared the Godhead? Yet one of the assaults was the most dangerous of all: and I myself contribute somewhat to this scene; yea, let me plead for the innocence of my dear fatherland, for the wickedness was not due to the land that bore them, but to the men who undertook it. For holy indeed is that land, and everywhere noted for its piety, but these men are unworthy of the Church which bore them, and ye have heard of a briar growing in a vine; and the traitor was Judas, one of the disciples.