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that he united not a little arrogance with his heroic resolution. But any difficulty to which Perdiccas might have been exposed through a collision with the ecclesiastical powers of Alexandria, was prevented by the course which the ambition of his father marked out for him. Through his influence, the young ecclesiastic was received into the retinue of Princess Eudosia, the sister of Constantine, and thus withdrawn from his native city to the more tolerant air of the imperial residence.
We pass an interval of some years, and transport ourselves in inagination to Constantinople, the new capital of the Roman world, and to the palace of its imperial founder. Constantine was seated in an apartment whose excess of magnifi
cence exhibited some indications of declining taste on the part - of the artists of that day. That remarkable man was now
beyond the middle period of life. There were traces of care on his brow, and the lines of his countenance indicated one accustomed to exercise command over himself, not less than over others. Though eminent and always successful as a soldier, it was rather for the toils of the statesman that he seemed to be formed. The Emperor was not alone. A young man stood before him, whose demeanor united the respect due to his sovereign, with the self possession imparted by conscious worth, and by a belief in higher realities than those of earthly state. Constantine spoke, and there was sadness in his tone.
“I have sent for you, young man, at the request of my late sister. The princess commended you to me with such earnestness, as renders me desirous of advancing you. But I must consider not my own wishes alone, but the interests of the empire, and the consistent observance of my own laws. You are, I have heard, imbued with the sentiments of the Porphyrians ? (5) Speak freely. I seek candor from you, and desire your advancement."
“Augustus," answered the youth, “ I am deeply grateful for your kind notice, and feel still more deeply towards my late noble mistress. But the objection which you have urged, I have felt and anticipated. I am one of those to whom your imperial edict has given the name you mention.
I hold the sentiments of Arius, and I am aware that those sentiments must exclude me from your patronage. I am not the less grateful for your wish to bestow it."
" You are but little used to the ways of courts, young man, to reject good fortune by so blunt an avowal. But it is the candor that I wanted, though more than I expected. We will let that subject pass.
If you will sacrifice your prosperity to your opinions, I cannot help it. But tell me, young priest,
you were Eudosia's favorite religious counsellor,-have reason to believe that the Augusta held the same views with yourself?"
My sovereign, the opinions of the Augusta were not fully decided. Her own judgment was strongly inclined to the views you disapprove, but with deep humility she shrunk from opposing her opinion to the sentence of the General Council, and of her brother and king."
“ The decision of the Sacred Council must indeed be binding. It is the declared sentence of the Christian church; and when I require the submission of others to it, I demand no more from them than what I render myself.”
The youth held his peace, as he could not assent to the opinion, which yet it did not beseem him to contradict. But the Emperor was desirous to try him further.
“ How can your Porphyrians oppose their private judgments to the decision of the Christian world ?”
“ Augustus, there is a voice within us, which we must obey. It is vain that we try to believe what reason and scripture seem to us to contradict. We may be silenced, but not convinced. Our bodies may be banished by the authority of an Emperor, but the mind cannot be thus subdued.”
“Pride, mere pride. I who exercise unbounded power, have more humility than you. I thought this whole dispute exceedingly trifling, and should have rejoiced if both parties continued to profess their sentiments together in peace. But the Council ordained otherwise. I submit, and enforce but the same submission upon others. Those who yield the respect that is due to the united Christian community, I receive to my favor; and I again offer you that favor young priest, if you can bring your pride down to this condition."
“My sovereign, at the risk of your displeasure, I must decline the distinguished honor you do me.
It would ill become me to purchase advancement by the sacrifice of those principles, for maintaining which, my friend and father, the venerable Arius, is yet in banishment." “You know the heresiarch then,” said Constantine.
66 Tell me of his manner of life. I have heard that before his unhappy fall into these errors, he was regarded as a virtuous man by his brethren and by those of the old religion.”
“ As a virtuous man Arius must ever be regarded by all who know him. Oh, my Emperor, if you could but hear the lessons of wisdom and piety that flowed from his lips, if you could have seen his submission under the trials to which he has been exposed, the uncomplaining meekness of his resignation, bend
ing before the will of Providence, which he recognised in all things, and never returning any reproaches for the railings with which he was assailed; if you could have known him, personally, you would never have banished such a man because he had believed and professed as his own judgment and conscience obliged him to do."
" When were you last in his company ?”
“I was of those who accompanied him farthest on his way from Nice to his place of banishment.”
“ And how did he bear his adversity? Proudly enough, no doubt, for pride was the occasion of his fall.”
“ Augustus, if I could judge, if my veneration for him does not biind me, pride was, of all emotions, furthest from his heart. He said but little respecting his calamity, except in reply to the remarks of others, who endeavored to console him. He appeared grave indeed, but scarcely more so than his usual venerable deportment. If others spoke of his sufferings and seemed to exaggerate them, he would himself suggest circumstances which diminished their severity. He did not refuse the sympathy of his friends, yet reminded them that the same Providence reigned in barbarous Illyricum as in civilized Egypt. * And here,' said he, “how much more happy are we than our ancestors. If they were banished to a foreign land, they left their religion behind them; for the gods of Greece were unknown beyond the Adriatic. They went to a land to whose deities they were strangers ; but our God is everywhere, and if I feel that he approves my course, my friends, I shall not be desolate.' Some spoke with indignation of those whom they called his enemies--of the Bishop Alexander, Athanasius, and others; but he always mildly yet firmly checked them. Let it be ours, my friends, to bear these evils, not as injuries from the hands of men, but as trials from the hands of God. be that they who have condemned and pursued me, are approved by their own consciences. Whether it be so or not, it is not ours to judge them, for to their own master they stand or fall.',
“My name was mentioned doubtless, by these indignant friends, and perhaps in no gentle terms."
“One indeed spoke of you, as he has since repented; for that one was—I am not afraid to say it, noble Cæsar—myself. But Arius checked me, instantly, and with some sternness. • What, my son,' he exclaimed, but recently we have had the blessing of a Christian Emperor, and already shall we complain ungratefully of his sway? If like me, you had known the time when the life of a disciple was constantly in danger from hea
then persecution, you would bless with me the illustrious Constantine, who has given peace and safety to the church, though he has seen fit to subject one humble Presbyter to this dis
“ This is well; but Arius knew, that at such a time every word he uttered would be observed. Do you know any thing of his life in private? It is there that the character of the man is seen without disguise.”
“ Yes, gracious Emperor. I have known the Presbyter since my childhood; and at home or abroad, in public or in private, his character is always consistent with itself.”
The Emperor leaned his brow upon his hands, for a few moments, in thoughtful silence. “Go, youth," he said at length, “your candor has not injured you in my esteem, and may perchance benefit your friend. Remain attached to my service, as you were to that of
sister.” The young ecclesiatic bowed and withdrew.
The words he had spoken made a deep impression on the mind of Constantine. (6) He sought from the governor of the province to which Arius had been banished, accounts of that leader's mode of life, and the spirit in which he bore his misfortunes. A few months passed, and then on a cloudless and starry night, such a night as seems made for love and piety, a noble Trireme made her way through the magnificent pass of the Bosphorus; and on her deck, amid the officers of the Emperor, who had been sent to conduct him with honor to the Capitol, sat the venerable form of Arius, watching, while a benignant smile beamed through the gravity of his features, the converse which his lovely niece held in low tones, with Perdiccas, the young presbyter, who, now that the consent of his mercenary father could not be doubted, was again her approved and betrothed lover.
NOTES. 1. 66 Of the divine Galerius." “ Divi Galerii”—the customary style of honor to deceased Emperors, as the title Augustus was to the living.
2. The miracle referred to was the vision of a cross in the heavens, said to have been witnessed by Constantine and his army, before his decisive victory over Maxentius, at the Milvian bridge near Rome.
3. Perpetua and Felicitas. These females with other Christians were put to death at Carthage, under the reign of Severus, about A. D. 202.
There was a general persecution throughout the empire not long before Constantine's acces. sion, but the name of the martyr Charilaus is imaginary.
4. Rival claims to the bishopric of Carthage. These resulted in the schism of the Donatists, which was not only a religious controversy but a civil war, deluging the provinces of Africa and Numidia with blood. This division in the church, kindled by the ambition of two rival ecclesiastics, endured about three hundred years !
5. Porphyrians. After the Council of Nice, Constantine issued a decree, commanding that the followers of Arius should be thus called. It was a term of opprobrium, derived from the name of Porphyry, an early writer against Christianity.
6. The recall of Arius from exile is said to have been determined on by Constantine in consequence of information obtained from a priest, whom the Princess, his sister, had recommended to him with her dying breath. The language ascribed to Arius is imaginary, but such as appeared consistent with that union of gravity and gentleness of deportment, which even his adversaries describe him as possessing.
TO A HUMMING BIRD.
Little thing of the rainbow wing ;
If thou canst not sing.
Tell us when thou fell'st in love
With the honeysuckle flower-
To her fragrant bower.
Or art thou her guardian sprite,
Ever hearkening to her sigh-
Droppest from the sky ?
Take me to thy viewless nest,
In the far off realm of Fairy,
When thy wings are weary.
When a child, I often dreamed
Wondering what thou wert, and whence,
Scarce like things of sense.
Darting here and darting there,
Now half buried in a flower,
By mysterious power.
When the rosy twilight came,
Softly down the slumbering sky,
Flashed before my eye,
Round the lattice and the porch,
Ere the dew began to fall,