Excerpt: ...to Constantinople. Several of them, seized with fear, returned to their homes; a few others, who were bolder, headed by Eusebius and Theognis of Nicea, set out for the Imperial city. They made their plans on the way. Once arrived, instead of bringing up the old charges, they accused Athanasius of having prevented the sailing of the grain vessels from Alexandria to Constantinople in order to cause a famine. It was a clever trick. Constantine was extremely touchy about the prosperity of his new city and had just condemned to death a friend of his own for the same crime. He turned on Athanasius in anger. "How could I, a poor man and a Bishop, do such a thing?" asked the Patriarch. "You are rich enough and powerful enough for anything," retorted Eusebius bitterly. As for Constantine, he declared that he would uphold the decisions of the Council. Athanasius deserved to lose his life, but he would show indulgence. He therefore banished him to Treves in Gaul, and the Arians triumphed. There was mourning and lamentation in Alexandria and throughout all Egypt when the tidings came. Many appeals were made for justice, but in vain. Even St. Antony, though he wrote to Constantine, could not move him. One thing alone the Emperor would not do in spite of all the persuasions of the Arians-appoint a successor to the absent Patriarch. Athanasius, indeed, continued to govern the diocese from his distant exile, writing continually to his Bishops and clergy, exhorting them to stand fast in the Faith and reminding them that the road to consolation lay through affliction. Eusebius, in the meantime, was trying to force Alexander, the aged Bishop of Constantinople, to admit Arius to communion. Although ninety years old, he stood firm, and neither threats nor persuasions could move him. The Emperor was at last induced to fix a day on which Alexander was to receive the heretic or be driven from his see. The Bishop appealed to Heaven. He ordered a seven days' fast throughout...
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