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Date 335
Ancient Source(s) Athanasius, Ap. 77

To the bishops assembled at Tyre, most honored Lords, those of the catholic Church who have come from Egypt with Athanasius send greeting in the Lord.

We suppose that the conspiracy which has been formed against us by Eusebius, Theognius, Maris, Narcissus, Theodorus, Patrophilus and their fellows is no longer uncertain. From the very beginning we all objected, through our fellow minister Athanasius, to the holding of the enquiry in their presence, knowing that the presence of even one enemy only, much more of many, is able to disturb and injure the hearing of a cause. And you also yourselves know the enmity which they entertain, not only towards us, but towards all the orthodox, how that for the sake of the madness of Arius, and his impious doctrine, they direct their assaults, they form conspiracies against all. And when, being confident in the truth, we desired to show the falsehood which the Meletians had employed against the Church, Eusebius and his fellows endeavored by some means or other to interrupt our representations and strove eagerly to set aside our testimony, threatening those who have an honest judgment, and insulting others for the sole purpose of carrying out the design they had against us. Your godly piety, most honored Lords, was probably ignorant of their conspiracy, but we suppose that it has now been made manifest. For indeed they have themselves plainly disclosed it; for they desired to send to the Mareotis those of their party who are suspected by us, so that, while we were absent and remained here, they might disturb the people and accomplish what they wished. They knew that the Arian madmen and Colluthians and Meletians, were enemies of the catholic Church, and therefore they were anxious to send them, that in the presence of our enemies they might devise against us whatever schemes they pleased. And those of the Meletians who are here, even four days previously (as they knew that this enquiry was about to take place), dispatched at evening certain of their party as couriers for the purpose of collecting Meletians out of Egypt into the Mareotis, because there were none at all there, and Colluthians and Arian madmen from other parts, and to prepare them to speak against us. For you also know that Ischyras himself confessed before you, that he had not more than seven persons in his congregation. When therefore we heard that, after they had made what preparations they pleased against us, and had sent these suspected persons, they were going about to each of you and requiring your subscriptions in order that it might appear as if this had been done with the consent of you all; for this reason we hastened to write to you, and to present this our testimony; declaring that we are the objects of a conspiracy under which we are suffering by and through them, and demanding that having the fear of God in your minds, and condemning their conduct in sending whom they pleased without our consent, you would refuse your subscriptions, lest they pretend that those things are done by you, which they are contriving only among themselves. Surely it becomes those who are in Christ, not to regard human motives, but to prefer the truth before all things. And be not afraid of their threatening, which they employ against all, nor of their plots, but rather fear God. If it was at all necessary that people should be sent to the Mareotis, we also ought to have been there with them, in order that we might convict the enemies of the church, and point out those who were aliens, and that the investigation of the matter might be impartial. For you know that Eusebius and his fellows contrived that a letter should be presented as coming from the Colluthians, the Meletians, and Arians and directed against us; but it is evident that these enemies of the catholic Church speak nothing that is true concerning us, but say everything against us. And the law of  God forbids an enemy to be either a witness or a judge. Wherefore as you will have to give an account in the day of judgment, receive this testimony, and recognizing the conspiracy which has been framed against us, beware, if you are requested by them, of doing anything against us, and of taking part in the designs of Eusebius and his fellows. For you know, as we said before, that they are our enemies, and you are aware why Eusebius of Caesarea became such last year. We pray that you may be in health, greatly beloved Lords.

Translation from NPNF2 vol. 4, p. 140-1

Adapted by SMT

Last updated: 3-12-2011

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