|In protecting the holy faith I enjoy the light of truth, and by following the light of truth I attain to fuller knowledge of the faith. Therefore, as facts prove, I recognize that most holy worship as teaching the knowledge of the most holy God. This service I profess. With the Power of this God for my ally, beginning at the furthest boundaries of the ocean, I have, one after another, quickened every part of the world with hope. Now all the peoples once enslaved by many tyrants, worn by their daily miseries, and almost extinct, have been kindled to fresh life by receiving the protection of the State.
|The God I reverence is He whose emblem my dedicated troops bear on their shoulders, marching whithersoever the cause of justice leads them, and rewarding me by their splendid victories. I confess that I reverence this God with eternal remembrance. Him, who dwelleth in the highest heavens, I contemplate with pure and unpolluted mind. On Him I call on bended knees, shunning all abominable blood, all unseemly and ill-omened odours, all fire of incantation , and all pollution by which unlawful and shameful error has destroyed whole nations and hurled them down to hell.
|God does not permit those gifts which, in His beneficent Providence, He has bestowed upon men for the supply of their wants to be perverted according to every man's desire. He only requires of men a pure mind and a spotless soul, and by these He weighs their deeds of virtue and piety. He is pleased with gentleness and modesty; He loves the meek , and hates those who excite contentions; He loves faith, chastises unbelief; He breaks all power of boasting , and punishes the insolence of the proud . Men exalted with pride He utterly overthrows, and rewards the humble and the patient according to their deserts. Of a just sovereignty He maketh much, strengthens it by His aid, and guards the counsels of Princes with the blessing of peace.
|I know that I am not in error, my brother, when I confess that this God is the Ruler and the Father of all men, a truth which many who preceded me upon the imperial throne were so deluded by error as to attempt to deny. But their end was so dreadful that they have become a fearful warning to all mankind, to deter others from similar iniquity . Of these I count that man one whom the wrath of God, like a thunderbolt, drove hence into your country, and who made notorious the memorial of his shame which exists in your own land . Indeed it appears to have been well ordered that the age in which we live should be distinguished by the open and manifest punishments inflicted on such persons. I myself have witnessed the end of those who have persecuted the people of God by unlawful edicts. Hence it is that I more especially thank God for having now, by His special Providence, restored peace to those who observe His law, in which they exalt and rejoice.
|I am led to expect future happiness and security whenever God in His goodness unites all men in the exercise of the one pure and true religion. You may therefore well understand how exceedingly I rejoice to hear that the finest provinces of Persia are adorned abundantly with men of this class; I mean Christians; for it is of them I am speaking. All then is well with you and with them, for you will have the Lord of all merciful and beneficent to you. Since then you are so mighty and so pious, I commend the Christians to your care, and leave them in your protection. Treat them, I beseech you, with the affection that befits your goodness. Your fidelity in this respect will confer on yourself and on us inexpressible benefits.|
This excellent emperor felt so much solicitude for all who had embraced the true religion, that he not only watched over those who were his own subjects, but also over the subjects of other sovereigns. For this reason he was blessed with the special protection of God, so that although he held the reins of the whole of Europe and of Africa, and the greater part of Asia, his subjects were all well disposed to his rule, and obedient to his government. Foreign nations submitted to his sway, some by voluntary submission, others overcome in war. Trophies were everywhere erected, and the emperor was styled Victorious.
The praises of Constantine have, however, been proclaimed by many other writers. We must resume the thread of our history. This emperor, who deserves the highest fame, devoted his whole mind to matters worthy of the apostles, while men who had been admitted to the sacerdotal dignity not only neglected to edify the church, but endeavoured to uproot it from the very foundations. They invented all manner of false accusations against those who governed the church in accordance with the doctrines taught by the apostles, and did their best to depose and banish them. Their envy was not satisfied by the infamous falsehood which they had invented against Eustathius, but they had recourse to every artifice to effect the overthrow of another great bulwark of religion. These tragic occurrences I shall now relate as concisely as possible.