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Select Works And Letters Or Athanasius by Athanasius

Defence Before Constantius.

1. Knowing that you have been a Christian for many years , most religious Augustus, and that you are godly by descent, I cheerfully undertake to answer for myself at this time; -- for I will use the language of the blessed Paul, and make him my advocate before you, considering that he was a preacher of the truth, and that you are an attentive hearer of his words.

With respect to those ecclesiastical matters, which have been made the ground of a conspiracy against me, it is sufficient to refer your Piety to the testimony of the many Bishops who have written in my behalf ; enough too is the recantation of Ursacius and Valens to prove to all men, that none of the charges which they set up against me had any truth in them. For what evidence can others produce so strong, as what they declared in writing? We lied, we invented these things; all the accusations against Athanasius are full of falsehood.' To this clear proof may be added, if you will vouchsafe to hear it, this circumstance that the accusers brought no evidence against Macarius the presbyter while we were present; but in our absence , when they were by themselves, they managed the matter as they pleased. Now, the Divine Law first of all, and next our own Laws , have expressly declared, that such proceedings are of no force whatsoever. From these things your piety, as a lover of God and of the truth, will, I am sure, perceive that we are free from all suspicion, and will pronounce our opponents to be false accusers.

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