Chapter XLV.—Various Discourses by the Assembled Bishops; also by Eusebius, the Writer of this History.
Meantime the festival derived additional luster both from the prayers and discourses of the ministers of God, some of whom extolled the pious emperors willing devotion to the Saviour of mankind, and dilated on the magnificence of the edifice which he had raised to his memory. Others afforded, as it were, an intellectual feast to the ears of all present, by public disquisitions on the sacred doctrines of our religion. Others interpreted passages of holy Scripture, and unfolded their hidden meaning; while such as were unequal to these efforts presented a bloodless sacrifice and mystical service to God in the prayers which they offered for general peace, for the Church of God, for the emperor himself as the instrumental cause of so many blessings, and for his pious sons. I myself too, unworthy as I was of such a privilege, pronounced various public orations in honor of this solemnity, wherein I partly explained by a written description the details of the imperial edifice, and partly endeavored to gather from the prophetic visions apt illustrations of the symbols it displayed. 3343 Thus joyfully was the festival of dedication celebrated in the thirtieth year of our emperors reign.
[Eusebius gives us no example of his application of Scripture in this case. His commentator Valesius refers to Zeph. iii. 8 (LXX), Δι€ τοῦτο ὑπόμεινόν με, λέγει Κύριος, εἰς ἡμέραν ἀναστ€σεώς μου εἰς μαρτύριον, and tells us that Cyril of Jerusalem, in his fourth Homily, explains this passage in Zephaniah of the Martyrium, of Basilica, which Constantine built on the spot of the Lords resurrection. Let any one examine the whole passage (allowing for the mistake of one Hebrew word for another by the LXX), and say, if this be a fair specimen, what we are to think of the Fathers of the fourth century as interpreters of Scripture. See also Bk. 3, ch. 33, note.—Bag.] “Interpreted pertinent passages from the prophets.”—Str. and Molz.