Chapter XXIII.—Valens and Ursacius, who belonged to the Arian Faction, confess to the Bishop of Rome that they had made False Charges against Athanasius.
Such was the letter written by the Synod convened in Palestine. Some time after Athanasius had the satisfaction of seeing the injustice of the sentence enacted against him by the council of Tyre publicly recognized. 1279 Valens and Ursacius, who had been sent with Theognis and his followers to obtain information in Mareotis, as we before mentioned, concerning the holy cup which Ischyrion had accused Athanasius of having broken, wrote the following retraction to Julius, bishop of Rome:—
“Ursacius and Valens, to the most blessed Lord Pope Julius.
“Since we previously, as is well known, made many various charges against Athanasius, the bishop, by our letters, and although we have been urged persistently by the epistles of your excellency in this matter which we publicly alleged and have not been able to give a reason for our accusation, therefore, we now confess to your excellency in the presence of all the presbyters, our brethren, that all that you have heard concerning the aforesaid Athanasius is utterly false and fictitious, and in every way foreign to his nature. For this reason, we joyfully enter into communion with him, particularly as your piety in accordance with your implanted love of goodness has granted forgiveness to us for our error. Moreover, we declare unto you that if the bishops of the East, or even Athanasius himself, should at any time malignantly summon us to judgment, we would not sever ourselves from your judgment and disposition about the case. We now and ever shall anathematize, as we formerly did in the memorial which we presented at Milan, the heretic Arius and his followers, who say that there was a time, in which the Son existed not, and that Christ is from that which had no existence, and who deny that Christ was God and the Son of God before all ages. We again protest, in our own handwriting, that we shall ever condemn the aforesaid Arian heresy, and its originators.
“I, Ursacius, sign this confession with my own signature. In like manner also Valens.”
This was the confession which they sent to Julius. It is also necessary to append to it their letter to Athanasius: it is as follows:—
From Athan. Apol. cont. Arian. 58; Soc. ii. 24, only an allusion; Hil. Fragm. ii. 20; Sulp. Sev. H. S. ii. 36.