Chapter XXI.—Of the Second Council of Nicæa.
On receipt of these despatches Constantius wrote to the Antiochenes denying that he had committed the see of Antioch to Eudoxius, as Eudoxius had publicly announced. He ordered that Eudoxius be banished, and be punished for the course he had taken at the Bithynian Nicæa, where he had ordered the synod to assemble. Eudoxius himself had persuaded the officers entrusted with authority in the imperial household to fix Nicæa for the Council. But the Supreme Ruler and Governor, who knows the future like the past, stopped the assembly by a mighty earthquake, whereby the greater part of the city was overthrown, and most of the inhabitants destroyed. On learning this the assembled bishops were seized with panic, and returned to their own churches. But I regard this as a contrivance of the divine wisdom, for in that city the doctrine of the faith of the apostles had been defined by the holy Fathers. In that same city the bishops who were assembling on this later occasion were intending to lay down the contrary. The sameness of name would have been sure to furnish a means of deception to the Arian crew, and trick unsophisticated souls. They meant to call the council “the Nicene,” and identify it with the famous council of old. But He who has care for the churches disbanded the synod.