This is the sixteenth in a series of teaching letters. In the last three letters (#13 through #15), I have been continuing the much neglected story of the Zerah branch of Judah. If you don’t already have issues 13 through 15, you will need them to go along with this lesson. To understand the entire Judah story, you will need all of the issues from #1 through #15, including this one. I have not yet reached the end of the story of the true British church as opposed to the false Roman Catholic Church. Here is a brief summary of lesson #15: First I covered the Boadicean war, and gave you some background history on what caused it. I next brought forward the astounding information showing that Apostle Paul and Rufus Pudens were half-brothers. I am sure there are many who have never heard, or have become aware of this fact. Continuing, it was discussed at length how Good King Lucius was the first to nationalize the church which was established by Joseph of Arimathea. I finished up letter #15 with the subject of Constantine the Great, which is a quite different version than the usual account given by most historians.
For all of you who are helping in the support of this teaching ministry, I want to thank you very much. I am trying to bring you the most exciting informative facts I can find. There is no reason why history has to be dull. I was not able to finish the subject on the man, Emperor Constantine, in the last teaching letter, so I will continue it here.
Now Continuing The Topic:
JUST WHO IS THIS PATRIARCH, JUDAH? (Part 16)
The Diocletian persecution covered the entire area of the Roman Empire at his time, but in the city of Rome itself, there was no one left to carry on the British church which had been started there, after the persecutions had subsided. We can know this for sure, as there are no records of the British church established by the Pudens family being connected in any way with the later Roman Catholic Church. In fact, the Roman Catholic Church claims that Peter appointed the first bishop Linus, which is a false claim, for Paul appointed Linus as bishop. All the members of that church, with its bishops, had evidently been martyred. What was started in its stead was not ordained or given authority by Yahshua! The instrument by which the Roman Catholic Universal Church claims authority is called “The Donation of Constantine” which has been proven by historians to be a forgery. It is important to understand the Roman Catholic Universal Church is not related in any way to the original British church organized by St. Paul, called “Basilica Di S. Pudenziana”, at Rome. For information on “The Donation of Constantine”, I am going to quote from, The Horizon History Of Christianity, by Roland H. Bainton, pages 243-244:
“ We do find skepticism of a sort in the form of historical criticism used to expose the spuriousness of famous forgeries and to examine sacred documents critically. Historical criticism was a by-product of studies by the Humanists, whose profound interest in the antique encouraged a pure Latin style. Through their comparison of classical and medieval Latin, there arose an awareness of philological (study in literature and linguistic) development. ‘ The Donation of Constantine ’, upon which the papacy long based its claims to dominion, was exposed as a forgery by Lorenzo Valla. The language, he pointed out, was not that of the age of Constantine. In the document there were references to the iconoclastic controversy of the eighth century. Documents of the period of Constantine never once mentioned the Donation, and at no time during that emperor’s reign did the popes actually exercise the authority Constantine was supposed to have bestowed upon them. Valla disproved also the common assumption that the Apostles’ Creed was the work of the twelve apostles. More daring was his application of historical, critical methods to the study of the Bible, even though he came up with no startling conclusions. As far as the Church was concerned, Valla’s demonstrations were not especially disturbing. She could survive the exposure of forgery.
This may be new and startling to you, but it is well documented — there really is no question about this unmistakable fact. For another reference to “The Donation of Constantine”, I will quote from, The Story Of Civilization: Part IV, “The Age Of Faith”, by Will Durant, pages 525-526:
“ At first it was the episcopacy (government of the church by a hierarchy) that profited most from the weakness and quarrels of the French and German kings. In Germany the archbishops, allied with the kings, enjoyed over property, bishops, and priests, a feudal power that paid only lip service to the popes. Apparently it was the resentment of the German bishops, irked by this archiepiscopal autocracy, that generated the ‘ False Decretals ’; this collection, which would later fortify the papacy, aimed first of all to establish the right of bishops to appeal from their metropolitans to the popes. We do not know the date of provenance of these Decretals; probably they were put together at Metz about 842 A.D. Thefalse author was a French cleric who called himself Isidorus Mercator. It was an ingenious compilation. Along with a mass of authentic decrees by councils or popes, it included decrees and letters that it attributed to pontiffs from Clement I (91-100) to Melchiades (311-314). These early documents were designed to show that by the oldest traditions and practice of the Church, no bishop might be deposed, no Church council might be convened, and no major issue might be decided, without the consent of the pope. Even the early pontiffs, by these evidences, had claimed absolute and universal authority as vicars of Christ on earth. Pope Sylvester I (314-335) was represented as having received in the ‘ Donation of Constantine ’, full secular as well as religious authority over all western Europe; consequently the ‘ Donation of Pepin ’ was but a halting restoration of stolen property; and the repudiation of Byzantine suzerainty by the pope in crowning Charlemagne appeared as the long-delayed reassertion of a right derived from the founder of the Eastern Empire himself. Unfortunately, many of the unauthentic documents quoted Scripture in the translation of St. Jerome, who was born twenty-six years after the death of Melchiades. The forgery would have been evident to any good scholar, but scholarship was at low ebb in the ninth and tenth centuries. The fact that most of the claims ascribed by the Decretals to the early bishops of Rome had been made by one or another of the later pontiffs disarmed criticism; and for eight centuries the popes assumed the authenticity of these documents, and used them to prop their policies.
“ By a happy coincidence the ‘ False Decretals ’ appeared shortly before the election of one of the most commanding figures in papal history. Nicholas I (858-867) had received an exceptionally thorough education in the law and traditions of the Church, and had been apprenticed to his high office by being a favored aide of several popes. He equaled the great Gregorys (I and VII) in strength of will, and surpassed them in the extent and success of his claims. Starting from premises then accepted by all Christians — that the Son of God had founded the Church by making Peter her first head, and that the bishops of Rome inherited their power from Peter in direct line — Nicholas reasonably concluded that the pope, as God’s representative on earth, should enjoy a suzerain authority over all Christians — rulers as well as subjects — at least in matters of faith and morals. Nicholas eloquently expounded this simple argument, and no one in Latin Christendom dared contradict it. Kings and archbishops could only hope that he would not take it too seriously.”
Continuing from this same reference book, at the bottom of the page 526, The Story Of Civilization: Part IV, “The Age Of Faith”, by Will Durant, he has the following footnote:
“ Lorenzo Valla, in 1440, so definitely exposed the frauds in the ‘ False Decretals ’ that all parties now agree that the disputed documents are forgeries.”
For further proof the Roman Catholic Universal Church sits on a defective, deficient and ridiculous foundation, I will quote from the book, The Drama of the Lost Disciples, by George F. Jowett. We find the following information on the “False Decretals” on pages 222-223:
“ Gore, in his Roman Catholic Claims, dispenses the claim, along with the present charge that no one belongs to the true church unless under the authority of the Bishop of Rome. The argument is worthless. The Papacy as we know it, and as William the Conqueror, Henry VIII, and Elisabeth I knew it, is not in and of the Primitive Church of Christ. It is devoid of all spiritual recognition. It evolved out of a combination of circumstance and pressure politics, based on a series of documents proven by all historians to be ‘the Forged Decretals’.”
From all of this, we can conclude “The Donation of Constantine” had nothing to do in, or with the life of Constantine as he never heard, in his lifetime of such a thing! What more proof do we need to know for certain that the Roman Catholic Universal Church was never the true church of Yahshua? — not for one day! — not for one hour! — not for one minute! — not for one second! I hope you will write it down someplace where you will never forget it. The forged document upon by which the Roman Catholic “Universal” Church bases its total existence, is called “The Donation of Constantine” or “the Forged Decretals.”
As I said in the last lesson, much of the story about Constantine the Great has been omitted, and much of what is written is very biased. With this in mind, I am going to be very careful about what I quote about him. I do have a fairly well written article on him from the 1951 edition of, The World Scope Encyclopedia, volume III (At least in this article, it mentions him and his father entering Britain to fight the Picts.):
“ Constantine I (kon’stan-tin), flavius valerius aurelius, called the Great, born in February, 272 A.D.; died July 22, 337. He was the eldest son of Constantius Chlorus, and distinguished himself when 22 years old as a soldier in the expedition to Egypt and Persia. Constantine and Galerius became emperors in 305 A.D. respectively of the West and East. Constantine served in the Eastern Empire under Galerius, but, owing to extensive exposure in the East, he joined his father at Boulogne as the latter was entering upon his expedition against the Picts in North Britain.
“ Constantine succeeded his father as emperor in 306 A.D. Soon after he was opposed by two rivals, Maximilian and Maxentius, father and son. The son, owing to a quarrel, forced his father to flee to Rome, taking refuge with Constantine, but afterward he fled from Rome on account of a conspiracy and was captured and executed. Maxentius, greatly angered at the death of his father, collected a vast army and threatened Gaul. Constantine hastened to meet him, crossed the Alps by Mont Cenis, and defeated him three times. In the last engagement Maxentius was drowned in an attempt to escape across the Tiber. Soon after Constantine entered Rome in triumph, adopted a vigorous military policy, and quieted public excitement. He was now sole emperor of the West, and Licinius became emperor of the East about the same time. In A.D. 314 the two emperors became engaged in war, which terminated to the advantage of Constantine. Peace was soon concluded, the conditions being the cession of Greece and other territory to Constantine. He next devoted himself to the correction of abuses and public extravagance, strengthened his frontier, effected internal improvements, and established himself as a powerful military influence.
“ In A.D. 323 a war broke out between the West and East, and terminated in Constantine becoming sole ruler of the Roman world. The capital was now moved from Rome to Byzantium, which was solemnly inaugurated as the seat of government in A.D. 330 under the name of Constantinople. A dark shadow was thrown over his memory in A.D. 324 by the execution of his gallant and accomplished son, Crispus, along with some others on a charge of treason. The council of Nice met in A.D. 325 and was supported by Constantine. Subsequently he granted toleration to the Christians and had Christianity adopted as a state religion, at the same time closing pagan temples and forbidding sacrifices. Shortly before his death he professed Christianity and allowed himself to be baptized. As emperor, he was beloved by his people and moderate toward other nations. The efficient organization of a stable government and the adoption of Christianity in his vast dominion are the chief events of his life.”
I would now like to quote from the book, Rome: Its Rise And Fall, by Philip Van Ness Myers, L.H.D., page 391, and I have a very, extremely important reason for doing it:
“ Galerius and Constantius, who, it will be remembered, had become Augusti on the abdication of Diocletian and Maximian, had reigned together only one year when the latter (Constantius Chlorus) died at York, in Britain. His soldiers, disregarding the rule of succession as determined by the system of Diocletian, proclaimed his son Constantine emperor. Six competitors for the throne arose in different quarters. For eighteen years Constantine fought to gain the supremacy.”
This confirms that George F. Jowett, in his book, The Drama of the Lost Disciples, was correct with his comments on Constantius Chlorus and his son Constantine the Great, when he talked about them being in Britain and ruling the empire from York. I quoted from his book, concerning Constantine the Great, in my last teaching letter. Jowett’s commentary on Constantine makes all other history writers look insensate (lacking sense or understanding). If you ever read Jowett’s book from pages 211 to 224, you will know what I mean. If you ever read these pages from his book, you will never look at Roman history the same again. It is obvious, most of the history of Rome has been written from the Roman Catholic “Universal” Church’s point of view, including the forgery, “The Donation of Constantine.”
WHAT MOVED CONSTANTINE TO HIS DECISIONS?
We are going to examine the record in order to see what made Constantine, as a person, tick. Constantine was not just the ordinary run-of-the-mill type of personality. By nature he was very complex and intricate. We shall try to discover why he made many of the decisions he did when faced with problems. I don’t believe there is anyone who questions his military ability, so this is one area we can all agree on. Constantine was a spectacular man caught in an historical time frame which no other personality could have ever filled. His position was so consequential, we still have the results of those decisions he made (or at least given the credit for making) with us today. Nobody, before or after him, has faced as unique a situation as he encountered during his time. Therefore, it is hard to either condemn or support his motives. The only way we can understand this man is by putting ourselves in his shoes during his time, and consider what we might have done under his particular given set of circumstances. Before we get done with this study, we are going to know more about Constantine than we did. I found one passage in, CYCLOPÆDIA of Universal History (1885), by John Clark Ridpath, LL. D., volume 1, page 883:
“ To this epoch belong the great activities of Constantine. He was indefatigable (untiring) in promoting what he deemed to be the reforms demanded by the times. The bottom questions which he had to confront were essentially religious. His great principal of action looked to the union in one body of the Christian and pagan populations of the Empire. In this work he was soon confronted by what seemed to be insuperable (extremely difficult, if not impossible) obstacles. Not only did the Christians refuse to tolerate the doctrines of paganism, but they themselves divided into sects and refused to be reconciled. The bishops who headed the various parties in the new religion appealed to Constantine to settle their disputes. The latter, in A.D. 314, convened a council at Rome, and afterwards at Arles, to which bodies were referred the conflicting doctrines and disputed disciplines of the church. A decision was rendered against the sect of the Donatists, and they, having refused to accept the judgment which had been rendered, were visited with the arm of secular power. A persecution broke out, in which one body of the Christians became the persecutors of the other. The bloody bitterness of paganism was paralleled by the intolerance born of fanaticism among the believers.”
Not only was Constantine having troubles with the pagans, but the Christians were so divided it presented problems of persecution not faced by anyone before. It must be considered that it had been about three hundred years since the time of Yahshua, and that gave a lot of time for the doctrines of men to creep in and distort the true Gospel of Redemption. These divisions have continued to multiply for the last seventeen hundred years, until today, one can choose anything from crystal cathedrals to snake handlers, and it is called Christian.
A “JEWISH” LOOK AT CONSTANTINE
To see another side of Constantine, we must take a look at him from a “Jewish” point of view. This will be quite revealing of his nature. You can be sure, Constantine did not escape the eye of the “Jew.” The “Jews” throughout all time have made it their business to know everything that was and is going on, for nothing escapes their attention. For the “Jewish” view of Constantine, I will use excerpts from the, History Of The Jews, by Heinrich Graetz, Volume 2, pages 561-562:
“ The Emperor Constantine, who had aggrandized the Church, and laid the dominion of the earth at her feet, had at the same time given her the doubtful blessing, ‘By the sword thou shalt live.’ He had originally placed Judaism, as a religion, on an equal footing with the other forms of worship existing in the Roman Empire. For, before adopting the Christian faith, and determining above all things to put a stop to religious persecutions throughout his dominions, Constantine had published a sort of edict of toleration, wherein he had commanded that every man should enjoy the right of professing any religion without thereby becoming an outlaw. The Jews were likewise included in this act of toleration, and their patriarchs, elders, and the principals of the schools and synagogues enjoyed the same privileges as the Christian ecclesiastics and the heathen priests. These decisions continued in force, and in later times were sanctioned by new laws, although another spirit began to sway the newly-founded Byzantine court. The rule was established that the members of the synagogue who dedicated themselves to the Law, the Patriarchs, Priests, and other religious officials, should be relieved from all municipal and other onerous (oppressive) offices. Taking as models the constitution of the Roman priesthood, and the Christian system of bishops, the Patriarch of Judæa was regarded as the chief of all the Jews in the Roman Empire. Constantine’s impartial justice, however, lasted but a short time. The more Christianity asserted its influence over him, the more did he affect the intolerance of that religion, which, forgetful of its origin, entertained as passionate a hatred of Judaism and its adherents as of heathenism. Sylvester, Bishop of Rome, Paul, afterwards Bishop of Constantinople, the new capital, and Eusebius of Cæsarea, the first historian of the Church, did not fail to incite the inhabitants of the empire against the Jews. Judaism was stigmatized as a noxious, profligate, godless sect (feralis, nefaria secta) which ought to be exterminated from the face of the earth wherever possible. An imperial edict was published to the effect that the Jews were no longer to make converts, those entering, as well as those receiving newcomers into the faith being threatened with punishment (A.D. 315). Finally the proselytism of the Christians was afforded the aid of the State, and the Jews were forbidden to pronounce upon such of the members of their community as apostatized the punishment which Christianity was, however, permitted to inflict in a terribly aggravated degree upon its own adherents who left its fold.”
Another “Jewish” source, in her book, The Story of the Jew, by Elma Ehrlich Levinger, says this on page 87:
“ The final blow to the schools of Palestine fell when Constantine, the Roman Emperor, accepted Christianity. He made the religion of Jesus of Nazareth, the official religion of the Roman empire and all its provinces. The Jews of Palestine realized that they could no longer study and teach the law of their fathers in their ancient homeland. They journeyed, as the captives of the Babylonian conquerors had journeyed centuries before, down the long road that led to Babylon. But now they did not move in bowed procession as humbled slaves. They marched as conquerors, for they knew that Rabbi Jochanan and the men who had followed in his footsteps had labored wisely and to good purpose. No matter how far the Jews might wander from their birthplace, no matter how widely the Jewish people might be scattered, they would never lack the golden chain to bind them to their homeland and to their God. In one hand the Wandering Jew carried his traveler’s staff; in the other his Torah (the mark of Cain, Genesis 4:12 — look up the word vagabond).”
To get to the heart of the matter and understand what motivated Constantine to make the decisions he did, can be found in a footnote of another “Jewish” book, The History of the Jews, by Henry·Hart Milman D.D., volume 2, page 189, that:
“ Constantine in a public document declared that it was not for the dignity of the Church to follow that most hateful of all people, the Jews, in the celebration of the Passover.”
Now back to some remarks from the, History Of The Jews, by Heinrich Graetz, Volume 2, pages 563-564 along this same line of thought:
“ The festival of Easter had up till now been celebrated for the most part at the same time as the Jewish Passover, and indeed upon the days calculated and fixed by the Synhedrion (sic.) in Judæa for its celebration; but in [the] future its observance was to be rendered altogether independent of the Jewish calendar, ‘For it is unbecoming beyond measure that on this holiest of festivals we should follow the customs of the Jews. Henceforward let us have nothing in common with this odious people; our Savior has shown us another path. It would indeed be absurd if the Jews were able to boast that we are not in a position to celebrate the Passover without the aid of their rules (calculations).’ These remarks are attributed to the Emperor Constantine, and even though they may not have been uttered by him, they were nevertheless the guiding principle of the Church which was to decide the fate of the Jews.”
It is apparent, from these remarks of the “Jews”, there was no love lost between the Christians and the Jews. Truly, the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 was being fulfilled at this critical point of time in history. The conflicting enmity (hatred) between the offspring of the woman (Israel), and the offspring of the serpent race of “Jews” through Cain, was coming to the surface in a significant way at this historical period of time . Possibly, I may be one of the few to point this out in the case of Constantine, with his vehement hatred for the Jews. This would account for some of Constantine’s and the church’s unusual positions on important ecclesiastical matters. It was, then, the hatred for the “Jews” that motivated Constantine, with pressure from the church fathers, at the Council of Nicaea to drop the celebration of Passover and replace it with the celebration of Easter. I can understand their ill feelings towards these Messiah killing “Jews”, but this was an unwarranted act on their part to make such a change. Passover was never the heritage of the “Jews”, but of the Israelites. To further exacerbate the situation, the “Jews” had a corner on the market (so they thought) on how to calculate when the celebration of Passover should occur. By depending on the “Jews” for this calculation, it would have put the church in subordination to them. This Constantine, along with the church father’s influence, were not about to allow. The proper thing for the church fathers to have done, would have been to have figured out the proper calculations for themselves. Evidently, by Constantine’s time, there were few left to be found who could properly figure the correct time for the celebration of Passover. There are some who doubt, even today, if the “Jew’s” calculations for Passover are correct. If the celebration of Passover was being kept up until the time of Constantine by the ekklesia, we should still be keeping it today, and not Easter. The Druids evidently knew when to keep Passover, for in her book, Celt, Druid and Culdee, by Isabel Hill Elder, page 63 says: “The national religious procession moved through these to the circle on the three great festivals of the year.” But, were all of the records of the Druids destroyed by Constantine’s time by the early Roman armies, or the Diocletian persecution?
I am not so sure that the celebration of Easter, as the “Jew’s” claim, was all Constantine’s idea. Let’s backtrack a little here and see what we can find. In the book, St. Joseph Of Arimathea At Glastonbury, by Lionel Smithett Lewis, we read of the festival of Easter as early as about A.D. 193. Let’s pick it up on page 109:
“ St. Victor was the first to raise the controversy about the keeping of Easter, which lasted till after the Council of Nicæa, A.D. 325. The Eastern Churches kept it on the day of the full moon, whether it fell on a weekday or a Sunday; the Western Church always [kept it] on a Sunday.”
If you start counting down from a new moon, as the Scriptures designate for fourteen days, you will always arrive at the time to the full moon as the Eastern Churchs were doing according to the above quotation. Once Passover is established in any one particular year, all the other feast days that year automatically fall into place. Also, the early British church did not keep the festival of Easter which the Roman church did. This can also be found in the book, St. Joseph Of Arimathea At Glastonbury, by Lionel Smithett Lewis, pages 109-110:
“ The British Church was as insistent upon being Catholic and Apostolic as it was being anti-Roman. And so after a dispute of 132 years the ultimate decision of the Council of Nicæa, A.D. 325, that Easter was to be kept on a Sunday was binding on it. But it was exactly like the contentious spirit of the race still to differ from Rome in another point of the same question. Accordingly, it was not till the Council of Whitby, A.D. 664, when Saxon Wilfrid persuaded the Council to overthrow the old Celtic discipline, that the British Church agreed to keep Easter on the same Sunday as the Roman and the rest of the Western Church kept it.
(Footnote, same page): “ From what Bede wrote, even after the Council of Whitby, the adoption of the Roman Easter was only gradual. The Welsh Church did not adopt it till A.D. 755.”
In the following quotation from the book, The Drama of the Lost Disciples, by George F. Jowett, page 219, we get Constantine’s own words in one of his Edicts which spells out clearly his position:
“ We call God to witness, the Savior of all men, that in assuming the government we are influenced solely by these two considerations: the uniting of the empire in one faith, and the restoration of peace to a world rent to pieces by the insanity of religious persecution.”
There is another account found in, The Story Of Civilization: Part IV, “The Age Of Faith”, by Will Durant, page 7, which reveals much of Constantine’s nature and methods of working out a problem:
“ CHRISTIANS AND PAGANS. In the Mediterranean world of the fourth century, where the state depended so much on religion, ecclesiastical affairs were in such turmoil that government felt called upon to interfere even in the mysteries of theology. The great debate between Athanasius and Arius had not ended with the Council of Nicaea (A.D. 325). Many bishops — in the East a majority — still openly or secretly sided with Arius; i.e., they considered Christ the Son of God, but neither consubstantial nor coeternal with the Father. Constantine himself, after accepting the Council’s decree, and banishing Arius, invited him to a personal conference (A.D. 331), could find no heresy in him, and recommended the restoration of Arius and the Arians to their churches. Athanasius protested; a council of Eastern bishops at Tyre deposed him from his Alexandrian see (A.D. 335); and for two years he lived as an exile in Gaul. Arius again visited Constantine, and professed adherence to the Nicene Creed, with subtle reservations that an emperor could not be expected to understand. Constantine believed him, and bade Alexander, Patriarch of Constantinople, receive him into communion. The ecclesiastical historian Socrates here tells a painful tale:
“ It was then /emSaturday, and Arius was expecting to assemble with the congregation on the day following; but Divine retribution overtook his daring criminality. For going out from the imperial palace ... and approaching the porphyry pillar in the Forum of Constanine, a terror seized him, accompanied by violent relaxation of his bowels. ... Together with the evacuations his bowels protruded followed by a copious hemorrhage, and the decent of the small intestine, moreover, portions of his spleen and his liver were eliminated in the effusion of blood, so that he almost immediately died.
“ Hearing of this timely purge, Constantine began to wonder whether Arius had not been a heretic after all. But when the Emperor himself died, in the following year, he received the rites of baptism from his friend and counselor Eusebius, Bishob of Nicomedia, an Arian.”
Concerning the death of Arius as described here, the story doesn’t seem quite reasonable. I checked my copy of, The World Book Encyclopedia, volume 9, page 377, under the topic, “Human Body” where there is a several page overlay detailed color chart. In the above description of the death of Arius, if the named organs were evacuated as described through the anus, it couldn’t have been in the order depicted by Socrates. After the small intestine, next would come the duodenum and pancreas before the spleen. Also the liver and spleen are on opposite sides of the body which would make this account almost impossible. Anyone familiar with the anatomy of the human body should be able to figure this out with very little difficulty. You’ll have to agree, this would be a very strange, and not a very credible cause of death. I can see how this kind of story might be used to put the “fear of God” into a person to bring him to a particular way of thinking, though. As for Constantine, this proves he had a mind of his own and didn’t always go with the status quo. In spite of the reported way Arius was supposed to have died, Constantine kept very close company with his friend, another Arian, Eusebius, even upon his own deathbed. This incident tells volumes about Constantine of the Tribe of Judah. It wasn’t Constantine who was responsible for bringing heresy into the church, but the so-called church fathers.
CONTSANTINE’S PERSONAL LIFE
For information on Constantine’s personal life, I will use The Story Of Civilization: Part III, “Caesar And Christ”, by Will Durant, page 663:
“ Constantine had been twice married: first to Minervina, who had borne him a son Crispus; then to Maximian’s daughter Fausta, by whom he had three daughters and three sons. Cripsus became an excellent soldier, and rendered vital aid to his father in the campaigns against Licinius. In A.D. 326 Crispus was put to death by Constantine’s order; about the same time the Emperor decreed the execution of Licinianus, son of Licinius by Constantine’s sister Constantia; and shortly thereafter Fausta was slain by her husband’s command. We do not know the reasons for this triple execution. Zosimus assures us that Crispus had made love to Fausta, who accused him to the Emperor; and that Helena, who loved Crispus dearly, had avenged him by persuading Constantine that his wife had yielded to his son. Possibly Fausta had schemed to remove Crispus from the path of her son’s rise to imperial power, and Licinianus may have been killed for plotting to claim his father’s share of the realm.
“ Fausta achieved her aim after her death, for in A.D. 335 Constantine bequeathed the Empire to his surviving sons and nephews. Two years later, at Easter, he celebrated with festival ceremonies the thirtieth year of his reign. Then, feeling the nearness of death, he went to take the warm baths at near-by Aquyrion. As his illness increased, he called for a priest to administer to him that sacrament of baptism which he had purposely deferred to this moment, hoping to be cleansed by it from all the sins of his crowded life. Then the tired ruler, aged sixty-four, laid aside the purple robes of royalty, put on the white garb of a Christian neophyte, and passed away.”
There is yet another view of Constantine’s personal life. I will now quote this same story immediately above as told by the, CYCLOPÆDIA of Universal History (1885), by John Clark Ridpath, LL. D., volume 1, pages 884-885:
“ Having completed his campaigns in the East (against Licinius A.D. 323), he (Constantine) returned to Italy and undertook the reconstruction of the government on an Oriental basis. The Empire was divided into præfectures after the manner of the satrapies of Persia. The basilica became the scene of intrigues and crimes, such as rivaled in number and character the deeds of Caligula and Nero. The queen mother Helena and the wife Fausta were deadly rivals. The brothers of the Emperor were excluded from the palace and forbidden to appear in public. His son Crispus, by whose energies as commander of the fleet the siege of Byzantium had been brought to a successful conclusion, became the victim of his father’s jealousy, and was suddenly ordered to execution. Then, Fausta, the queen, was for no better reason sent to a similar fate. Crime followed crime until the bloody mind of Constantine became haunted with specters (ghost). Not even the absolution which was freely given to their champion by the Christian priests could allay the remorse or quiet the distemper in his nature. He became a devotee to the new faith, and again undertook a reconciliation of the conflicting parties (then shortly convened the council of Nicaea).”
Here we have two entirely different stories. There are probably elements of truth in both of them. The first question that comes into my mind is: why didn’t John Clark Ridpath, LL. D., in his CYCLOPÆDIA of Universal History, mention Constantine’s other wife, Minervina who was the mother of Crispus? It is apparent he was unaware of all the elements in the story, and thus comes to a faulty conclusion (not playing with a full deck of cards in this particular case). I am inclined to lean more toward Will Durant’s, The Story Of Civilization, concerning Constantine’s personal life. If there had been incestuous relations between Fausta and Minervina’s son, Crispus, Constantine would have had all the reason in the world for ordering their death. After all, remember, that Judah was about to burn Tamar at the stake as his judgment upon her. This might account for the cases of Crispus and Fausta, but what about Licinianus, Constantine’s sister’s son? We may never know the true reason for Licinianus’ death, but if Constantine had good reason in the cases of Crispus and Fausta, he probably also had good reason in the case of Licinianus. We do know that Licinianus was the son of Licinius, the last pagan Augusti in competition with Constantine to become emperor of Rome. Could Licinianus have been fostering thoughts of returning Rome to paganism in line with his father’s (Licinius’) policy? We also have to remember that Constantine’s mother, Helena, was British and was probably very familiar with Hebrew Law which would have brought the death penalty in the cases of Crispus and Fausta. It is hard for me to believe that Constantine would murder in cold blood three of his close relatives, and within a very short time convene the Council of Nicaea. It appears that Constantine had very serious family problems to contend with, at the very time he was making some of the most important decisions of his life. We also have to remember that Constantius Chlorus, Constantine’s father, also married two wives, so the family tree gets quite complicated at this point. Actually, Constantia was only half sister to Constantine by Theodora, Constantius Chlorus’ second wife. All this from a genealogical chart from, A Manual of Ancient History, by George Rawlinson (1869). For a free copy of this chart, please send me a stamped self addressed envelope requesting it.