Translated with Notes by the Rev. Blomfield Jackson, M.A.
Under the editorial supervision of Philip Schaff, D.D., LL.D., Professor of Church History in the Union Theological Semimary, New York, and Henry Wace, D.D., Principal of King's College, London
Published in 1892 by Philip Schaff, New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co.
Chapter I.--Return of St. Athanasius.The divine Athanasius returned to Alexandria, after having remained two years and four months at Treves  . Constantine, the eldest son of Constantine the Great, whose imperial sway extended over Western Gaul, wrote the following letter to the church of Alexandria.
Epistle of the Emperor Constantine, the son of Constantine the Great, to the Alexandrians.
"Constantinus Cæsar to the people of the Catholic Church of Alexandria.
"I think that it cannot have escaped your pious intelligence that Athanasius, the interpreter of the venerated law, was opportunely sent into Gaul, in order that, so long as the savagery of these bloodthirsty opponents was threatening peril to his sacred head, he might be saved from suffering irremediable wrongs. To avoid this imminent peril, he was snatched from the jaws of his foes, to remain in a city under my jurisdiction, where he might be abundantly supplied with every necessary. Yet the greatness of his virtue, relying on the grace of God, led him to despise all the calamities of adverse fortune. Constantine, my lord and my father, of blessed memory, intended to have reinstated him in his former bishopric, and to have restored him to your piety; but as the emperor was arrested by the hand of death before his desires were accomplished, I, being his heir, have deemed it fitting to carry into execution the purpose of this sovereign of divine memory. You will learn from your bishop himself, when you see him, with how much respect I have treated him. Nor indeed is it surprising that he should have been thus treated by me. I was moved to this line of conduct by his own great virtue, and the thought of your affectionate longing for his return. May Divine Providence watch over you, beloved brethren!"
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