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An Ecclesiastical History To The 20th Year Of The Reign Of Constantine by Eusebius

As on account of his extreme age, he was now no longer able to perform the duties of his office, by a divine dispensation revealed in a dream at night, the above-mentioned Alexander, who was bishop of another church, was called to the office at the same time with Narcissus. Influenced by this, as if an oracle from God had commanded him, he performed a journey from Cappadocia, where he was first made bishop, to Jerusalem, in consequence of a vow and the celebrity of the place. Whilst he was there, most cordially entertained by the brethren, who would not suffer him to return home, another revelation also appeared to them at night, and uttered a most distinct communication to those that were eminent for a devoted life. This communication was, that by going forth beyond the gates, they should receive the bishop pointed out to them by God. Having done this, with the common consent of the bishops of the neighbouring churches, they constrain him to stay among them. Alexander, indeed, himself, in his particular epistles to the Antinoites, which are still preserved among us, makes mention of the episcopal office as shared by himself with Narcissus, in the following words, at the end of the epistle: “Narcissus salutes you, the same who before me held the episcopate here, and is now colleagued with me in prayers, being now advanced to his hundred and tenth year, and who with me exhorts you to be of one mind.” Such, then, were these events. But Serapion dying at Antioch, he was succeeded by Asclepiades; he, also, was distinguished among the confessions in the persecution. His consecration is also mentioned by Alexander, who writes to the inhabitants of Antioch thus: “Alexander, a servant and prisoner of Jesus Christ, sends, greeting, in the Lord, to the blessed church at Antioch in the Lord. The Lord has made my bonds easy and light during the time of my imprisonment, since I have ascertained, that by divine providence, Asclepiades, who in regard to his faith is most happily qualified, has undertaken the trust of the episcopate of your holy church.” This same epistle intimates, that he sent it by Clement, writing at the end of it as follows: “This epistle, my brethren, I have sent to you by Clement, the blessed presbyter, a man endued with all virtue, and well approved, whom you already know, and will like still more to know; who, also, coming hither, by the providence and superintendence of the Lord, has confirmed and increased the church of God.”








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