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

“NOW I wish you to understand, my brother, that all the churches throughout the east, and farther, that were formerly divided, have been united again. All the bishops, also, are every where in harmony, rejoicing exceedingly at the peace which has been established beyond all expectation. These are, Demetrianus of Antioch, Theoctistus of Cæsarea, Mazabanes of Ælia after the death of Alexander, Marinus of Tyre, Heliodorus of Laodicea after the decease of Thelymidres, Helenus of Tarsus, and all the churches of Cilicia, Firmilianus, and all Cappadocia; for I have mentioned only the more distinguished of the bishops by name, that neither the length of my letter, nor the burden of my words, may offend you. All the provinces of Syria and Arabia, which at different times you supplied with necessaries, and to whom you have now written, Mesopotamia, Pontus, and Bithynia, and to comprehend them in a word, all are rejoicing every where at the unanimity and brotherly love now prevailing, and are glorifying God for the same.” Such are the words of Dionysius.

But after Stephen had held the episcopal office two years, he was suceeded by Xystus, and Dionysius having addressed a second letter to him on baptism, at the same time showing the opinion and decision passed by Stephen and the rest of the bishops, makes the following remarks on Stephen: “He had written before respecting Helenus and Firmilianus and all those from Cilicia, and Cappadocia, and Galatia, and all the nations adjoining, that he would not have communion with them on this account, because they, said he, re-baptized the heretics. And behold, I pray you, the importance of the matter. For in reality, as I have ascertained, decrees have been passed in the greatest councils of the bishops, that those who come from the heretics are first to be instructed, and then are to be washed and purified from the filth of their old and impure leaven. And respecting all these things, I have sent letters entreating them.” After stating other matters, he proceeds: “But I have also written to our beloved and fellow-presbyters Dionysius and Philemon, who agreed before with Stephen in sentiment, and wrote to me on these matters; before, indeed, I wrote briefly, but now more fully.” Such were the accounts respecting the controversy mentioned.








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