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

THERE was also a fifth epistle written by him to Xystus, bishop of Rome, in which, stating many things against the heretics, he relates that some occurrence like the following took place in his times. “Really, brother,” says he, “I need your counsel, and I beg your opinion, on an affair that has presented itself to me, and in which, indeed, I am afraid I may be deceived. One of the brethren that collected with us, who was considered a believer long since, even before my ordination, and who I think assembled with us before the appointment (consecration) of the blessed Heraclas; this man happening to be present with those that were immediately baptized, and listening to the questions and answers, came to me weeping and bewailing himself, casting himself also at my feet; he began to acknowledge and abjure his baptism by the heretics, because their baptism was nothing like this, nor indeed, had any thing in common with it, for it was filled with impiety and blasphemies. He said also, that his soul now was wholly pierced, and he had not confidence enough to raise his eyes to God, coming from those execrable words and deeds. Hence he prayed that he might have the benefit of this most perfect cleansing, reception and grace, which indeed I did not dare to do, saying, that his long: communion was sufficient for this. For one who had been in the habit of hearing thanksgiving, and repeating the Amen, and standing at the table, and extending his hand to receive the sacred elements, and after receiving and becoming a partaker of the body and blood of our Lord and Saviour Christ for a long time, I would not dare to renew again any further. I exhorted him, therefore, to take courage, and with a firm faith and good conscience to approach and take part with the saints in the solemnity of the holy supper. But he did not cease lamenting. He shuddered to approach the table, and scarcely could endure it, even when exhorted to be present at prayers.”

There is beside the above epistles, also, one and another of the same on baptism, from him and his church, addressed to Xystus and the church of Rome. In this he extends his discourse to a great length of argument on the question there discussed. There is also a certain other epistle of his besides these, addressed to Dionysius of Rome, concerning Lucianus. But thus much respecting these.








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