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

THUS, then, Maximinus, who had proved the worst of all the surviving enemies of religion, by the goodness of God, the omnipotent ruler, being removed out of the way, the renovation of the churches was begun from the very foundations. The doctrine of Christ shining forth to the glory of the supreme God, enjoyed greater privileges than before, whilst the impious and profane were covered with shame and irrecoverable disgrace. First of all, Maximinus himself being publicly denounced by the emperors as the public enemy, was confirmed to be the most impious and detestable, as well as the most hostile to the Deity, by his public edicts. And of the paintings and representations which had been placed in honour of him or his children, in every city, some were forced down from their elevation, and torn to pieces or broken, others were destroyed by having the face daubed with black paint. Whatsoever statues, also, had been erected to his honour were cast down and broken, lying exposed to the laughter and jests of those that were disposed to insult and wantonly abuse them. All the honours of the other enemies of religion were removed. All that favoured the party of Maximinus were slain, especially those that had been distinguished by him with eminent offices, as rulers, for their flattery to him, in their insolent excesses against our faith. Of this number was Peucetius, the most honoured, and revered, and dearest of all his favourites, who had been consul twice and thrice, and had been appointed by him prime minister. Culcianus, also, who had been promoted through every grade of office, and who was also prominent for his many slaughters of the Christians in Egypt. There were also not a few others, by whose agency especially, the tyranny of Maximinus had been augmented and confirmed. Justice, also, summoned Theotecnus, by no means overlooking the evils he had done against the Christians. Whilst he expected to enjoy himself, after he had erected the statue at Antioch, and was now promoted to the government of a province, Licinius came to the city of Antioch, and making a search for all the impostors, put the prophets and priests of the newly wrought statue to the torture, asking at the same time how they came to concoct such a delusion. And when unable by reason of the tortures to conceal it any longer, they disclosed that the whole secret was a device of Theotecnus. After punishing all according to their deserts, he first condemned Theotecnus, and after him all the partners of his impostures, to death, with the greatest possible torments. To all these were superadded the children of Maximums, whom he had already made sharers in the imperial dignity with his titles and statues. Also, the relatives of the tyrants, who before this were elated and boasting, and exercising their power over all men, had the same punishments, together with the utter disgrace of the others, inflicted upon them; as they would neither receive instruction nor understand the exhortation given in the holy Scriptures: “Trust not in princes, in the children of men, in whom there is no safety. For his breath goeth from him, and he will return to his earth again. In that day all their thoughts shall perish.” Thus the impious being cleared away, the government was deservedly preserved secure and without a rival, for the only two, Constantine and Licinius. These, after first removing the hostility to God out of the way, and sensible of the great benefits conferred on them by his goodness, exhibited both their love of virtue and God, as well as their piety and gratitude to him by the laws they enacted in favour of the Christians.








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