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

To him, therefore, the supreme God granted from heaven above, the fruits of his piety, the trophies of victory over the wicked; and that nefarious tyrant, with all his counsellors and adherents, he cast prostrate at the feet of Constantine. For when he proceeded to the extremes of madness, in his movements, the divinely favoured emperor regarded him as no more to be tolerated, but taking his prudent measures, and mingling the firm principles of justice with his humanity, he determined to come to the protection of those who were so miserably oppressed by the tyrant; and in this, by banishing smaller pests, he thus advanced to save vast multitudes of the human race. He had exercised his humanity, in commiserating him before, though Licinius was a man by no means deserving of compassion, but it proved of no avail to him, for he would not renounce his iniquity, but rather increased his madness against the people his subjects. To the oppressed there was no hope of salvation left, in the cruelties they endured from the savage beast. Wherefore also, Constantine the protector of the good, combining his hatred of wickedness with the love of goodness, went forth with his son Crispus, the most benevolent Cæsar, to extend a saving arm to all those that were perishing. Both therefore, the father and son, having as it were God the universal King, and his Son our Saviour, as their leader and aid, drawing up the army on all sides against the enemies of God bore away an easy victory; all things being prospered by God, in the conflict, according to their wishes. Suddenly then, and sooner than said, those that yesterday breathed threats and destruction were no more, not even leaving the memory of their name. Their paintings (their effigies), their honours, received the deserved contempt and disgrace, and those very events which Licinius had seen occurring to the iniquitous tyrants, these same he experienced himself. As he would neither receive instruction, nor grow wise by the chastisements of his neighbours, he proceeded in the same course of impiety, and was justly hurled down the same precipice with them. He therefore lay prostrated in this way. But the mighty and victorious Constantine, adorned with every virtue of religion, with his most pious son, Crispus Cæsar, resembling in all things his father, recovered the east as his own, and thus restored the Roman empire to its ancient state of one united body; extending their peaceful sway around the world, from the rising sun to the opposite regions, to the north and the south, even to the last borders of the declining day. All fear, therefore, of those who had previously afflicted them, was now wholly removed. They celebrated splendid and festive days with joy and hilarity. All things were filled with light, and all who before were sunk in sorrow beheld each other with smiling and cheerful faces. With choirs and hymns, in the cities and villages, at the same time they celebrated and extolled first of all God the universal King, because they were thus taught, then they also celebrated the praises of the pious emperor, and with him all his divinely favoured children. There was a perfect oblivion of past evils, and past wickedness was buried in forgetfulness. There was nothing but enjoyment of the present blessings, and expectation of those yet to come. Edicts were published and issued by the victorious emperor, full of clemency, and laws were enacted, indicative of munificence and genuine religion.

Thus, then, after all the tyranny had been purged away, the empire was justly reserved, firm and without a rival, to Constantine and his sons; who first, sweeping away that enmity to God, exhibited by the former rulers, sensible of the mercies conferred upon them by God, exhibited also their own love of religion and God, with their piety and gratitude to Him, by those works and operations which they presented to the view of all the world.

With the Divine blessing, the end of the Tenth Book of the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius Pamphilus.








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