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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

I SHALL relate some instances of the fervency and purity of the zeal of these citizens; for I believe that it would be unjust not to perpetuate, by means of my writings, the remembrance of such actions. The Arians having, as I have already mentioned, deprived this exemplary flock of their shepherd, elected in his place an individual with whom none of the inhabitants of the city, whether poor or rich, servants or mechanics, husbandmen or gardeners, men or women, young or old, could hold communion. He was left quite alone; no one ever calling to see him, or exchanging a word with him. It is, however, said, that his disposition was extremely gentle; and this is proved by what I am about to relate. One day, when he went to bathe in the public baths, the attendants closed the doors, to prevent all those who might be inclined to come in from entering. Perceiving some of the people standing without, he ordered the doors to be thrown open, that they might be admitted to bathe with himself. Some of them accordingly entered; and he, perceiving that they remained in a standing posture before him while he was bathing, advised them to take a hot bath likewise. But still they stood silent before him. Imagining that great deference towards himself was the cause of this conduct, he arose, and left the bath. These people believed that the water had been contaminated by his heresy, and ordered it to be let out and fresh water supplied. When he heard of this circumstance, he left the city; thinking that he ought no longer to remain in a place where he was the object of public aversion and hatred. Upon the retirement of Eunomius from the town of Samosata, Lucius, who was truly a wolf and a deceiver of the flock, was elected as his successor by the Arians. But the flock, although destitute of a pastor, fulfilled the functions of a pastor for itself, and preserved inviolate the apostolic doctrines. I shall now relate an incident, to show the universal abhorrence with which Lucius was regarded. Some young people were amusing themselves with playing at ball in the market-place. Lucius was passing by at the time, and the ball happened to fall beneath the feet of the ass on which he was mounted. The youths uttered loud exclamations, believing that the ball was contaminated. Lucius heard the cry, and desired one of his followers to remain behind to watch their proceedings. The youths lighted a fire, and hurled the ball through it, believing that by this process the ball would be purified. Although this was only a childish deed, and although it exhibits the remains of ancient superstition, yet it is sufficient to show the odium which the Arian faction had incurred in this city. Lucius was far from imitating the mildness of Eunomius, and he persuaded the heads of government to exile most of the clergy. Those who had defended the divine doctrines with the greatest constancy were banished to the furthest extremities of the Roman empire. Evolcius, a deacon, was sent to Oasis, a little town which is almost a desert. Antiochus, a priest, who had the honour of being the nephew, on his father’s side, of the great Eusebius, and who had also rendered himself conspicuous by his own illustrious qualities, was banished to a region of Armenia. His firmness in maintaining the divine doctrines will be hereafter mentioned. After the divine Eusebius, who had obtained as many victories as he had engaged in conflicts, had closed his life by martyrdom, the bishops of the province assembled according to custom. Jovian, who was then bishop of Pergamus, and who had for some time previously admitted Arians to communion, repaired to this assembly. Antiochus was unanimously appointed to the vacant bishopric; he was led to the altar, and was there made to kneel down; but when he turned round and perceived that Jovian was about to place his hand upon his head, he pushed it away, saying, that he could not receive ordination from hands which had joined with blasphemers in the celebration of the ordinances. But these incidents did not occur till long after the period to which we are now referring. Antiochus was banished to the interior of Armenia. St. Eusebius remained in exile near the Danube, while the Goths were ravaging Thrace, and were besieging many cities, as is related in his own works.








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