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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

AS they all remained silent, the prefect addressed Eulogius, an exemplary man, who was the principal person present. “Why,” said he, “do you not reply to what we have been saying?” “Because,” said he, “as no question was addressed to me I could not reply!” “But,” rejoined the prefect, “I have been speaking to you for some time, exhorting you to do that which is to your own interest!” “I imagined,” replied Eulogius, “that your discourse was addressed to all present, and that it would therefore be absurd for me to reply to the exclusion of the rest. But if you wish to interrogate me singly, I am ready to declare my sentiments!” “Hold communion, then,” said the prefect, “with the emperor!” Eulogius replied by asking in an ironical, yet very graceful, manner, “Has then the sacerdotal as well as the imperial dignity devolved upon him?” The prefect was offended at this observation: he reviled the presbyter and said to him, “I did not say that, you stupified being; I merely exhorted you to enter into communion with those with whom the emperor is in communion.” The presbyter replied that they had a pastor whose authority they obeyed. The prefect seized eighty of them and sent them to Thrace. During their journey they received the greatest honours. The inhabitants of the cities and villages through which they passed applauded the victory which they had gained. But their enemies were led by envy to represent to the emperor that the banishment of these men, instead of being, as was intended, a disgrace to them, had raised them to the highest honour. On hearing this, Valens ordered them to be separated, and to be dispersed two and two throughout Thrace, and the furthest parts of Arabia and Thebes. It is said that those who were united by the bonds of nature, were separated by the cruelty of the persecutors, and that brothers were torn from each other. Eulogius who was the most distinguished among them, and Protogenes who ranked next to him in importance, were sent to Antinous, a town of Thebes. I do not wish to consign their virtues to oblivion. They found that the bishop was of the same sentiments as themselves, and they accordingly took part in the ecclesiastical assemblies; but perceiving that there were but very few that came together on these occasions, they, upon enquiring the cause, were informed that the greater part of the inhabitants were involved in Paganism. They grieved at this sad intelligence, and deplored their unbelief. But they did not think it sufficient to regret the evil; they endeavoured to find a remedy for it. The holy Eulogius shut himself up in a cell, and devoted himself day and night to supplicating the God of all. The admirable Protogenes, who possessed great erudition, and who had been accustomed to write with rapidity, applied himself to the education of youth, and gave instructions in writing and in the holy Scriptures. He dictated the Psalms of David to his scholars, and made them learn the most useful parts of the apostolical writings. One of the young men was attacked by a disease: Protogenes went to see him, and, on touching the right hand of the sufferer, the disease, in answer to his prayer, was removed. On hearing of this deed, other fathers besought him to heal their children, who were lying ill in their respective houses. But he declared that he could not supplicate God to remove the disease, until the diseased persons had been admitted to the rite of baptism. The desire they felt for recovery made them readily acquiesce in this condition; and health was therefore restored to the soul and to the body at the same time. When Protogenes had succeeded in persuading a person in good health to accept the offer of divine grace, he conducted him to Eulogius. He knocked at the door of Eulogius, requesting him to open it, and to place the seal of the Lord upon him who had been converted; stating that if he were to complain of interruption to his prayers, he would answer that the salvation of the deceived was of still greater importance. Every one admired Protogenes for having honoured Eulogius as his superior, and for having led his converts to him, while he was himself gifted with the power of working miracles, and with the light of divine knowledge. Hence, as might have been expected, his virtue acquired still greater renown. when the tempest was stilled, and tranquillity was restored, these two holy men received orders to return to their own country. All the people of the town lamented and wept as they conducted them forth on their journey. The regret of the ruler of that church was extreme in finding himself deprived of their assistance. Some time after their return from exile, Barses was translated to that life where there is no sorrow; and the reins of the church which he had governed were committed to the holy Eulogius. The admirable Protogenes was appointed to labour in Carras, which is a barren spot filled with the thorns of Grecian superstition, and requiring intense labour. This, however, as I have already mentioned, did not occur till after peace had been restored to the church.








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