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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

FLAVIAN and Diodorus stationed themselves as bulwarks to restrain the violence of the billows of persecution. The pastor of the city having been compelled to relinquish his post, they undertook the care of the flock during his absence; and by their courage and wisdom defended it from the attacks of wolves. After having been driven away from the foot of the mountain, they led the flock beside the banks of the neighbouring stream. They did not, like the captives of Babylon, hang up their harps upon the willows; for they sang praises to their Creator in every part of his empire. But the enemy did not long permit these pious pastors, who preached the divinity of the Lord Christ, to hold assemblies in any place; and they were soon compelled to lead the flock to spiritual pasturage in the gymnasium in which the soldiers performed their exercises. The wise and courageous Diodorus resembled a large and limpid stream which furnishes plentiful supplies of water to those who dwell on its banks, and which at the same time engulphs adversaries. He despised the advantages of high birth, and underwent the severest exertions in defence of the faith. Flavian was also of illustrious birth, yet he considered that piety alone constitutes true nobility. At this period Flavian did not preach in the public assemblies, but he furnished Diodorus with the subjects of his discourses, and supplied him with Scriptural arguments, thus anointing him, as it were, for the conflicts of the spiritual gymnasium. They thus jointly attacked the Arian blasphemy. In their own private dwellings, as well as in public places, they disputed with the Arians, easily confuted their sophistical reasoning, and proved its futility. Aphraates, whose life I have written in my history, entitled “Philotheus,” joined them about this period. He considered the deliverance of the flock to be of greater moment than his own individual repose, and he quitted his monastery to labour in the cause of the church. I think that it would now be superfluous to describe his great and numerous virtues, as I have enlarged on the subject in another of my works. I shall merely relate one of his actions, it being connected with the events recorded in this history.








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