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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

AT this period the admirable Ephraim dwelt at Edessa, and the illustrious Didymus at Alexandria; they both wrote against the dogmas of the opponents of truth. Ephraim used the Syriac language as a medium for reflecting the rays of divine grace; and although unacquainted with the language of the Greeks, he most ably refuted all their errors, and exposed all the evil machinations of the heretics, Harmonius, the son of Bardesanis, having composed some hymns, in which impiety was disguised beneath the charms of verse, to the destruction of those who listened to them; Ephraim composed others, in which harmony and melody were combined with piety, and which subserved all the purposes of valuable and efficacious medicine. These verses are, even to this day, used at the festivals celebrated in honour of the victorious martyrs. Although Didymus had lost his sight in youth, he had applied himself to the study of poetry, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy; he had acquired, by means of the organ of hearing alone, a thorough acquaintance with the logic of Aristotle, and with the eloquence of Plato. These branches of knowledge are not to be regarded as teaching truth, but as furnishing weapons which may be used against falsehood in the defence of truth. He also committed the Sacred Scriptures to memory, and acquired the knowledge, not only of words, but also of their signification. These were some of the monks who rendered themselves conspicuous by their virtues during this period.








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