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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

I THINK that I ought to narrate, for the information of those who may be unacquainted with the facts, how the Goths were led to receive the Arian errors. When they passed the Danube, and entered into alliance with Valens, the wicked Eudoxius, who was present, suggested to the emperor that the Goths ought to be constrained to hold communion with them. This nation had received from the first the light of the knowledge of God, and had been nourished in the apostolical doctrines. “Peace,” said Eudoxius, “would be cemented between us by their becoming one with us in sentiment.” Valens, approving of this advice, proposed to the chief persons among them to assent to the doctrines which he held; but they replied that they could not abandon the doctrines of their fathers. Urfila was then their bishop, and possessed so much influence among them, that they received his words as laws. Eudoxius, having gained him over by soft words and by numerous gifts, persuaded him to lead the Goths to embrace conformity in religion with the emperor. He accomplished his purpose by assuring him that there existed no difference between them in point of doctrine, and that the disputes in the church had originated from the ambition of a few individuals. Hence it is that unto this day the Goths say that the Father is greater than the Son; but they do not say that the Son is a creature, although they admit those who hold this opinion to communion. Hence they have not utterly abandoned the doctrines of their fathers. When Urfila persuaded them to hold communion with Eudoxius and Valens, he assured them that there existed no difference between them in point of doctrine, but that vain altercations had produced dissonance of opinion.








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