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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

APOLLINARIS, on finding himself excluded from the government of the churches, publicly preached the new doctrines which he had devised, and openly appeared as the originator of a new heresy. He chiefly fixed his residence at Laodicea. He had previously ordained as bishop in Antioch, a man named Vitalis, who possessed many virtues, and who had been educated in the doctrines of the apostles, but who had afterwards imbibed heretical opinions. Diodorus, of whom mention has been already made as having saved the vessel of the church in the midst of a furious tempest, was raised by the holy Melitius to the bishopric of Tarsus, and entrusted with the superintendance of the whole province of Cilicia. Melitius committed the bishopric of Apamea to John, the descendant of an illustrious family, who was rendered more conspicuous by his own merits than by those of his ancestors, and who was celebrated for the purity of his doctrine and of his life. He had ruled in the assemblies of the faithful during the times of persecution. His fellow labourer, Stephen, who also deserved the highest praise, was sent to other scenes of conflict; for when Melitius was informed that in the city of Germanicia many persons had been corrupted by the pernicious dogmas of Eudoxius, he sent him as a skilful physician to heal the disease. Stephen was well versed in all the learning of the Greeks, and had also been nourished in the divine doctrines. The hopes which had been formed of him did not prove fallacious; for by his spiritual teaching he changed wolves into sheep. The great Eusebius, on his return from exile, appointed Acacius, who enjoyed a high degree of fame, to rule the church of Berœa; and Theodotus, whose religious course of life is celebrated even to this day, he raised to the bishopric of Jerapole. He also ordained Eusebius bishop of Chalcidia, and likewise our own lord, Isidore. They were both admirable men, filled with zeal for God. It is also said that he ordained Eulogius to the bishopric of Edessa. Eulogius had zealously defended the doctrines of the apostles; and had been banished with Protogenes to the city of Antinous. The admirable bishop Barses had died before this period. Melitius placed Protogenes, who had shared all the conflicts of Eulogius, in the bishopric of Carras, and sent him as a skilful physician to the city to heal the spiritual diseases of its inhabitants. Lastly, St. Eusebius ordained Maris to the bishopric of Dolica, a small town infected at that period by the Arian heresy. Maris being an exemplary man, and endowed with many virtues, the great Eusebius desired to install him himself in the episcopal chair, and accordingly went to Dolica. As he was entering the city, a woman who had imbibed the Arian errors threw down a tile from the top of a house upon his head: he survived the blow but a short time, and was translated to a better life. When he drew near his end, he made those around him promise upon oath never to seek for the woman who had committed the deed. He thus strove to imitate his Lord, who prayed for those who crucified him, saying, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). And in the same way Stephen, a fellow-labourer in the ministry, cried out when volleys of stones were cast at him, “Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” Such, after all his numerous conflicts, was the end of the great Eusebius. After having escaped from the hands of the barbarians of Thrace, he suffered by those of impious heretics. But those hands obtained for him the crown of martyrdom. All that I have now related took place after the return of the bishops from exile.

Gratian heard that the barbarians who had burnt Valens had gone into Thrace; and in consequence he left Italy and repaired to Pannonia.








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