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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

THE errors of Arianism had been propagated throughout the greater part of the Eastern empire. Arius was a presbyter of Alexandria, in Egypt, and had there disseminated his blasphemous opinions. The evil seed was watered by Patrophilus and Aëtius of Palestine, by Paulinus and Gregory of Phenœcia, by Theodotus of Laodicea, by George his successor, and, at a subsequent period, by Athanasius and Narcissus of Cilicia, Eusebius and Theognis of Bithynia, Menophantes the Ephesian, Theodore of Perinthius, Maris of Chalcedonia, and others from Thrace, distinguished only by their evil qualities, carefully cultivated the tares, and contributed greatly to their growth. The labours of these wicked husbandmen were forwarded by the weakness of Constantius and by the impiety of Valens. It was on this account that Theodosius commanded only the bishops belonging to his own empire to assemble at Constantinople. When they had assembled to the number of one hundred and fifty, he desired them not to point out the great Melitius to him, for he wished to recognise his person by the sole remembrance of what he had seen in his dream. When the whole assembly of bishops had been ushered into the palace, the emperor, without noticing the others, ran up directly to the great Melitius, and embraced him, kissed his eyes, lips, breast, head, and the right hand which had crowned him, and exhibited all those demonstrations of affection which would be shown by a dutiful son on beholding a beloved father after a long separation. He recounted to him the vision which he had seen. After having spoken with great benevolence to all the other bishops, he besought them, as though they had been his fathers, to deliberate on the subject for which they had met.








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