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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

A MAN of a bold and audacious character, who had embraced an ascetic life, went to the emperor to make some request. After he had reiterated his demand several times without obtaining it, he ejected the emperor from communion with the church, and retired after imposing this restriction. The faithful emperor returned to his palace, where some guests had been invited to a banquet. On their arrival, he said that he would not sit down to table until he had received absolution. He sent to the bishop, beseeching him to request him who had imposed the restriction to remove it. The bishop replied that he ought not so readily to submit to such restrictions, and that none, in fact, existed. But the emperor was not content with this absolution, until he who had excommunicated him had been found, which was not effected without great trouble, and had restored him to communion; so strong was the emperor’s faith in the holy laws.

He had the ruins of the idolatrous temples removed, and their very foundations destroyed, in order that posterity might not find the slightest vestiges of former errors. This reason is inserted in the edict. These good seeds were followed by an abundant harvest, for the emperor received the protection of the Lord of the universe. Roilas, the leader of one of the wandering tribes of Scythia, passed the Danube with an immense army, devastated Thrace, and threatened to besiege and capture the imperial city; but thunders were launched against him, by which his army was destroyed. The same disaster happened to the Persians. For at a time when the Romans were occupied against other enemies, they violated the existing treaties, and invaded the neighbouring provinces, while the emperor, who had relied on the peace which had been concluded, had sent his generals and his troops to embark in other wars. God arrested the progress of the Persians by tremendous showers of rain and hail, so that in twenty days the cavalry were unable to advance as many furlongs, and the Roman generals had time to assemble their troops and advance upon them. In a former war, likewise, when the same people were besieging the city which bears the name of the emperor, God exposed them to derision. Gororanes the Persian king, had surrounded the city more than thirty days, and had directed battering rams against it, and likewise thousands of other machines. The city was defended only by Ennomius, its holy bishop. He succeeded in rendering useless all the machines which were brought against the place; and, as our generals were afraid either to attack the enemy or to engage with the besiegers, he sustained the conflict alone, and preserved the city. One of the princes who were subject to the king of Persia, having presumed to utter blasphemies similar to those pronounced by Rabshakeh and by Sennacherib, and having threatened to burn the church, the holy bishop was unable to bear with his folly, and ordered a machine, to which the name of St. Thomas the Apostle had been given, to be placed on the wall, and to be directed against the blasphemer. Immediately the mouth of the impious man was struck by the stone, his head was broken, and his brains scattered upon the earth. On seeing this, the Persian king assembled his troops, raised the siege of the city, confessed himself vanquished, and, impelled by terror, readily agreed to peace. So graciously did the Almighty Ruler of the universe watch over the welfare of the faithful emperor, and reward his attachment to his service. This emperor had the remains of John, the great luminary of the world, transported to the city as we have already mentioned. But this did not happen till after the period of time at present under consideration.








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