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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

“CONSTANTINE, the victorious and the great, to Macarius.

“The grace of our Saviour is so wonderful, that no words are adequate to express it. His having kept the monument of his most holy sufferings concealed beneath the earth during a long course of years, until the common enemies of all parties were dispersed, and his servants restored to liberty, proves that his providential care surpasses every other subject of admiration. If all the wise men throughout the world were collected into one place, they could not mention any thing so amazing or so wonderful as this; for this miracle is as much beyond all human power of belief, as heavenly wisdom is beyond the reasonings of man. Hence it is always my first and only object to excite all minds to the observation of the Holy Law with alacrity and diligence, proportioned to the brightness of the manifestation which is thrown by new miracles upon the truth of the faith, day by day. As my design is now generally known, you, above all, must be convinced that my most intense desire is to erect beautiful edifices upon that consecrated spot, which God from the beginning declared holy, and which has been rendered still more holy by the sufferings of our Lord, who thus brought faith to light. The abominable idol which lately desecrated the spot, is now happily removed. I trust, then, to your sagacity to take every necessary care and precaution that these edifices may not only be magnificent, but that they may be incomparably superior to all the most beautiful structures in the world. We have entrusted our friend Dracilianus, governor of the province, with the care of engaging, under your direction, the most skilful workmen for the erection of the walls. He will emulate our piety, and will provide all that you may deem requisite. Let us know, by letter, what columns or marbles you may consider would be ornamental or useful, and we will have them promptly conveyed to you. Whatever wants you mention shall be supplied; for that which is of all places the most wonderful, ought to be rendered the most beautiful. I wish to learn from you whether you think that the royal arch ought to be fluted, or to be adorned in some other way; for if it is to be fluted, it would be well to gild it. Your holiness must signify to the aforesaid officers, as soon as possible, what workmen and artificers, and what sums of money, are requisite; and let me know promptly not only what marbles and columns, but also what ornamental works are considered the most beautiful. May God preserve you, beloved brother.








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