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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

“WHO has taught these doctrines to the innocent multitude? It is manifestly Eusebius, the co-operator in the cruelty of the tyrants. For that he was the agent of the tyrants has been clearly shown; and, indeed, is proved by the slaughter of the bishops, and by the fact that these victims were true bishops. The relentless persecution of the Christians may be considered as furnishing another indubitable proof. I shall not here give an account of my own wrongs, the seditions excited, or the spies employed against me; for, indeed, they scarcely refrained from raising troops against me. Let not any one imagine that I allege what I am not prepared to prove. I am in possession of clear evidence; for I have caused the bishops and presbyters belonging to his retinue to be seized. But I pass over all these facts. I only mention them for the purpose of making these persons ashamed of their conduct, and not from any feeling of resentment. There is one thing which grieves me, and that is to see that you have formed criminal associations with them; for you are influenced by the doctrines of Eusebius, and have thus been led away from truth. But you will be soon restored if, after obtaining a bishop who holds pure and faithful doctrines, you will but look unto God. This depends upon you alone; and you would, no doubt, have thus acted long ago, had not Eusebius come here through his then powerful adherents, and overturned all discipline. As it is necessary to allude to Eusebius, you must remember that I was present at the council held in the city of Nice (to which attendance I was compelled by conscience), and that I was actuated by no other motive than the desire of producing peace among all, and of exploding the errors which originated from the infatuation of Arius, and which have been fostered and increased by the absurd and pernicious wiles of Eusebius. But, beloved and much-honoured brethren, you know not with what assurance Eusebius, although convinced by the testimony of his own conscience, infamously persevered in the support of false doctrines, both by sending different persons to me to petition on his behalf, and by personally intreating my assistance in preventing his being ejected from his bishopric; although his crimes had been fully detected. God, whom I trust will continue his goodness towards you and towards me, is witness to the truth of what I say. I was then myself deluded and deceived by Eusebius, as you well know. In every thing he acted according to the desire of him whose mind is full of evil. But, omitting the relation of the rest of his misdeeds, it is well that you should be informed of the crime which he perpetrated in concert with Theognis his accomplice. I had sent orders for the apprehension of certain individuals in Alexandria who opposed our faith, and who had excited disturbances. But those good and excellent bishops, who, by the clemency of the council, had been admitted to penitence, not only received them under their protection, but also participated in their evil deeds. Hence I came to the determination of banishing these ungrateful persons to some far distant region. It is now your duty to look unto God with the eyes of faith, even as you have already done, and as it is right that you should do; and let us rejoice that orthodox and philanthropic bishops have been now appointed. If any one should make mention of those destroyers, or presume to speak in their praise, let him know that his audacity will be repressed by the authority which has been committed to me as the servant of God. May God preserve you, beloved brethren!

The bishops above-mentioned were deposed and banished. Amphio was entrusted with the church of Nicomedia, and Chrestus with that of Nice. But the exiled bishops, with their usual artfulness, abused the benevolence of the emperor, renewed the previous contests, and regained their former power.








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