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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

EUSEBIUS, as I have already stated, seized the diocese of Constantinople by force. He acquired great power in that city: he visited, and often familiarly entertained the emperor; and hence he prepared to injure by his artifices those who were foremost in the support of truth. He at first feigned a desire of going to Jerusalem, to see the celebrated edifices there erected: and the emperor, who was deceived by him, allowed him to set out with the utmost honour, granting him the use of the royal carriages, and other privileges. Theognis, bishop of nice, who, as we have before said, was his accomplice in his evil designs, travelled with him. When they arrived at Antioch, they put on the appearance of friendship, and were received with much honour. Eustathius, the great defender of the faith, treated them with fraternal kindness. When they arrived at the holy city, they had an interview with those who were of the same opinions as themselves, namely, Eusebius, bishop of Cæsarea, Patrophilius, bishop of Scythopolitamus, Actium, bishop of Lydda, Theodotus, bishop of Laodicea, and others who had imbibed the Arian sentiments; they made known their designs to them, and went with them to Antioch. Their pretext for thus journeying together was, that due honour might be rendered to Eusebius; but their real motive was to attack the truth. They bribed a woman who was a professed prostitute, to say whatever they might desire: they then repaired to the council, and when all the members were assembled, they introduced the wretched woman. She held a babe in her arms, of which she loudly and impudently affirmed that Eustathius was the father. Eustathius, conscious of his innocence, asked her whether she could bring forward any witness to prove what she had advanced. She replied, that she could not: yet these equitable judges received her testimony, although it is said in the law, that by two or three witnesses every word must be established; and although the apostle says, that an accusation is not to be received against an elder unless there be two or three witnesses. But they despised these divine laws, and admitted the accusation against this great man without any witnesses. When the woman had again declared upon oath that Eustathius was the father of the babe, the judges condemned him as an adulterer. The other bishops, who upheld the apostolical doctrines, were ignorant of all these intrigues. They openly opposed the sentence, and advised Eustathius not to submit to it. The originators of the plot promptly repaired to the emperor, and endeavoured to persuade him that the accusation was true, and the sentence just; and they succeeded in obtaining the banishment of a man of rigid piety, and of great wisdom, as an adulterer and a tyrant. He was conducted across Thebes to a city of Illyria.








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