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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

ALEXANDER, that exemplary bishop, who had condemned the blasphemies of Arius, having died months after the council of Nice, Athanasius was appointed to the church of Alexandria. He had from his youth been instructed in the holy Scriptures; and had attracted general admiration by his faithful discharge of the duties pertaining to each ecclesiastical degree. He had, at the general council, so well defended the doctrines of the apostles, that he obtained the approbation of all who upheld the truth, and excited the enmity of those who opposed it. He had attended the council as one of the retinue of Alexander, for he was then very young, although he was the principal deacon. When those who had denied the only begotten Son of God, heard of his appointment to the bishopric of Alexandria, they thought that his promotion would prove the destruction of their power: they, therefore, resorted to machinations against him. They bribed some of the adherents of Melitus, who had been deposed by the council of Nice, but who had persevered in exciting commotions in Thebes, and in the country round Egypt, and persuaded them to go to the emperor, and to accuse Athanasius before him of having levied a tax upon Egypt, and of having given the proceeds of this taxation to a certain man who was preparing to usurp the imperial power. The emperor, astonished at this information, sent orders for Athanasius to repair to Constantinople. Upon his arrival he proved that the accusation was false, and was permitted to return to his church, as is shown by a letter on this subject from the emperor to the church of Alexandria. I shall only transcribe the concluding paragraph.








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