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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

JULIAN’S avowal of his own impiety filled the cities with sedition. Those who were addicted to the worship of idols were emboldened to open their idolatrous temples, and to celebrate those detestable mysteries which deserve to be for ever buried in oblivion. They kindled fire on their altars, polluted the earth by the blood of their victims, and the air by the smoke and odour of the sacrifices. Being agitated by the demons whom they adored, they ran furiously about the market places like the Corybantes. They assaulted and insulted all the holy men, and omitted no kind of reproach and invective which could be cast on them. Those who professed religion, being unable to bear with their impiety, reviled them in return, and inveighed against the errors which they had embraced. Incensed at these rebukes they took advantage of the protection afforded them by the emperor, to retort by the infliction of irreparable injuries. This detestable emperor, instead of establishing peace, as he ought to have done, excited the people against each other, and winked at the crimes perpetrated by the more audacious members of society against those who were the most gentle. He bestowed the highest civil and military offices upon the most cruel and impious of his subjects. These officers, though they did not compel the Christians by open force to sacrifice to idols, yet treated them with every species of indignity. The privileges accorded to the clergy by Constantine the Great were abolished.








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