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A History Of The Church In Five Books by Theodoret

BEFORE Julian had carried his numerous threats into execution, he was himself vanquished by one single man at Berœa. It is true that this man was rendered conspicuous by his high rank; for he was invested with one of the chief offices in the city: but his zeal reflected a yet higher lustre upon his character. When he discovered that his son had apostatized to the dominant form of irreligion, he expelled him from his house, and publicly disinherited him. The son repaired to the emperor, who was then in the neighbourhood of the city, and acquainted him with his own change of sentiments, and of his having been disinherited by his father. The emperor desired the young man to be tranquil, and promised to reconcile his father to him. When he arrived at Berœa, he invited the principal citizens to a banquet. Amongst them was the father of the young man. He ordered the father and the son to sit upon the couch upon which he was himself reclining; and in the midst of the repast he said to the father, “It does not seem just to me to force the inclinations of any one. Do not then constrain those of your son, but allow him to adopt whatever doctrines he may please. I do not compel you,” continued he, “to follow my religion, although I could most easily oblige you to do so.” Then the father, inspired by divine faith, replied as follows: “Do you speak to me, O emperor, in favour of a wicked and impious creature who has preferred falsehood to truth?” The emperor, with a specious appearance of gentleness, here interrupted him, saying, “I beg you to desist from all invectives.” Then, turning towards the youth, he said, “I shall myself take care of you, since I cannot persuade your father to do so.” I have not related this incident without a motive; for I desired not only to record the bold fidelity of this admirable man, but also to show that the power of the tyrant was despised by many individuals.








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