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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

IN the same reign Isidore was also conspicuous: “wide whose renown,” according to the language of poetry; having become universally celebrated by deed and word. To such a degree did he waste his flesh by severe discipline, and feed his soul by elevating doctrine, as to pursue upon earth the life of angels, and be ever a living monument of monastic life and contemplation of God. Besides his numerous other writings, well stored with various profit, there are some addressed to the renowned Cyril; from which it appears that he flourished contemporary with the divine bishop. And now, while endeavouring to give every attraction to my work, let me also bring upon the scene Synesius of Cyrene, whose memory will add an embellishment to my narrative. This Synesius, while possessed of every other kind of learning, carried the study of philosophy, in particular, to its highest pitch; so as to gain the admiration even of those Christians whose decision upon things which fall under their observation is not guided by favouring or adverse prejudice. They, accordingly, persuade him to resolve on partaking of the saving regeneration, and to take upon himself the yoke of the priesthood, while as yet he did not admit the doctrine of the resurrection, nor was inclined to hold that tenet; anticipating, with well-aimed conjecture, that this belief would be added to his other excellencies, since divine grace is never content to leave its work unfinished. Nor were they disappointed in their expectation: for his epistles, written after his accession to the priesthood, and composed with elegance and learning, as well as his discourse addressed to Theodosius himself, and whatever is extant of his valuable writings, sufficiently show how excellent and great a man he was.








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