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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

IN addition to these transactions, Dioscorus is sentenced to reside at Gangra in Paphlagonia, and Proterius is appointed to the see of Alexandria by a general vote of the synod. On his taking possession of his see, a very great and intolerable tumult arose among the people, who were roused into a storm against conflicting opinions; for some, as is likely in such cases, desired the restoration of Dioscorus, while others resolutely upheld Proterius, so as to give rise to many irremediable mischiefs. Thus Priscus, the rhetorician, recounts, that he arrived at Alexandria from the Thebaid, and that he saw the populace advancing in a mass against the magistrates: that when the troops attempted to repress the tumult, they proceeded to assail them with stones, and put them to flight, and on their taking refuge in the old temple of Serapis, carried the place by assault, and committed them alive to the flames: that the emperor, when informed of these events, despatched two thousand newly levied troops, who made so favourable a passage, as to reach Alexandria on the sixth day; and that thence resulted still more alarming consequences, from the license of the soldiery towards the wives and daughters of the Alexandrians: that, subsequently, the people, being assembled in the hippodrome, entreated Florus, who was the military commandant, as well as the civil governor, with such urgency as to procure terms for themselves, in the distribution of provisions, of which he had deprived them, as well as the privileges of the baths and spectacles, and all others from which, on account of their turbulence, they had been debarred: that, at his suggestion, Florus presented himself to the people, and pledged himself to that effect, and by this means stopped the sedition for a time. Nor did even the wilderness in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem preserve its tranquillity, unvisited by this commotion. For there arrived in Palestine some of the monks who had been present at the council, but were disposed to harbour designs in opposition to it; and by lamenting the betrayal of the faith, exerted themselves to fan into a flame the monastic body. And when Juvenalis, after obtaining restitution to his see, had been compelled to return to the imperial city, by the violence of the party who claimed the right to supersede and anathematise in their own province, those who, as we have already mentioned, were opposed to the acts of the council of Chalcedon, assembled in the church of the Resurrection, and appointed Theodosius, who had especially caused confusion in the council, and been the first to bring a report of its proceedings, and respecting whom, at a subsequent period, the monks of Palestine alleged, in letters to Alcison, that having been convicted of malpractices in relation to his own bishop, he had been expelled from his monastery: and that at Alexandria he had impugned the conduct of Dioscorus, and, after having been severely scourged as a seditious person, had been conveyed round the city on a camel, as is usual with malefactors. To him many of the cities of Palestine made application, with a view to the ordination of bishops. Among these was Peter the Iberian; to whom was committed the episcopal helm of the city called Majumas, in the neighbourhood of Gaza. On being informed of these proceedings, Marcian, in the first place, commands Theodosius to be conveyed near his own person, and sends Juvenalis to rectify the past, with an injunction that all who had been ordained by Theodosius should be ejected. Many sad occurrences followed the arrival of Juvenalis, while either party indulged in whatever proceedings their anger suggested. Such was the device of the envious and God-hating demon in the change of a single letter, that, while in reality the one expression was completely inductive of the notion of the other, still with the generality the discrepancy between them was held to be considerable, and the ideas conveyed by them to be clearly in diametric opposition, and exclusive of each other: whereas he who confesses Christ in two natures, clearly affirms Him to be from two; inasmuch as by confessing Christ at once in Godhead and manhood, he asserts His consistence from Godhead and manhood; and, on the other hand, the position of one who affirms His origin from two natures, is completely inclusive of His existence in two, inasmuch as he who affirms Christ to be from Godhead and manhood, confesses His existence in Godhead and manhood, since there is no conversion of the flesh into Godhead, nor a transition of the Godhead into flesh, from which substances arises the ineffable union. So that in this case by the expression, “from two natures,” is aptly suggested the thought of the expression, “in two,” and conversely; nor can there be a severance of the terms, this being an instance where a representation of the whole is afforded, not merely by its origin from component parts, but, as a further and distinct means, by its existence in them. Yet, nevertheless, persons have so taken up the idea of the marked distinction of the terms, either from a habit of thought respecting the glory of God, or by the inclination forestalling the judgment, as to be reckless of death in any shape, rather than acknowledge the real state of the case; and hence arose the occurrences which I have described. Such then was the state of these matters.








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