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A History Of The Church In Six Books by Evagrius

THIS Peter never abided by one opinion, being a double dealer, a waverer, and a time-server, now anathematising the synod at Chalcedon, at another time recanting, and admitting it with entire assent. Accordingly, the same Peter wrote an epistle to Acacius, president of Constantinople, in the following words: “The most high God will repay your holiness for the many labours and toils wherewith, during the lapse of time, you have guarded the form of faith of the holy fathers, which you have confirmed by unceasingly proclaiming it; in which form when we found the symbol of the three hundred and eighteen holy fathers to be embraced, we were disposed to accord with it; that symbol in which we believed at baptism, and still believe; which also the hundred and fifty holy fathers, who assembled at Constantinople, confirmed. Accordingly, while increasing in your endeavours to guide all aright, you have united the holy church of God, by convincing us by the most powerful proofs that nothing at variance with this was enacted in the holy and general synod held at Chalcedon, but that it accorded with the acts of the holy fathers at Nicæa, and confirmed them. Thus, having discovered no novelty therein, we have of our own free motion accorded our assent and belief. But we are informed that certain monks, envying our brotherly union, have conveyed certain slanders to your holy ears, which have with some difficulty succeeded in embittering the feelings of your holiness. And, in the first place, it is alleged that we have removed to another place the remains of our sainted father, the blessed archbishop Timotheus, a thing abhorrent to religion and law: and they have further shifted their ground to another charge, in itself incoherent and worse than the former; for how could we possibly have anathematised the synod at Chalcedon, which we had previously confirmed by according to it our belief? But the malignant temper and fickleness of our people are notorious, and cannot but be known to your piety, as well as of those monks who are disposed to innovation; who, in conspiracy with certain ill-designing persons that have broken loose from the church, are endeavouring to draw away the people. Through your prayers we have also devised a discourse of a directly healing tendency, and in no way impugning the synod at Chalcedon, well knowing that its transactions contain no novelty; and, further, for the satisfaction of guileless persons, we have procured those who had united themselves to us, to affirm this point. This mischief, then, by much exertion, I have readily checked: but I make known to your holiness, that even still the monks who are ever sowing the tares, are not at rest, associating also with themselves, as instruments, persons who were never the inmates of monasteries; but they travel about disseminating various rumours to our disadvantage, and, while they do not allow that we act canonically and in a manner suitable to the holy catholic church of God, but are habituating our people to govern rather than obey us, they are bent on doing whatever is unbecoming the service of God. We doubt not, however, that your holiness will inform the most sacred master of the world of all these circumstances, and provide that a formulary shall be put forth by his serenity, embracing the necessary matters relating to such a peace of the church as becomes both God and the emperor; so as to lead all to repose on its provisions.”








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