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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

THE army leaving Galatia after the death of Jovian, arrived at Nice in Bithynia in seven days’ march, and there unanimously proclaimed Valentinian emperor, on the 25th of February, in the same consulate. He was born at Cibalis, a city of Pannonia, and being entrusted with a military command, had displayed great skill in tactics. He was moreover endowed with such greatness of mind, that he always appeared superior to any degree of honour he might have attained. After having been created emperor, he proceeded forthwith to Constantinople; and thirty days after his own possession of the imperial dignity, he makes his brother Valens his colleague in the empire. They both professed Christianity, but did not hold the same religious sentiments: for Valentinian respected the Nicene Creed; but Valens having been baptized by Eudoxius bishop of Constantinople, was prepossessed in favour of the Arian opinions. Each of them was zealous for the views of his own party; but when they had attained sovereign power, they manifested very different dispositions. In the reign of Julian, when Valentinian was a military tribune, and Valens held a command in the emperor’s guards, they both proved their attachment to the faith, by declaring themselves willing to relinquish their military rank, rather than renounce Christianity by sacrificing. Julian however, knowing their ability to serve the state, retained them in their respective places, as did also Jovian, his successor in the empire. On their being invested with imperial authority, they exhibited equal diligence in the management of public affairs, but behaved themselves very differently in relation to ecclesiastical matters: for Valentinian while he favoured those who agreed with him in sentiment, offered no violence to the Arians: but Valens in his anxiety to promote the Arian cause, grievously disturbed those who differed from them, as the course of our history will show. Liberius at that time presided over the Roman church. Athanasius was bishop of the Homoousians at Alexandria, while Lucius had been constituted George’s successor by the Arians. At Antioch Euzoïus was at the head of the Arians; but the Homoousians were divided into two parties, of one of which Paul was chief, and Meletius of the other. Cyril was re-established in the church at Jerusalem. The churches at Constantinople were under the government of Eudoxius, who openly taught the dogmas of Arianism, the Homoousians having but one small edifice in the city wherein to hold their assemblies. Those of the Macedonian heresy who had dissented from the Acacians at Seleucia, then retained their churches in every city. Such was the state of ecclesiastical affairs at that time.








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