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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

ABOUT this time a serious contest was excited at Antioch in Syria, on account of Meletius. It has been already observed that Paulinus bishop of that city, because of his eminent piety was not sent into exile: and that Meletius after being restored by Julian, was again banished by Valens, and at length recalled in Gratian’s reign. On his return to Antioch, he found Paulinus greatly enfeebled by old age; his partisans therefore used their utmost endeavours to get him associated with that prelate in the episcopal office. And when Paulinus declared that it was contrary to the canons to admit a coadjutor who had been ordained by the Arians, the people had recourse to violence, and caused him to be consecrated in one of the churches without the city. A great disturbance arose from this transaction; but the popular ferment was afterwards allayed by the following stipulations being agreed to. Having assembled such of the clergy as were considered worthy of being entrusted with the bishopric, they find them six in number, of whom Flavian was one. All these they bound by an oath, not to use any effort to get themselves ordained, when either of the two prelates should die, but to permit the survivor to retain undisturbed possession of the see of the deceased. This arrangement appeased the jealousy of the contending parties: the Luciferians however separated themselves from the rest, because Meletius who had been ordained by the Arians was admitted to the episcopate. In this state of the Antiochian church, Meletius was under the necessity of going to Constantinople.








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