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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

GREGORY of Nazianzen, after his translation to Constantinople, held his assemblies within the city in a small oratory, adjoining to which the emperor afterwards built a magnificent church, and named it Anastasia. But Gregory, who far excelled in eloquence and piety all those of the age in which he lived, understanding that some murmured at his preferment because he was a, stranger, after expressing his joy at the emperor’s arrival, refused to remain at Constantinople. When the emperor found the church in this state, he began to consider by what means he could make peace, effect a union, and enlarge the churches. Immediately therefore he intimated his desire to Demophilus, who presided over the Arian party; and enquired whether he was willing to assent to the Nicene Creed, and thus reunite the people, and establish concord. Upon Demophilus’s declining to accede to this proposal, the emperor said to him, “Since you reject peace and unanimity, I order you to quit the churches.” Which when Demophilus heard, weighing with himself the difficulty of contending against superior power, he convoked his followers in the church, and standing in the midst of them, thus spoke: “Brethren, it is written in the Gospel, If they persecute you in one city, flee ye into another. Since therefore the emperor excludes us from the churches, take notice that we will henceforth hold our assemblies without the city.” Having said this, he departed; not however as rightly apprehending the meaning of that expression in the Evangelist, for the real import of the sacred oracle is, that such as would avoid the course of this world, must seek the heavenly Jerusalem. He therefore, misapplying the passage, went outside the city gates, and there in future held his assemblies. With him also Lucius went out, who being ejected from Alexandria, as we have before related, had made his escape to Constantinople, and there abode. Thus the Arians, after having been in possession of the churches for forty years, were in consequence of their opposition to the conciliatory measures of the emperor Theodosius, driven out of the city, in Gratian’s fifth consulate, and the first of Theodosius Augustus, on the 26th of November. The professors of the Homoousian faith in this maimer regained possession of the churches.








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