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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

I HAVE heard extraordinary things also of Eutychian, a devout person who flourished about the same time; who although of the Novatian church, yet was venerated for the performance of miracles similar to those just mentioned. I shall unequivocally state my authority for this narrative, nor will I attempt to conceal it, though I expect it will give umbrage to some parties. It was Auxanon, a very aged presbyter of the Novatian church; who when quite a youth accompanied Acesius to the Synod at Nice, and related to me what I have said concerning him. His life extended from that period to the reign of Theodosius the younger; and while I was a mere stripling he recounted to me the acts of Eutychian, enlarging much on the divine grace which was manifested in him: but one circumstance he alluded to, which occurred in the reign of Constantine, peculiarly worthy of mention. One of those military attendants, whom the emperor calls his domestic or body guards, having been suspected of treasonable practices, sought his safety in flight. The indignant monarch ordered that he should be put to death, wherever he might be found: who having been arrested on the Bithynian Olympus, was heavily ironed and incarcerated near those parts of Olympus where Eutychian was leading a solitary life, and healing both the bodies and souls of many. The venerable Auxanon being then very young was with him, and was initiated by him into the discipline of the monastic life. Many persons came to this Eutychian, entreating him to procure the release of the prisoner by interceding for him with the emperor, who had been informed of the miracles done by Eutychian. The saint readily promised to go to his sovereign; but as the chains inflicted intolerable suffering, those who interested themselves on his behalf declared that it was to be feared death accelerated by the effect of his chains would both anticipate the emperor’s vengeance, and render nugatory any intercession that might be made for the prisoner. Accordingly Eutychian sent to the jailors, requesting them to release the man; but they having answered that they should bring themselves into danger by liberating a criminal, he went himself to the prison attended by Auxanon; and on their refusal to admit him, the grace which rested on Eutychian was rendered more conspicuous: for the gates of the prison opened of their own accord, while the jailors had the keys in their custody. As soon as Eutychian together with Auxanon had entered the prison, to the great astonishment of all then present the fetters spontaneously fell from the prisoner’s limbs. He then proceeded with Auxanon to the city which was anciently called Byzantium but afterwards Constantinople, where having been ushered into the Imperial palace, he obtained remission of the sentence of death for the prisoner; for the emperor, entertaining great veneration for Eutychian, readily granted his request. This indeed occurred some time after the period to which this part of our history refers.

The bishops who were convened at the council of Nice, after having drawn up and enrolled certain other ecclesiastical regulations which they are accustomed to term canons, again departed to their respective cities: and as I conceive it will be appreciated by lovers of history, I shall here subjoin the names of such as were present, as far as I have been able to ascertain them, with the province and city over which they severally presided, and likewise the date at which this assembly took place. Hosius was I believe bishop of Cordova in Spain, as I have before stated. Vito and Vicentius presbyters of Rome, Alexander bishop of Egypt, Eustathius of Antiochia Magna, Macarius of Jerusalem, and Harpocration of Cynopolis: the names of the rest are fully reported in The Synodicon of Athanasius bishop of Alexandria. This Synod was convened (as we have discovered from the notation of the date prefixed to the record of the Synod) in the consulate of Paulinus and Julian, on the 20th day of May, and in the 636th year from the reign of Alexander the Macedonian. And when the council was dissolved, the emperor went into the western parts of the empire.








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