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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

BUT dissensions arose among; the Arians also on this account. The contentious questions which were daily agitated among them, led them to start the most presumptuous propositions. For whereas it has been always believed in the church that God is the Father of the Son, the Word, it was asked whether God could be called Father before the Son had subsistence? Thus from a denial of the main article of faith, in asserting that the Word of God was not begotten of the Father, but was created out of nothing, they deservedly fell into absurd cavillings about a mere name. Dorotheus therefore, whom they had sent for from Antioch, maintained that God neither was, nor could be called Father before the Son existed. But Marinus who had been summoned out of Thrace before Dorotheus, and was piqued at the superior deference which was paid to his rival, undertook to defend the contrary opinion. Their controversy respecting this term produced division, and each party held separate meetings. Those under Dorotheus retained their original places of assembly: but the followers of Marinus built distinct oratories for themselves, and asserted that the Father had always sustained that character, even when the Son was not. This section of the Arians was denominated Psathyrians, because one of the most zealous defenders of this opinion was Theoctistus, a Syrian by birth, and a Psathyropōla by trade. Selenas bishop of the Goths adopted the views of this party: he was of a mixed descent, a Goth by his father’s side, and by his mother’s a Phrygian, by which means he taught in the church with great readiness in both these languages. This faction however soon quarrelled among themselves, Marinus disagreeing with Agapius, whom he himself had preferred to the bishopric of Ephesus. Their dispute was not about any point of religion, but they strove in narrow-mindedness about precedence, in which the Goths sided with Agapius. Wherefore many of the ecclesiastics under their jurisdiction, abominating the vain-glorious contest between these two, abandoned them both, and became adherents to the Homoousian faith. The Arians having continued thus divided among themselves during the space of thirty-five years, were reunited in the reign of Theodosius junior, under the consulate of Plintha the commander-in chief of the army, the Psathyrians being prevailed on to desist from contention. They afterwards passed a resolution, giving it all the cogency of law, that the question which had led to their separation, should never be mooted again. But this reconciliation extended no farther than Constantinople; for in other cities where any of these two parties were found, they persisted in their former separation.








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