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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

ALEXANDER bishop of Alexandria having died a little after this, Athanasius was immediately set over that church. Rufinus relates, that this person when quite a boy, played with others of his own age at a sacred game: this was an imitation of the priesthood and the order of consecrated persons. In this game therefore Athanasius was allotted the episcopal dignity, and each of the other lads personated either a presbyter or a deacon. The children engaged in this sport on the day in which the memory of the martyr and bishop Peter was celebrated; and at that time Alexander bishop of Alexandria happening to pass by, observed the play in which they were engaged, and having sent for the children, enquired from them the part each had been assigned in the game, conceiving that something might be portended by that which had been done. He then gave directions that the children should be educated for the church, and instructed in learning, but especially Athanasius; and having afterwards ordained him deacon on his becoming of adult age, he brought him to Nice to assist him in the disputations there when the Synod was convened. Rufinus in his writings has given this account of Athanasius; nor is it improbable that it took place, for many transactions of this kind have often occurred.








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