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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

NOT long after this, the monks together with Discorus and his brothers, came from the desert to Constantinople. Isidore was also with them, once the most intimate friend of the bishop Theophilus, but then become his bitterest enemy, because of what I am about to mention. Theophilus being irritated against Peter, at that time the archpresbyter of the Alexandrian church, determined to eject him; and as the ground of expulsion, he charged him with having admitted to a participation of the sacred mysteries, a woman of the Manichæan sect, before she had renounced her heresy. Peter in his defence declared, that not only had the errors of this woman been previously abjured, but that the bishop himself had sanctioned her admission to the eucharist: upon which Theophilus in a great rage, as if he had been grievously calumniated, affirmed that he was altogether unacquainted with the circumstance. To substantiate his statement, Peter summoned Isidore as one who could testify to the facts of the case. Isidore was then at Rome, on a mission from Theophilus to Damasus the prelate of the imperial city, for the purpose of effecting a reconciliation between him and Flavian bishop of Antioch, from whom the adherents of Meletius had separated in detestation of his perjury, as we have already observed. When Isidore had returned from Rome, and was cited as a witness by Peter, he deposed that the woman was received by consent of the bishop, who himself had administered the sacrament to her: upon which Theophilus immediately ejected them both. Isidore therefore went to Constantinople with Discorus and his brethren, in order to submit to the cognizance of the emperor, and John the bishop, the injustice and violence with which Theophilus had treated them. John on being informed of their business, gave them all an honourable reception; and admitting them at once to communion of the prayers, only postponed their communion of the sacred mysteries, until their affairs should be examined into. Whilst matters were in this posture, a false report was carried to Theophilus, that John had both admitted them to a participation of the mysteries, and also taken them under his protection; wherefore he resolved not only to be revenged on Isidore and Discorus, but also if possible to cast John out of his episcopal chair. With this design he wrote to all the bishops of the various cities, and concealing his real motive, ostensibly condemned therein the books of Origen merely: forgetting that Athanasius, who preceded him long before, had in confirmation of his own faith, frequently appealed to the testimony and authority of Origen’s writings, in his orations against the Arians.








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