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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

NOT long after this, at the suggestion of Theophilus, the bishop Epiphanius again comes from Cyprus to Constantinople, taking with him a copy of a Synodical decree by which without excommunicating Origen himself, his books were condemned. On reaching St. John’s church, which is seven miles distant from the city, he disembarked, and there held an assembly; then after having ordained a deacon, he entered Constantinople. In complaisance to Theophilus he declined John’s courtesy, and instead of accepting accommodation at the episcopal palace, engaged apartments in a private house. He afterwards assembled all the bishops who were then in that capital, and producing his copy of the Synodical decree condemnatory of Origen’s works, recited it before them; but without being able to assign a better reason for this judgment, than that it seemed fit to Theophilus and himself to reject them. Some indeed subscribed this decree from a reverential respect for Epiphanius; but many refused to do this, among whom was Theotinus bishop of Scythia, who thus addressed Epiphanius:—“I choose not, Epiphanius, to insult the memory of one who ended his life piously long ago; nor dare I be guilty of so impious an act, as that of condemning what our predecessors by no means rejected: and especially when I know of no evil doctrine contained in Origen’s books.” Having said this, he brought forward one of that author’s works, and reading a few passages therefrom, shewed that the sentiments propounded were in perfect accordance with the orthodox faith. He then added, “Those who attempt to fix a stigma on these writings, are unconsciously casting dishonour upon the sacred volume whence their principles are drawn.” Such was the reply which Theotinus, a prelate eminent for his piety and rectitude of life, made to Epiphanius.








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