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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

JOHN was not offended because Epiphanius, contrary to the ecclesiastical canon, had made an ordination in his church; but invited him to remain with him at the episcopal palace. He replied that he would neither stay nor pray with him, unless he would expel Discorus and his brethren from the city, and with his own hand subscribe the condemnation of Origen’s books. When John deferred the performance of these things, saying that nothing ought to be done rashly before the decision of a general council, John’s adversaries led Epiphanius to adopt another course. For they contrived that at the next assembly which was to be held in the church named The Apostles, Epiphanius should come forth and before all the people condemn the books of Origen, excommunicate Discorus with his followers, and charge John with countenancing them. John, on being informed of these things, sent this message by Serapion on the following day to Epiphanius just as he entered the church: “You do many things contrary to the canons, Epiphanius. In the first place you have made an ordination in the churches under my jurisdiction: then without my appointment, you have on your own authority officiated in them. Moreover, when heretofore I invited you hither, you refused to come, and now you allow yourself that liberty. Beware therefore, lest a tumult being excited among the people, even you yourself should incur danger therefrom.” Epiphanius becoming alarmed on hearing these admonitions, left the church; and after accusing John of many things, he set out on his return to Cyprus. Some say that when he was about to depart, he said to John, “I hope that you will not die a bishop:” to which John replied, “I hope that you will not arrive at your own country.” I cannot vouch for the truth of this report; but nevertheless the event was correspondent to it in the case of both. For Epiphanius did not reach Cyprus, having died on ship-board after his departure; and John a short time afterwards was driven from his See, as we shall show in proceeding.








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