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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

WHEN Epiphanius was gone, it was intimated to John that the empress Eudoxia had stimulated Epiphanius against him. And being of a fiery temperament, and of a ready utterance, he soon after pronounced a public invective against women in general, which the people considered was intended to apply indirectly to the empress. This speech was laid hold of by evil-disposed persons, and reported to those in authority, until at length it reached the empress; who immediately complained of it to her husband, telling him that the insult offered to herself equally affected him. The emperor therefore authorised Theophilus to convoke a Synod without delay against John; which Severian also co-operated in promoting, for he still regarded Chrysostom with aversion. In a little while therefore Theophilus arrived, accompanied by several bishops from different cities, who had been summoned by the emperor’s orders. Those especially who had some cause of private pique against John flocked together; and all whom he had deposed in Asia, when he went to Ephesus and ordained Heraclides, did not fail to be present. It was arranged that they should assemble at Chalcedon in Bithynia. Cyrin was then bishop of that city, an Egyptian by birth, who said many things to the bishops in disparagement of John, denouncing him as an impious, haughty, and inexorable person, very much to the satisfaction of these prelates. But Maruthas bishop of Mesopotamia having accidentally trod on Cyrin’s foot, he was so severely hurt by it as to be unable to embark with the rest for Constantinople, and was therefore obliged to remain behind at Chalcedon. Theophilus had so openly avowed his hostility to John, that none of the clergy would go forth to meet him, or pay him the least honour; but some Alexandrian sailors happening to be there, whose vessels had been laden with corn, greeted him with joyful acclamations. He refused to enter the church, and took up his abode at one of the imperial mansions called “The Placidian.” Then a torrent of accusations began to be poured forth against John; for no mention was now made of Origen, but all were intent on urging a variety of criminations, many of which were ridiculous. Preliminary matters being settled, the bishops were convened in the suburbs of Chalcedon, at a place called “The Oak,” and John was immediately cited to answer the charges which were brought against him. Serapion the deacon, Tigris the eunuch presbyter, and Paul the reader, were likewise summoned to appear there with him, for these men were included in the impeachments, as participators in his guilt. John taking exception to those who had cited him, on the ground of their being his enemies, refused to attend, and demanded a general council. They repeated their citation four times in succession; and when he persisted in his rejection of them as his judges, always giving the same answer, they condemned him for contumacy, and deposed him without assigning any other cause for his deposition. This decision was announced towards evening, and incited the people to a most alarming sedition; insomuch that they kept watch all night, and would by no means suffer him to be removed from the church, crying out that his cause ought to be determined in a larger assembly. The emperor however commanded that he should be immediately expelled, and sent into exile; which as soon as John was apprised of, he voluntarily surrendered himself about noon unknown to the populace, on the third day after his condemnation: for he dreaded any insurrectionary movement on his account, and was accordingly led away.








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