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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

THE people then became intolerably tumultuous; and as it frequently happens in such cases, many who before were clamorous against him, now changed their hostility into compassion, and said of him whom they had so recently desired to see deposed, that he had been traduced. By this means therefore they were very numerous who exclaimed against both the emperor and the Synod of bishops; but they raged more particularly against Theophilus as the author of this plot. For his fraudulent conduct could no longer be concealed, being exposed by many other indications, and especially by the fact of his having communicated with Discorus, and those termed the Long Monks, immediately after John’s deposition. But Severian preaching in the church, and thinking it a suitable occasion to declaim against John, said: “If John had been condemned for nothing else, yet the haughtiness of his demeanour was a crime sufficient to justify his deposition. Men indeed are forgiven all other sins: but ‘God resisteth the proud,’ as the divine Scriptures teach us.” These reproaches incensed the people still more; so that the emperor gave orders for his immediate recall. Briso a eunuch in the service of the empress was therefore sent after him, who finding him at Prænetum, a commercial town situated over against Nicomedia, brought him back toward Constantinople. When they reached Marianæ, a village in the suburbs, John refused to enter the city, and declared he would abide there, until his innocence had been admitted by a higher tribunal. His delay at that place increased the popular commotion, and caused them to break forth into very indignant and opprobrious language against their rulers. To check their fury John was constrained to proceed; and being met on his way by a vast multitude, who vied with each other in their expressions of veneration and honour, he was conducted immediately to the church, on reaching which the people entreated him to seat himself in the episcopal chair, and give them his accustomed benediction. When he sought to excuse himself, saying that he ought not to do so without an order from his judges, and that those who condemned him must first revoke their sentence, they were only the more inflamed with the desire of seeing him reinstated, and of hearing him address them again. Thus pressed, he resumed his seat, and prayed as usual for peace upon the people; after which, acting under the same constraint, he preached to them. This compliance on John’s part afforded his adversaries another ground of crimination, although they took no notice of it at that time.








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