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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

WHEN Theodosius thus in the eighth year of his age succeeded to the imperial authority, Atticus was in the third year of his presidency over the church at Constantinople, and was become exceedingly eminent. For being, as we have before remarked, distinguished alike for his learning, piety, and discretion, the churches under his episcopate attained a very flourishing condition. He not only united those of his own faith, but also by his prudence called forth the admiration of the heretics, whom indeed he by no means desired to harass; but if he sometimes was obliged to impress them with the fear of him, he soon afterward showed himself mild and clement toward them. So assiduous was he as a student, that he often spent whole nights in perusing the writings of the ancients; and thus he became intimately acquainted with the reasonings of the philosophers, and the fallacious subtilties of the sophists. Besides this he was affable in conversation, and ever ready to sympathize with the afflicted: in short, to sum up his excellences in the Apostle’s word, “He was made all things to all men.” Formerly while a presbyter, he had been accustomed, after composing his sermons, to commit them to memory, and then recite them in the church: but by diligent application he acquired so much confidence as to be able to preach extemporaneously. His discourses however were not such as to be received with much applause by his auditors, nor to deserve to be committed to writing. Let these particulars respecting his talents, erudition and manners, suffice. We must now proceed to relate such things as are worthy of record, that happened in his time.








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