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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

THE special providence of God drove Arsenius also to Tyre: for, disregarding the injunctions he had received from the accusers by whom he had been bribed, he went thither disguised, to see what would be done. It by some means happened that the servants of Archelaus, the governor of the province, heard some persons at an inn affirm, that Arsenius who was reported to have been murdered, was at that very time concealed in the house of one of the citizens. Having marked the individuals by whom this statement was made, they communicated the circumstance to their master, who causing strict search to be made for the man immediately, discovered and properly secured him; after which he gave notice to Athanasius that he need not be under any alarm, inasmuch as Arsenius was alive and there present. Arsenius on being apprehended, at first denied that he was the person supposed; but Paul bishop of Tyre, who had formerly known him, soon established his identity. Divine providence having thus disposed matters, Athanasius was shortly after summoned by the Synod: and as soon as he presented himself, his traducers exhibited the hand, and pressed their charge. Managing the affair with great prudence, he simply enquired of those present, as well as his accusers, whether any of them knew Arsenius? and several having answered in the affirmative, he caused Arsenius to be introduced, having his hands covered by his cloak. Then he again asked them, is I this the person who has lost a hand? All were astonished at the strangeness of this procedure, except those who knew whence the hand had been cut off; for the rest thought that Arsenius was really deficient of a hand, and expected that the accused would make his defence in some other way. But Athanasius turning back the cloak of Arsenius on one side shows one of the man’s hands: again while some were supposing that the other hand was wanting, after permitting them to remain a short time in doubt, he turned back the cloak on the other side and exposed the other hand. Then addressing himself to those present he said, “Arsenius, as you see, is found to have two hands: let my accusers show the place whence the third was cut off.”








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