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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

ABOUT the same time, another disturbance in addition to those we have recorded, was raised at Constantinople on the following account. Alexander who had presided over the churches in that city for twenty-three years, and had strenuously opposed Arius, departed this life at the age of ninety-eight, without having ordained any one to succeed him. But he had enjoined those in whose hands the elective power was, to choose one of the two whom he named: telling them that if they desired one who was competent to teach, and of eminent piety, they must elect Paul, whom he had himself ordained presbyter, a man young indeed in years, but of advanced intelligence and prudence; but if they would be content with one possessed of a venerable aspect, and an external show only of sanctity, they might appoint the aged Macedonius, who had long been a deacon among them. Hence there arose a great contest respecting the choice of a bishop, which troubled the church exceedingly; the people being divided into two parties, one of which favoured the tenets of Arius, while the other adhered to the decrees of the Nicene Synod. Those who held the doctrine of consubstantiality always had the advantage during the life of Alexander, the Arians disagreeing among themselves and perpetually conflicting in opinion. But after the death of that prelate, the issue of the struggle became doubtful, the defenders of the orthodox faith insisting on the ordination of Paul, and all the Arian party espousing the cause of Macedonius. Paul however was ordained bishop in the church called Irene, which is situated near the great church of Sophia; which election was undoubtedly sanctioned by the suffrage of the deceased Alexander.








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