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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

WHEN the intelligence of Paul’s having resumed his episcopal functions reached Antioch, where the emperor Constantius then held his court, he was excessively enraged at his presumption. A written order was therefore despatched to Philip the Prætorian Prefect, whose power exceeded that of the other governors of provinces, and who was styled the second person from the emperor, to drive Paul out of the church again, and introduce Macedonius into it in his place. The prefect, dreading an insurrectionary movement among the people, used artifice to entrap the bishop: keeping therefore the emperor’s mandate secret, he went to the public bath called Xeuxippus, and on pretence of attending to some public affairs, sent to Paul with every demonstration of respect, requesting his attendance there, as his presence was indispensable. On his arrival in obedience to this summons, the prefect immediately shows him the emperor’s order; to which the bishop patiently submitted, notwithstanding his being thus condemned without having had his cause heard. But as Philip was afraid of the violence of the multitude, who had gathered round the building in great numbers to see what would take place, for their suspicions had been aroused by current reports, he commands one of the bath doors to be opened which communicated with the imperial palace, and through that Paul was carried off, put on board a vessel provided for the purpose, and so sent into exile. The prefect directed him to go to Thessalonica, the metropolis of Macedonia, whence he had derived his origin from his ancestors; commanding him to reside in that city, but granting him permission to visit other cities of Illyricum, while he strictly forbad his passing into any portion of the Eastern empire. Thus was Paul, contrary to his expectation, at once expelled from the church, and from the city, and again hurried off into exile. Philip the imperial prefect, leaving the bath, immediately proceeded to the church, accompanied by Macedonius, whose appearance was as sudden as if he had been thrown there by an engine. He was exposed to open view seated with the prefect in his chariot, which was environed by a military guard with drawn swords. The multitude was completely overawed by this spectacle, and both Arians and Homoousians hastened to the church, every one endeavouring to secure an entrance there. On the approach of the prefect with Macedonius, the crowd and the soldiery seemed alike seized with an irrational panic: for the assemblage was so numerous, that there was insufficient room to admit the passage of the prefect and Macedonius, and the soldiers therefore attempted to thrust aside the people by force. But the confined space into which they were crowded together rendering it impossible to recede, the soldiers imagined that resistance was offered, and that the populace intentionally stopped the passage; they accordingly began to use their naked swords, and to cut down those that stood in their way. It is affirmed that upwards of 3,150 persons were massacred on this occasion; of whom the greater part fell under the weapons of the military, and the rest were crushed to death by the desperate efforts of the multitude to escape their violence. After such distinguished achievements, Macedonius was seated in the episcopal chair by the prefect, rather than by the ecclesiastical canon, as if he had not been the author of any calamity, but was altogether guiltless of what had been perpetrated. These were the sanguinary means by which Macedonius and the Arians grasped the supremacy in the churches. About this period the emperor built the great church called Sophia, adjoining to that named Irene, which being originally of small dimensions, the emperor’s father had considerably enlarged and adorned. In the present day both are seen within one enclosure, and have but one appellation.








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