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A History Of The Church In Seven Books by Socrates

PAUL having been removed, in the manner described, Macedonius then became ruler of the churches in Constantinople; who acquiring very great ascendancy over the emperor, stirred up a war among Christians, of a no less grievous kind than that which the tyrants themselves were waging. For having prevailed on his sovereign to cooperate with him in devastating the churches, he procured the sanction of law for whatever pernicious measures lie determined to pursue. Throughout the several cities therefore, an edict was proclaimed, and a military force appointed to carry the imperial decrees into effect. Hence those who acknowledged the doctrine of consubstantiality were not only expelled from the churches, but also from the cities. But although expulsion at first satisfied them, they soon proceeded to the worse extremity of inducing compulsory communion with them; caring but little for such a desecration of the churches. Their violence indeed was scarcely less intolerable than that of those who had formerly obliged the Christians to worship idols: for they resorted to all kinds of scourgings, a variety of tortures, and confiscation of property. Many were punished with exile; some died under the torture; and others were put to death while being driven from their country. These atrocities were exercised throughout all the eastern cities, but especially at Constantinople; the internal persecution which was but slight before, being thus savagely increased by Macedonius, as soon as he obtained the bishopric. The cities of Achaia and Illyricum, with those of the western parts still enjoyed tranquillity; inasmuch as they preserved unanimity of judgment among themselves, and continued to adhere to the rule of faith promulgated by the council of Nice.








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