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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

AFTER Eudoxius had introduced these new doctrines, many members of the church of Antioch, who were opposed to them, were excommunicated. George, bishop of Laodicea, gave them a letter to take to the bishops who had been invited from the neighbouring towns to Ancyra in Galatia by Basil, for the purpose of consecrating a church which he had erected. This letter was as follows.

“George, to his most honoured lords Macedonius, Basil, Cecropius, and Eugenius, sends greeting in the Lord.

“Nearly the whole city has suffered from the shipwreck of Aetius. The disciples of this wicked man whom you contemned have been encouraged by Eudoxius, and promoted by him to clerical appointments, and Aetius himself has been raised to the highest honour. Go, then, to the assistance of this great city, lest by its shipwreck the whole world should be submerged. Assemble yourselves together, and solicit the signatures of other bishops, that Aetius may be ejected from the church of Antioch, and that his disciples who have been ordained by Eudoxius may be cut off from the priesthood. If Eudoxius persist in affirming that the Son is dissimilar from the Father, and in preferring those who uphold this dogma to those who reject it, the city of Antioch is lost to you.” Such was the strain of George’s letter.

The bishops who were assembled at Ancyra clearly perceived by the enactments of Eudoxius at Antioch, that he contemplated the introduction of innovations in doctrine; they apprised the emperor of this fact, and besought him that the doctrine established at Sardica, at Sirmium, and at other councils, might be protected and confirmed, and especially the dogma that the Son is of like substance with the Father. In order to proffer this request to the emperor, they sent to him a deputation composed of the following bishops: Basil, bishop of Ancyra; Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste; Eleusius, bishop of Cyzica; and Leontius, who, from being an attendant on the emperor, had been promoted to the priesthood. On their arrival at the palace, they found that Asphalius, a priest of Antioch, and a zealot of the Aetian heresy, was on the point of taking his departure, after having terminated the business for which he undertook the journey and obtained a letter from the emperor. On receiving, however, the intelligence concerning the heresy conveyed by the deputation from Ancyra, Constantius retracted his decision respecting Eudoxius, withdrew the letter he had confided to Asphalius, and wrote the following one.








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