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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

WHILE the events I have above related were taking place in Italy, the East was, even before the Council of Seleucia, the theatre of great disturbances. The adherents of Acacius and Patrophilus, having ejected Maximus, gave the government of the Church of Jerusalem to Cyril. Macedonius was, by his severity, the cause of great troubles in Constantinople and the neighbouring cities: he was abetted by Eleusius and Marathonius. This latter was originally a deacon in his own church, and was a zealous superintendant of the poor and of the monastical dwellings inhabited by each sex, and Macedonius raised him to the bishopric of Nicomedia. Eleusius, who was formerly attached to the military service of the palace, had been ordained bishop of Cyzicus. It is said that Eleusius and Marathonius were both good men, but that they were zealous in persecuting those who maintained that the Son is of the same substance as the Father, although they never manifested so much cruelty as Macedonius, who not only expelled those who refused to hold communion with him, but imprisoned some, and dragged others before the tribunals. In many cases he had recourse to compulsion, and extorted compliance to his will. He seized women and children who had not been initiated (i.e. baptized) and initiated them, and destroyed many churches in different places, under the pretext that the emperor had commanded the demolition of all houses of prayer in which the Son was recognized to be of the same substance as the Father.

Under this pretext, the church of the Novatians at Constantinople, situated in that part of the city called Pelargus, was destroyed. It is related that these heretics performed a courageous action with the aid of the members of the Catholic church, with whom they made common cause. When those who were employed to destroy the church were about to commence the work of demolition, the Novatians assembled themselves together, and conveyed the materials to a suburb of the city called Sycea. They quickly achieved this task, for men, women, and children engaged in it, and gave their labour as an offering to God. By the exercise of this zeal, the church was soon re-erected, and received the name of Anastasia. After the death of Constantius, Julian, his successor, granted to the Novatians the ground which they had previously possessed, and permitted them to rebuild their church. The people joyfully took advantage of this permission, and transported the identical materials of the former edifice from Sycea. But this happened at a later period of time than that which we are now reviewing. At this period a union was nearly effected between the Novatian and Catholic churches, for as they held the same opinions concerning the Godhead, and were subjected to a common persecution, the members of both churches assembled and prayed together. The Catholics then possessed no houses of prayer, for the Arians had wrested them from them. It appears too that from the frequent intercourse between the members of each church, they began to reflect that no solid reason could be adduced for their separation. A reconciliation would certainly have been effected, had not the desire of the multitude been frustrated by the envy of a few individuals, who asserted that there was an ancient law prohibiting the union of the churches.








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