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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

BESIDES the prelates above mentioned, Cyril, bishop of Jerusalem, was deposed, because he had admitted Eustathius and Elpidus into communion after they had opposed the decrees enacted by the bishops at Melitina, among whom was Cyril himself; and because he had also received Basil, and George, bishop of Laodicea, into communion after their deposition in Palestine. When Cyril was first installed in the bishopric of Jerusalem, he had a dispute with Acacius, bishop of Cæsarea, concerning his right to the title of a Metropolitan, which he claimed on the ground of his bishopric being an apostolical see. This dispute excited feelings of enmity between the two bishops, and they mutually accused each other of unsoundness of doctrine concerning the God-head. In fact, they had both been suspected, the one, that is, Acacius, of favouring the heresy of Arius, and the other, of siding with those who maintain that the Son is in substance like unto the Father. Acacius being thus inimically disposed towards Cyril, and finding himself supported by the bishops of Palestine, who were of the same sentiments as himself, contrived to depose Cyril under the following pretext. Jerusalem and the neighbouring country was at one time visited with a famine, and the poor appealed in great multitudes to Cyril, as their bishop, for food. As he had no money to purchase the requisite provisions, he sold for this purpose the veil and sacred ornaments of the church. It is said that a man having recognized an offering which he had presented at the altar, as forming part of the costume of an actress, made it his business to inquire whence it was procured, and ascertained that a merchant had sold it to the actress, and that the bishop had sold it to the merchant. It was under this pretext, I understand, that Acacius deposed Cyril. It is said that the Acacians then expelled all the bishops who had been deposed from Constantinople. Ten bishops of their own party, who had refused to subscribe to these edicts of deposition, were separated from the others, and were interdicted from performing the functions of the ministry or ruling their churches until they consented to give their signatures. It was enacted that unless they complied within six months, and yielded their assent to all the decrees of the council, they should be deposed, and that the bishops of every province should be summoned to elect other bishops in their stead. Letters were then sent to all the bishops and clergy, detailing the transactions of the council, and exhorting them to observe and obey its decrees. Soon afterwards a fresh election of bishops took place, in the room of those who had been deposed. Eudoxius took possession of the bishopric of Macedonius; Athanasius was placed over the church of Basil; and Eunomius, who was subsequently the leader of a faction, and the originator of a heresy which bears his name, was appointed to the bishopric of Sebaste, instead of Meletius.








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