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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

WHEN the spirit of innovation becomes regarded with popular favour, it is scarcely possible to arrest its progress: inflated as it always is with arrogance, it contemns the institutions of the Fathers, and enacts laws of its own. It even despises the theological doctrines of antiquity, and seeks out zealously a new form of religion of its own devising. After Macedonius had been deposed from the church of Constantinople, he renounced the tenets of Acacius and Eudoxius. He began to teach that the Son is God, and that He is in all respects and in substance like unto the Father. But he affirmed that the Holy Ghost is inferior in dignity, and designated Him a minister and a servant, and applied to Him whatever could, without error, be said of the holy angels. This doctrine was embraced by Eleusius, Eustathius, and by all the other bishops who had been deposed at Constantinople by the partizans of the opposite heresy. Their example was quickly followed by the people of Constantinople, Thrace, Bithynia, the Hellespont, and of the neighbouring provinces. For their manners and mode of life were calculated to produce a great impression on the multitude. They assumed great gravity of demeanor and austerity of life, while their style of conversation was pleasing and persuasive. It is said that all these qualifications were united in Marathonius. He originally held a public appointment in the army under the command of the prefects; after amassing some money in this employment, he undertook the superintendence of the hospitals for the relief of the sick and the destitute. Afterwards, at the suggestion of Eustathius, bishop of Sebaste, he embraced an ascetic mode of life, and founded a monastical institution in Constantinople which exists to the present day. He brought so much zeal and wealth to the support of the aforesaid heresy, that the Macedonians were by many termed Marathonians, and it seems to me, not without reason; for it appears that without the efforts of Marathonius, the heresy would soon have become extinct. In fact, after the deposition of Macedonius, the Macedonians possessed neither churches nor bishops until the reign of Arcadius. The Arians, who excommunicated and rigorously persecuted all who held different sentiments from themselves, deprived them of all these privileges.

It would be no easy task to enumerate the names of the priests who were at this period ejected from their cities; for I believe that no province of the empire was exempted from these depositions.








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