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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

JULIAN, the uncle of the emperor, having determined upon removing the treasures and most precious ornaments of the church of Antioch to the imperial treasury, closed the places of prayer; for all the clergy had fled. One presbyter, by name Theodore, alone remained in the city; and it was to him that the charge of these ornaments and treasures had been confided. Julian, the governor of Egypt, commanded him to be slain after he had subjected him to the most cruel tortures, in the vain endeavour to make him reply to his questions, and refrain from the confession of his faith. Julian then proceeded to the sacrilege of the sacred vases, which he flung upon the ground and sat upon, at the same time uttering incredible blasphemies against Christ: but his impious course was suddenly arrested; for certain parts of his body were turned into corruption, and generated enormous quantities of worms. The physicians confessed that the disease was beyond the reach of their art, but from fear and reverence towards the emperor, they tried all the resources of medicine. They procured the most costly and the fattest birds, and applied them to the corrupted part, in hope that the worms might be thereby attracted to the surface; but this was of no effect; for, in proportion as some of the worms were thus drawn out, others were generated in the flesh, by which he was ceaselessly devoured until they put an end to his life. Many believed that this disease was an infliction of divine wrath, visited upon him in consequence of his impiety; and this supposition appears the more probable from the fact, that the treasurer of the emperor, and other of the chief officers of the court who had persecuted the church, died in an extraordinary and dreadful manner, as if divine wrath had been visited upon them.








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