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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

IT is probable that a severe persecution might have ensued at this juncture, had not Procopius commenced a civil war. As he possessed the chief authority at Constantinople, he soon collected a large army and marched against Valens. The latter quitted Syria, and met Procopius near Nacolia, a city of Phrygia, and captured him alive through the treachery of Agilonius and Gomoarius, two of his generals. Valens put them all to a cruel death, and although he had sworn to show favour to the two generals, he caused them to be sawn asunder. He commanded Procopius to be fastened by the legs to two trees which had been bent together by the application of a great force; so that on the sudden removal of the force, when the trees were left to resume their natural position, the victim was torn in twain.

On the termination of this war, Valens retired to Nicæa; and, finding himself in possession of profound tranquillity, he again began to molest those who differed from him in opinion concerning the Divine nature. His anger was unbounded against the bishops of the Council of Lampsacus, because they had condemned the Arian bishops and the formulary of faith set forth at Ariminum. While under the influence of these resentful feelings, he summoned Eleusius from Syria; and having called together a synod of bishops who held his own sentiments, he endeavoured to compel him to assent to their doctrines. Eleusius, at first, manfully refused compliance. But afterwards, from the dread of being ejected from his church and deprived of his property, as was threatened by the emperor, he yielded to the mandate. He soon repented of his weakness, and, on his return to Cyzicus, he made a public confession of his fault in the church, and urged the people to choose another bishop, for, he said, that he could not discharge the duties of the priesthood after having denied his own faith. The citizens esteemed and honoured Eleusius too highly to proceed to the election of another bishop. Eudoxius, bishop of the Arians in Constantinople, however, ordained Eunomius as bishop of Cyzicus; for he expected that by his great powers of eloquence Eunomius would easily draw the people of Cyzicus over to his own sentiments. On his arrival at that city, he expelled Eleusius; for he was furnished with an imperial edict to that effect, and took possession of the church himself. The followers of Eleusius built a house of prayer without the walls of the city, and here they held their assemblies. I shall soon again have occasion to revert to Eunomius and the heresy which bears his name.








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