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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

ABOUT this period, a son was born to Valentinian in the West, to whom the emperor gave his own name. Not long after, he proclaimed his son Gratian emperor; this prince was born before his father succeeded to the throne.

In the meantime, although hailstones of extraordinary magnitude fell in various places, and although many cities, particularly Nicæa in Bithynia, were shaken by earthquakes, yet Valens the emperor, and Eudoxius the bishop, paused not in their career, but continued to persecute all Christians who differed from them in opinion. They succeeded to the utmost of their expectations in their machinations against those who adhered to the Nicene doctrines, for throughout many of the more distant provinces, and particularly in Thrace, Bithynia, and the Hellespont, these Christians were, during the greater part of the reign of Valens, deprived of their churches and of their priests. Valens and Eudoxius then directed their resentment against the Macedonians, who were more in number than the Christians above-mentioned in that reign, and persecuted them without mercy. The Macedonians, in apprehension of further sufferings, sent deputies to various cities, and finally agreed to have recourse to Valentinian and to Liberius, bishop of Rome, rather than conform to the doctrines of Eudoxius and Valens. In prosecution of this design, they selected three of their own number, namely, Eustathius bishop of Sebaste, Silvanus bishop of Tarsus, and Theophilus bishop of Castabalis, and sent them to the Emperor Valentinian; they likewise entrusted them with a letter, addressed to Liberius, bishop of Rome, and to the other bishops of the West, in which they entreated them, as prelates who had undeviatingly adhered to the faith of the apostles, and who were peculiarly called upon to watch over the purity of religion, to receive their deputies favourably, and to confer with them concerning the re-establishment of order in the church. When the deputies arrived in Italy, they found that the emperor was in Gaul, engaged in a war against the barbarians. As they considered that it would be perilous to visit the seat of war in Gaul, they delivered their letter to Liberius. After having conferred with him concerning the objects of their embassy, they condemned Arius and those who held and taught his doctrines; they renounced all heresies opposed to the faith established at Nicæa; and received the term “con-substantial,” as being a word that conveys the same signification as the expression “like in substance.” When they had presented a confession of faith analogous to the above to Liberius, he received them into communion with himself, and wrote to the bishops of the East, commending the orthodoxy of their faith, and detailing what had passed in the conference he had held with them. The confession of faith made by Eustathius and his companions was as follows.








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