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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

WHEN Valens quitted Nicomedia, he went on to Antioch; and in passing through Cappadocia he did all in his power, according to custom, to injure the orthodox, and to deliver up the churches to the Arians. He thought to accomplish his designs the more easily on account of a dispute which was then pending between Basil and Eusebius who governed the church of Cæsarea. This dissension had been the cause of Basil’s departing from Pontus, where he lived in retirement with some monks. The people and some of the most powerful and of the wisest men in the city began to regard Eusebius with suspicion, particularly as they considered him the cause of the withdrawal of one who was equally celebrated for his eloquence and his piety; and they accordingly began to meditate a secession from communion with Eusebius. In the meantime, Basil, fearing to be a source of further trouble to the church, which was already rent by the dissensions of heretics, remained in retirement at Pontus. The emperor, and the Arian bishops who were always attached to his suite, regarded the absence of Basil and the hatred of the people towards Eusebius, as circumstances that would tend greatly to the success of their designs. But their expectations were utterly frustrated. On the first intelligence of the intention of the emperor to pass through Cappadocia, Basil quitted Pontus and returned to Cæsarea, where he effected a reconciliation with Eusebius, and by his eloquence greatly promoted the interests of the church. The projects of Valens were thus defeated, and he returned with his bishops without having accomplished any of his designs.








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