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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

GREGORY, who, it is said, was equally noted for the same attainments as Basil, flourished about the same period. They had both studied in their youth at Athens, under Himerius and Proæresius, the most celebrated sophists of the age: and afterwards at Antioch, under Libanius, the Syrian. But as they subsequently conceived a contempt for sophistry and the study of the law, they determined to devote themselves to the practice and study of Christian philosophy according to the canons of the church. After having spent some time in the pursuit of Pagan science, they entered upon the study of the commentaries which Origen and the authors who lived before and after his time have written in explanation of the Sacred Scriptures. They rendered great assistance to those who, like themselves, maintained the Nicene doctrines, and manfully opposed the dogmas of the Arians, proving that these heretics did not rightly understand the data upon which they proceeded, nor even the Commentaries of Origen, upon which they mainly depended. These two holy men divided the perils of their undertaking, either by mutual agreement, or, as I have been informed, by lot. The cities in the neighbourhood of Pontus fell to the lot of Basil; and here he founded numerous monasteries, and confirmed the people in the belief of the doctrines which he maintained. After the death of his father, Gregory obtained the bishopric of the small city of Nazianzen; and he was hence obliged to remain for some time at Constantinople and other places. Not long after, he was called by the people to the dignity of the metropolitan see: for there was then neither bishop nor church in Constantinople, and the doctrines of the Council of Nicæa were almost extinct.








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