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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

SOON after the enactment of this law, Theodosius went to Constantinople. The Arians, under the guidance of Theophilus, still retained possession of the churches. Gregory of Nazianzen presided over those who maintain the “con-substantiality” of the Holy Trinity, and assembled them together in a dwelling which had been altered into the form of a house of prayer, and which subsequently became one of the most remarkable in the city by the magnificence of its decorations, and the special revelations which were there vouchsafed of the grace of God. For the power of God was there manifested by dreams, by visions, and by miraculous cures of divers diseases; these miracles were usually attributed to the instrumentality of Mary the Holy Virgin, the Mother of God. The name of Anastasia was given to this church, because, as I believe, the Nicene doctrines which were, so to speak, buried beneath the errors of heterodoxy at Constantinople, were here brought to light and maintained by Gregory. Others ascribe the origin of this appellation to a miracle, and relate that one day, when the people were met together for worship in this edifice, a pregnant woman fell from the highest gallery, and was found dead on the spot, but that at the prayer of the whole congregation, she was restored to life, and she and the infant were saved. On account of this wonderful occurrence, the place, as some assert, obtained its name.

The emperor sent to command Demophilus to conform to the doctrines of Nicæa, and to lead the people to embrace the same sentiments, or else to deliver up the government of the churches. Demophilus assembled the people, acquainted them with the imperial edict, and informed them that it was his intention to hold an assembly the next day without the walls of the city, in accordance, he said, with the Divine law, which commands us when we are persecuted in one city to flee unto another. From that day he always assembled without the city with Lucius, who was formerly the bishop of the Arians at Alexandria, and who, after having been expelled, as above related, from that city, had fixed his residence at Constantinople. When Demophilus and his followers had quitted the church, the emperor entered therein, and engaged in prayer; and from that period those who maintained the consubstantiality of the Holy Trinity, held possession of the houses of prayer. These events occurred in the fifth year of the consulate of Gratian, and in the first of that of Theodosius, and after the churches had been during forty years in the hands of the Arians.








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