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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

NECTARIUS made himself acquainted with the routine of sacerdotal ceremonies under the instruction of Cyriacus bishop of Adana, whom he had requested Diodorus bishop of Tarsus to leave with him for a short period. Nectarius also retained several other Cilicians with him, amongst whom was Martyrius his physician, who had been a witness of the regularities of his youth. Nectarius was desirous of ordaining him deacon, but Martyrius refused the honour, under the plea of his own unworthiness, and called upon Nectarius himself to witness as to the course of his past life. To this Nectarius replied as follows:—“Although I am now a priest, do you not know that my past career was a more guilty one than yours, inasmuch as you were but an instrument in my numerous transgressions?” “But you, O blessed one,” replied Martyrius, “were cleansed by baptism, and were then accounted worthy of the priesthood. Both these ordinances are appointed by the divine law for purification from sin; and it seems to me that you now differ in no respect from a new-born infant: but I received long ago the holy rite of baptism, and lived subsequently as if I had not received it.” It was under this plea, that he excused himself from receiving ordination; and it appeared to me to be so valid and commendable, that I have given the whole transaction a place in my history.

The emperor Theodosius, on being informed of various events connected with Paul, formerly bishop of Constantinople, caused his remains to be removed to the church erected by Macedonius his enemy. This church is a spacious and magnificent edifice, and is still distinguished by the name of Paul. Hence, many persons who are ignorant of the facts of the case, particularly women and the mass of the people, imagine that Paul the Apostle is interred therein. The remains of Meletius were at the same time conveyed to Antioch; and deposited near the tomb of Babylas the Martyr. It is said that by the command of the emperor, the relics were received with honour in every city through which they had to be conveyed during the journey to Antioch, and that psalms were sung on the occasion, a practice which was quite contrary to the usual Roman customs.








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