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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

AFTER there had been many synods held in Egypt, and the contest had still continued to increase in violence, the report of the dissension reached the palace, and Constantine was thereby greatly troubled; for just at this period, when religion was beginning to be more generally propagated, many were deterred by the difference in doctrines from embracing Christianity. The emperor openly charged Arius and Alexander with having originated this disturbance, and wrote to rebuke them for having made a controversy public which it was in their power to have concealed, and for having contentiously agitated a question which ought never to have been mooted, or upon which, at least, their opinion ought to have been quietly given. He told them that they ought not to have separated from others on account of difference of sentiment concerning certain points of doctrine, and that though they ought to entertain the same views of Divine Providence, yet, that any occasional variation of judgment on minor or doubtful topics ought to be concealed. He exhorted them, therefore, to be of one mind, and to refrain from contention; and added, that the dissension had grieved him so exceedingly, that he had renounced his intention of journeying to the East. It was in this strain that he wrote to Alexander and to Arius, reproving and exhorting them both.

Constantine was also deeply grieved at the diversity of opinion which prevailed concerning the celebration of the Passover, for some of the churches in the East, although they did not secede from communion with the others, kept the festival more according to the manner of the Jews, and thus detracted from its glory. The emperor zealously endeavoured to remove both these causes of dissension from the church; and, with this view, deputed one who was honoured for his faith, his virtuous life, and his stedfast confession of truth, to put an end to the strife which existed in Egypt on account of doctrine, and in the East, on account of the Passover. This man was Hosius, bishop of Cordova.








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