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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

JOHN governed the church of Constantinople with exemplary prudence, and induced many of the Pagans and of the heretics to unite themselves with him. Crowds of people daily resorted to him; some for the purpose of being edified by listening to his discourses, and others with the intention of tempting him. He, however, pleased and attracted all classes, and led them to embrace the same religious sentiments as himself. As the people pressed around him, and, so far from feeling any weariness, crowded to hear him in such numbers as even to molest each other, he placed himself in the midst of them at the desk (βῆμα) of the Readers, and having taken a seat, taught the multitude. It seems to me, that this is a suitable place in my history for the insertion of the account of a miracle which was performed during the life of John. A certain man, of the sect of the Macedonians, who was married and lived with his wife, chanced to hear John discoursing concerning the Divine nature; he was convinced by the argument he heard advanced, and strove to persuade his wife to embrace the same sentiments. Her previous habits of mind, and the conversation of other women, deterred her from complying with his wishes; and, when he found that all his efforts to convince her were futile, he told her that, unless she would be of one mind with him on divine subjects, she should not continue to live with him. The woman, therefore, promised to do as she was required; but, at the same time, she made known the matter to one of her servant maids, in whose fidelity she confided, and used her as an instrument in deceiving her husband. At the time of the celebration of the mysteries (the initiated will understand what I mean), this woman kept what was given to her, and held down her head as if engaged in prayer. Her servant, who was standing behind her, placed in her hand a bit of bread which she had brought with her; but, as soon as she had placed it between her teeth, it was converted into stone. Astonished at what had occurred, and fearful lest any further calamity should befall her, she ran to the bishop, and informed him of what had happened. She showed him the stone, which bore the marks of her teeth; it was composed of some unknown substance, and was of a very strange and peculiar colour. She implored forgiveness with tears, and continued ever after to hold the same religious tenets as her husband. If any person should consider this narrative incredible, he can inspect the stone, in question; for it is still preserved in the treasury of the church of Constantinople.








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