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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

THE bishops held long consultations; and after summoning Arius before them, enquired diligently into his doctrines, yet at the same time withholding their final decision. When at length the appointed day arrived on which the controversy was to be terminated, they assembled together in the palace, because the emperor had signified his intention of taking part in the deliberations. On his entrance, the emperor passed through to the head of the council, and seated himself on the throne which had been prepared for him, and then motioned to the members of the synod to be seated: for seats had been arranged on either side along the walls of the palace, which was a very large and beautiful edifice.

After they were seated, Eusebius Pamphilus arose, and delivered an oration in honour of the emperor, returning thanks to God on his account. When he had ceased speaking, and silence was restored, the emperor delivered himself in the following words:—“I give thanks to God for all things, but particularly, O friends, for being permitted to see you assembled here, for I desired most ardently to gather the priests of Christ into one place: now, it is my desire that you should be of one mind, and hold the same opinions in fellowship of spirit, for dissension in the Church of God is the greatest of evils. I never experienced more poignant sorrow than when I heard that dissension had crept in among you, for such an evil ought to have no existence among you, who are the servants of God and the dispensers of peace. On this account it is, that I have called you together in a holy synod, and being both your emperor and your fellow-physician, I seek from you a favour which is acceptable to our common Lord, and as honourable for me to receive as for you to grant. The favour which I seek is, that you examine the causes of division, and bring the controversy to a close, and that you thus restore peace and unanimity among yourselves; so that I may triumph with you over our enemy the devil, who excited this internal strife because he was provoked to see our external enemies subdued and trampled upon beneath our feet.” The emperor pronounced this discourse in Latin, and the interpretation was supplied by a bystander.








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