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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

ABOUT this time, the son of the empress was attacked by a dangerous illness, and the mother, apprehensive of consequences, sent to implore Epiphanius to pray for him. Epiphanius returned for answer, that her son would recover provided that she would avoid all intercourse with the heretic Dioscorus and his companions. To this message the empress replied as follows: “If it be the will of God to take my son, His will be done. The Lord who gave me my child, can take him back again. You have not power to raise the dead, otherwise your archdeacon would not have died.” She alluded to Chrispio, the archdeacon, who had died a short time previously; he was brother to Fusconius and Salaman, monks whom I had occasion to mention when detailing the history of events under the reign of Valens.

Ammon and his companions went to Epiphanius, at the permission of the empress. Epiphanius inquired who they were, and Ammon replied, “We are, O father, the Great Brothers: allow us to ask whether you have read any of our works or those of our disciples.” On Epiphanius replying that he had not seen them, he continued, “How is it then that you condemn us as heretics, when you have no proof as to what sentiments we may hold.” Epiphanius said that he had formed his judgment by the reports he had heard on the subject; and Ammon replied, “We have pursued a very different line of conduct from yours. We have conversed with your disciples, and read your works, and among others, that entitled ‘The Anchor.’ When we have met with persons who have ridiculed your opinions, and asserted that your writings are replete with heresy, we have defended you as our father. Ought you then to condemn upon mere report, and without any substantial proofs, those who have so zealously defended your sentiments, and spoken well of you?” Epiphanius was affected by this discourse, and dismissed them. Soon after, he embarked for Cyprus, either because he recognised the futility of his journey to Constantinople, or because, as there is reason to believe, God had revealed to him his approaching death; for he died while on his voyage back to Cyprus. It is reported that he said to the bishops who had accompanied him to the place of embarkation, “I leave you the city, the palace, and the stage, for I shall shortly depart.” I have been informed by several persons that John predicted that Epiphanius would die at sea, and that this latter predicted the deposition of John. For it appears that when the dispute between them was at its height, Epiphanius said to John, “I hope you will not die a bishop,” and that John replied, “I hope you will never return to your bishopric.”








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