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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

WHEN Theophilus entered Constantinople, none of the clergy went out to meet him; for his enmity against John had become publicly known. Some sailors from Alexandria, however, who chanced to be on shore, received him with great acclamations of joy. Passing by the church, he proceeded direct to the palace, where a lodging had been prepared for his accommodation. He soon perceived that many people of the city were strongly prejudiced against John, and ready to bring accusations against him; and taking his measures accordingly, he repaired to a place called “The Oak,” in the suburbs of Chalcedonia. This place now bears the name of Rufinus, for he was a consul, and erected here a magnificent palace, and a church in honour of the apostles Peter and Paul, and appointed a congregation of monks to perform the clerical duties in the church. When Theophilus and the other bishops met for deliberation in this place, he judged it expedient to make no further allusion to the works of Origen, and tried to extort some expression of contrition from the monks of Scetis, by assuring them that the past should be buried in oblivion. His partizans zealously seconded his efforts, and told them that they must ask Theophilus to pardon their conduct; and as all the members of the assembly concurred in this request, the monks were troubled, and believing that it was necessary to do what they were desired by so many bishops, they used the words which it was their custom to use even when injured, and declared that they asked forgiveness. Theophilus willingly received them into favour, and restored them to communion; and all further investigation of their conduct was abandoned. I feel convinced that this matter would not have been so quickly settled, had Dioscorus, Ammon, and the other monks, been present. But Dioscorus had died some time previously, and had been interred in the church dedicated to St. Mocius the martyr. Ammon, also, had been taken ill at the very time that preparations were being made for the convocation of the council; and although he insisted upon repairing to “The Oak,” yet his malady was thereby greatly increased: he died soon after his journey, and was buried with great pomp. Theophilus, it is said, shed tears on hearing of his death, and declared, that although he had been the cause of much perplexity, there was not a monk to be found of more exalted character than Ammon. It must, however, be admitted, that the death of this monk tended much to promote the success of the designs of Theophilus.

The members of the council summoned all the clergy of Constantinople to appear before them, and threatened to depose those who did not obey the summons. They cited John to appear, and answer to the accusations laid to his charge; as likewise Serapion, Tigris a presbyter, and Paul a reader. John acquainted them, through the medium of Demetrius, bishop of Pessina and of some of the other clergy, who were his friends, that he did not desire to screen his conduct from investigation, and that he was ready, if the names of his accusers, and the subject of the accusations, were made known to him, to justify his proceedings before a larger council than that which was then assembled; but he added, that he was not so imprudent as to subject himself to the judgment of his enemies. The bishops testified so much indignation at the non-compliance of John, that some of the clergy whom he had sent to the council were intimidated and did not return to him. Demetrius, and those who preferred his interests to all other considerations, quitted the council, and returned to him. The same day, a courier and a secretary were despatched by the emperor to command John to repair to the bishops, and to urge the bishops to decide his cause without further delay. After John had been cited four times, and had appealed to a general council, no other accusation could be substantiated against him, except his refusal to obey the summons of the council; and upon this ground, he was deposed.








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