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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

FROM these two letters of Innocent, the opinion which he entertained of John may readily be inferred.

About the same period some hailstones of extraordinary magnitude fell at Constantinople and in the suburbs of the city. Four days afterwards, the wife of the emperor died. These occurrences were by many regarded as indications of Divine wrath on account of the persecution that had been carried on against John. For Cyrinus, bishop of Chalcedonia, one of his principal calumniators, had not long previously terminated his life in the midst of great bodily agony arising from the accident that had occurred to his foot, and the consequent necessary amputation of the leg. Arsacius, too, died after he had presided but a very short period over the church of Constantinople. Many candidates were proposed as successors to his bishopric; and four months after his decease, Atticus, a presbyter of the clergy of Constantinople, and one of the enemies of John, was ordained over the church. He was a native of Sebaste in Armenia. He had been instructed from his youth in the principle of monastic philosophy by some monks of the Macedonian sect. These monks, who then enjoyed a very high reputation at Sebaste, had been the disciples of Eustathius, to whom allusion has been already made as an exemplary bishop and a president of monastic establishments. When Atticus attained the age of manhood, he embraced the tenets of the Catholic Church. He possessed more natural gifts than literary attainments, evinced considerable aptitude for the management of affairs, and was as skilful in carrying on intrigues as in evading the machinations of others. He was of a very engaging disposition, and was generally beloved. The discourses which he delivered in the church did not rise above mediocrity, and although not totally devoid of erudition, were not accounted by his auditors of sufficient value to be preserved in writing. When he had leisure and opportunity, he studied the writings of ancient authors; but he made little display of acquaintance with their works in conversation or disputation, and was not, therefore, considered a learned man. It is said that he manifested much zeal in behalf of those who entertained the same sentiments as himself, and that he rendered himself formidable to his opponents. But while he inspired them with dread, he never failed to treat them with lenity. Such is the information which we have gathered concerning this bishop.

John acquired great celebrity even in the place of his exile. He possessed ample pecuniary resources, and being besides liberally supplied with money by Olympiade the deaconess, and others, he purchased the liberty of many captives in Isauria, and restored them to their families. He also administered to the necessities of many who were in want; and by his kind words comforted those who did not stand in need of money. He was hence exceedingly beloved, not only in Armenia where he dwelt, but by all the people of the neighbouring countries, and the inhabitants of Antioch and of the other parts of Syria, and of Cilicia, frequently sought his society.








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