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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

IT is related that the emperor, under the impulse of an ardent desire to see harmony re-established among Christians, summoned Acesius, bishop of the Novatians to the Council, placed before him the exposition of the faith and of the feast, which had received the signature of the bishops, and asked whether he could agree thereto. Acesius answered that their exposition involved no new doctrine, and that he accorded in opinion with the synod, and that he had from the beginning held these sentiments with respect both to the faith and to the feast. “Why then,” said the emperor, “do yon keep aloof from communion with others, if you are of one mind with them?” He replied, that the dissension first broke out under Decius, between Novatius and Cornelius, and that he considered such persons unworthy of communion who, after baptism, had fallen into those sins which the scriptures declare to be unto death; for that the remission of those sins, he thought, depended on the will of God, and not on the priests. The emperor replied, by saying, “Oh Acesius, take a ladder, and ascend alone to Heaven.” By this speech I do not imagine the emperor intended to praise Acesius, but rather to blame him, because, being but a man, he fancied himself exempt from sin.








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