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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

AFTER the synod of Jerusalem Arius went to Egypt, but as he could not obtain permission to hold communion with the church of Alexandria he returned to Constantinople. As all those who had embraced his sentiments, and those who were attached to Eusebius, bishop of Nicomedia, had assembled in that city for the purpose of holding a council, Alexander, who was then at the head of the church of Constantinople, used every effort to prevent a council from being convened. But as his endeavours were frustrated he refused all communion with Arius, affirming that it was neither just, nor according to ecclesiastical canons, that the decrees of the bishops who had been assembled at Nicæa from every region under the sun should be reversed. When the partizans of Eusebius perceived that their arguments produced no effect on Alexander, they had recourse to contumely, and threatened that, unless he would receive Arius into communion on a stated day, he should be expelled from the church, and that another should be elected in his place, who would be willing to hold communion with Arius. They then separated, the partizans of Eusebius to await the time they had fixed for carrying their menaces into execution, and Alexander to pray that Eusebius might be prevented from acting as they had said. His chief source of sorrow arose from the fact that the emperor had been led away by the persuasions of his enemies. On the day before the appointed day he prostrated himself before the altar, and continued all the night in prayer to God that his enemies might be prevented from carrying their schemes into execution against him. On the evening of the same day, Arius, being seized with pain in the stomach, was compelled to repair to the public place set apart for emergencies of this nature. As some time passed away without his coming out, some persons, who were waiting for him outside, entered, and found him dead and still sitting upon the seat. When his death became known, all people did not view the occurrence under the same aspect. Some believed that he died of disease of the heart, induced by extreme joy at the success which had attended his undertakings; others imagined that this mode of death was inflicted on him in judgment, on account of his impiety. Those who held his sentiments were of opinion that his death was brought about by magical arts. It will not be out of place to quote what Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, stated on the subject. The following is his narrative:—








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