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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

“ARIUS, the author of the heresy and the associate of Eusebius, having been summoned before the most blessed Constantine Augustus, at the solicitation of the partizans of Eusebius, was desired to give in writing an exposition of his faith; he drew up this document with great artfulness, and, like the devil, concealed his impious assertions beneath the simple words of Scripture. The most blessed Constantine said to him, ‘If you hold any other doctrines than those which are here set forth, render testimony to the truth; but if you perjure yourself, the Lord will punish you,’ and the wretched man swore that he held no sentiments except those specified in the document; soon after he went out and judgment was visited upon him, for he bent forwards and burst in the middle. With all men life terminates in death. We must not blame a man, even if he be an enemy, merely because he died, for it is uncertain whether we shall live till the evening. But the end of Arius was so singular that it seems worthy of some remark. The partizans of Eusebius threatened to re-instate him in the church, and Alexander, bishop of Constantinople, opposed their intention; Arius placed his confidence in the power and menaces of Eusebius. It was Saturday, and he expected the next day to be re-admitted into the church. The dispute ran high; the partizans of Eusebius were loud in their menaces, while Alexander had recourse to prayer. The Lord was the judge, and declared himself against the unjust. A little before sunset Arius was compelled by a want of nature to enter the place appropriated for such emergencies, and here he lost at once both restoration to communion and his life. The most blessed Constantine was amazed when lie heard of this occurrence, and regarded it as the punishment of perjury. It then became evident to every one that the menaces of Eusebius were absolutely futile, and that the expectations of Arius were vain and foolish. It also became manifest that the Arian heresy had met with condemnation from the Saviour as well as from the pristine church. Is it not then astonishing that some are still found who seek to exculpate him whom the Lord has condemned, and to defend a heresy of which the author was not permitted by our Lord to be rejoined to the church? We have been duly informed that this was the mode of the death of Arius. It is said that for a long period subsequently no one would make use of the seat on which he died. Those who were compelled by necessities of nature to visit the public place, always avoided with horror the precise spot on which the impiety of Arius had been visited with judgment. At a later epoch a certain rich and powerful man, who had embraced the Arian tenets, bought the place of the public, and built a house on the spot, in order that the occurrence might fall into oblivion, and that there might be no perpetual memorial of the death of Arius.”








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