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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

AT the same period, Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra, in Galatia, was deposed by the bishops assembled at Constantinople, because he had introduced some new doctrines, whereby he taught that the existence of the Son of God commenced when He was born of Mary, and that His reign would have an end; he had, moreover, drawn up a written document wherein these views were propounded. Basil, a man of great learning and eloquence, was invested by the bishops with the government of the church of Galatia. They also wrote to the churches in the neighbouring regions, to desire them to search for the copies of the book written by Marcellus, and to destroy them, and to lead back those who had embraced his sentiments to the Catholic faith. They stated that the work was too voluminous to admit of their transcribing the whole in their epistle, but that they inserted quotations of certain passages in order to prove that the doctrines which they had condemned were there advocated. Some persons, however, maintained that Marcellus had merely propounded a few questions which had been misconstrued by the adherents of Eusebius, and represented to the emperor as formal propositions. Eusebius and his partizans were irritated against Marcellus, because he had not consented to their decrees at the Council of Tyre, nor to the regulations which had been made in favour of Arius at Jerusalem; and had likewise refused to attend at the consecration of the church called the Great Martyr, in order to avoid communion with them. In their letter to the emperor, they dwelt largely upon this latter circumstance, alleging that it was a personal insult to him to refuse attendance at the consecration of the temple which he had constructed at Jerusalem. The motive by which Marcellus was induced to write this work was, that Asterius, who was a sophist and a native of Cappadocia, had written a treatise in defence of the Arian doctrines, and had read it in various cities, and to the bishops, and likewise at several synods where he had attended. Marcellus undertook to refute his arguments, and while thus engaged, he, either deliberately or unintentionally, fell into the errors of Paul of Samosata. He was afterwards, however, reinstated in his bishopric by the Council of Sardis, after having proved that he did not hold the doctrines which had been imputed to him.








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