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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

WE have now seen what events transpired in the churches during the reign of Constantine. On his death, the doctrine which had been set forth at Nicæa was subjected to renewed examination. Although this doctrine was not universally approved, no one, during the life of Constantine, had dared to reject it openly. At his death, however, many renounced this faith, especially those who had previously been suspected of treachery. Eusebius and Theognis, bishops of provinces in Bithynia, did every thing in their power to give predominance to the tenets of Arius. They believed that this object would be easily accomplished by retaining Athanasius in exile, and by giving the government of the Egyptian churches to a bishop of their own sect. They found an efficient coadjutor in the priest who had obtained from Constantine the recall of Arius. He was held in high esteem by the Emperor Constantius, on account of the service he had rendered in delivering to him the testament of his father; he had, in fact, constant liberty of access to the empress, and was on terms of intimacy with the eunuchs of the court. At this period Eusebius was appointed to superintend the concerns of the royal household, and, being zealously attached to Arianism, he induced the empress and many of the persons belonging to the court to adopt the same sentiments. Hence disputations concerning doctrines again became prevalent, both in public and in private, and mutual revilings and virulent animosities were renewed. This state of things was in accordance with the views of Theognis and his partizans.








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