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A History Of The Church In Nine Books by Sozomen

THUS were the schemes of those who upheld various heresies in opposition to truth successfully carried into execution; and thus did they depose those bishops who strenuously maintained throughout the East the supremacy of the doctrines of the Nicæan Council. These heretics had taken possession of the most important bishoprics, such as Alexandria in Egypt, Antioch in Syria, and the capital city of the Hellespont, and they held all the neighbouring bishops in subjection. The bishop of Rome and all the clergy of the West were offended at these proceedings, and religiously maintained the faith of the Council of Nicæa, which they had embraced from the beginning. On the arrival of Athanasius, they received him kindly, and proposed to pass judgment on his case. Irritated at this interference, Eusebius wrote to Julius, exhorting him to constitute himself a judge of the decrees that had been enacted against Athanasius by the Council of Tyre. But before he had been able to ascertain the sentiments of Julius, and, indeed, soon after the Council of Antioch, Eusebius died. Immediately upon this event, those citizens of Constantinople who maintained the doctrines of the Nicæan Council conducted Paul to the church. At the same time, the adherents of Theognis, bishop of Nicæa, of Theodore, bishop of Heraclea, and others of the same party, aided by the Arians, assembled at Constantinople, and ordained Macedonius bishop of Constantinople. This excited a sedition in the city, which assumed all the appearance of a war, for the people rose up against each other, and many fell in the encounter. The city was filled with tumult, so that the emperor, who was then at Antioch, on hearing of what had occurred, was filled with indignation, and issued a decree for the expulsion of Paul. Hermogenes, general of the cavalry, endeavoured to put this edict of the emperor’s into execution, for, having been sent to Thrace, he had, on the journey, to pass by Constantinople, and he thought, by means of his army, to eject Paul from the church. But the people, instead of yielding, met him with open resistance, and while the soldiers, in obedience to the orders they had received, were engaged in violent assault on the city, the populace entered the house of Hermogenes, set fire to it, killed him, and attaching to his body a cord, dragged it through the city. The emperor had not sooner received this intelligence than he took horse to Constantinople, in order to punish the people. They, however, went to meet him with tears and supplications, and induced him to desist from his purpose. He deprived them of about half of the corn which his father, Constantine, had granted them annually from the tributes of Egypt: probably from the idea that luxury and great abundance rendered them easily disposed to sedition. He turned all his anger against Paul, and commanded his expulsion from the city. He manifested great displeasure against Macedonius, because he had taken part in the murder of the general and of other individuals; and, also, because he had been ordained without first obtaining his sanction. He, however, returned to Antioch without having either confirmed or dissolved his ordination. The Arians soon after deposed Gregory, because he had shown little zeal in the support of their doctrines, and had moreover incurred the enmity of the Alexandrians on account of the calamities which had marked the commencement of his authority, especially the conflagration of the church. They elected George, a native of Cappadocia, in his stead; this new bishop was admired on account of his activity, and his zeal in support of the Arian dogmas.








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